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Pope’s Marriage Comments Highlight Urgency of Diocesan Rethink of Marriage Ministry (3987)

The Holy Father’s remarks last week refocused attention on a topic he addressed in depth in Amoris Laetitia, with practical pastoral suggestions about how to accompany and form engaged and newly married couples.

06/22/2016 Comments (23)
Lauren Cater/CNA

– Lauren Cater/CNA

BALTIMORE — Pope Francis called for a new vision and reform of marriage formation in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. But in candid comments last week, the Holy Father appeared to give family-life offices worldwide a stark assessment that marriage preparation today is a substantial failure, when he controversially suggested many sacramental marriages today are null.  

For diocesan and parish marriage-prep coordinators who have not read Amoris Laetitia, the Pope’s message was a not-so-subtle hint that they should get cracking on learning its lessons and applying them to their situation. The reform of marriage formation that Pope Francis calls for will require dioceses to retool...READ MORE

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Soon-to-Be St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Was Inspired by Fellow Carmelite St. Thérèse (1371)

‘The spiritual missions of Thérèse of Lisieux and Elizabeth of the Trinity coincide,’ says scholar Anthony Lilles of the nun who will be canonized in October.

06/21/2016 Comments (4)
Image via CNA

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

– Image via CNA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has announced the canonization date of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, a Carmelite nun of the 20th century, who will be formally recognized as a saint Oct. 16.

In March, the Pope acknowledged a miracle worked through the intercession of Blessed Elizabeth, paving the way for her canonization.

“The Lord has chosen to answer her prayers for us. … Before she died, when she was suffering with Addison’s disease, she wrote that it would increase her joy in heaven if people ask for her help,” said Anthony Lilles, academic dean of St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif.

Lilles earned his doctorate in spiritual theology at Rome’s Angelicum by writing a dissertation...READ MORE

Filed under anthony lilles, blessed elizabeth of the trinity, carl bunderson, carmelites, saints, saints and blesseds, st. therese of lisieux

Philadelphia’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Plans to Move (1736)

This month, officials announced that the school was abandoning a previous plan for consolidation on the current campus and is looking to move to a partner Catholic college or university in the archdiocese.

06/21/2016 Comment
Courtesy of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

– Courtesy of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

PHILADELPHIA — Bishop Francis Patrick Kenrick, the third bishop of Philadelphia, started St. Charles Borromeo Seminary out of his home on Fifth Street in the center of the city in 1832. There were just five students.

Forty years and four moves later, the seminary settled at its current location: the Overbrook campus in Wynnewood, Pa., in 1870. With a beautiful 75 acres in a peaceful neighborhood, the school has become a pillar of the community over the past 146 years.

Now, the seminary must undergo another move.

This month, officials announced that the school was abandoning a previous plan for consolidation on the current campus and is looking to move to a partner Catholic college or...READ MORE

Filed under archdiocese of philadelphia, catholic, mary rezac, seminarians, seminaries, st. charles borromeo seminary

All for One: Holy Father Seeks Unity, Dangerous Peripheries with Armenia Trip (1763)

NEWS ANALYSIS: With this week’s trip and a second one to neighboring Azerbaijan and Georgia in September, the Pope will visit a Caucasus region that’s considered a dangerous regional flashpoint.

06/21/2016 Comments (1)

Catholicos Kerekin II, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican on May 8, 2014.

– spc.rs

In a season dominated by headlines about violence, anger, and disunity, Pope Francis heads to Armenia for three days, June 24-26, to underscore Christian collaboration and common roots.

It’s not a papal cakewalk though.

Armenia is engaged in a long simmering war with Azerbaijan, a “frozen conflict” that flared again in April. These countries have complex relations with their powerful neighbors, Russia and Turkey, which have had deadly clashes this year too.

On Sunday, Pope Francis will approach the long closed Armenian-Turkish border, symbol of 100-plus years of distrust.

Armenia, with Azerbaijan and Georgia — two countries Francis will visit in September — comprise a region known as...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, azerbaijan, caucasus, georgia, papal visits, pope francis, russia, turkey, victor gaetan

St. John Paul II Adviser’s ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Follow-Up (4185)

Robert Spaemann’s column responds to recent interview.

06/20/2016 Comments (10)
Paul Badde/EWTN photo

Robert Spaemann

– Paul Badde/EWTN photo

MUNICH — In April, Robert Spaemann, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Munich, attracted significant attention for an interview with Anian Christoph Wimmer, editor of CNA’s German-language edition.

Greatly valued as an adviser by St. John Paul II, a friend of Benedict XVI and widely held to be the most important German-Catholic philosopher of recent decades, Spaemann expressed a distinctly critical interpretation of Amoris Laetitia.

After widespread reaction to that interview, Spaemann responded with a follow-up column in Tagespost. That column is reprinted below with permission, with style edits to conform with Register style.


We Shouldn’t Talk About a ‘Breach’:...READ MORE

Filed under amoris laetitia, john paul ii, marriage and the family, pope francis, robert spaemann

Are Many Marriages Today Invalid? (7911)

Important principles to keep in mind when speaking about marriage.

06/20/2016 Comments (30)
CNA/Daniel Ibáñez

A newlywed couple walk to receive a blessing from Pope Francis at the Wednesday general audience in St. Peter’s Square on June 15.

– CNA/Daniel Ibáñez

Pope Francis’ recent comments opining that “a great majority of our sacramental marriages are null” (or “some of our sacramental marriages are null,” according to later Vatican editing of the text) set off another media firestorm. His words reveal a common tendency among many in the Church, including many good-hearted pastors and pastoral workers, to pre-judge pessimistically the validity of someone’s marriage.

Given widespread confusion in the culture and in the Church about the nature of marriage, especially due to the high rates of divorce in the West, it often can be tempting to conclude that large numbers of contemporary men and women are not marrying validly and, therefore, their...READ MORE

Filed under amoris laetitia, benedict nguyen, code of canon law, marriage, nullity of marriages, pope francis

Pope Francis: ‘The World Needs Christ More Than Ever’ (2488)

Each person needs to have ‘adequate responses’ to deep, existential questions, the Holy Father said June 20, explaining that since ‘Jesus knows the heart of man like no other,’ he is able to heal and to give life and consolation to humanity.

06/20/2016 Comment
Franciscus Instagram

– Franciscus Instagram

VATICAN CITY — On Sunday, Pope Francis said that, with a growing sense of emptiness and insecurity gripping the world, Jesus Christ is needed more than ever before, since he alone knows how to answer humanity’s deepest questions.

“The world needs Christ more than ever, needs his salvation and his merciful love,” the Pope said June 19.

“Many people sense a void around and inside of them. Perhaps some of us too,” he said, noting that others “live in restlessness and insecurity because of precariousness and conflict.”

Each person needs to have “adequate responses” to deep, existential questions, he said, explaining that since “Jesus knows the heart of man like no other,” he is able to heal...READ MORE

Filed under jesus, jesus christ, life's purpose, mercy of god, pope francis

Pope Francis: ‘True Conversion Happens When We Welcome the Gift of Grace’ (1759)

“Jesus is beside us, with hand outstretched,” the Pope said, “and he tells us: ‘Come to me. I will do the work. I will change your heart. I will change your life. I will make you happy.’”

06/20/2016 Comments (1)
Franciscus Instagram

– Franciscus Instagram

VATICAN CITY — Recognizing the needs of others is a sign of genuine conversion, which only happens when the heart is ready to be changed by Jesus, Pope Francis said Saturday.

“True conversion happens when we welcome the gift of grace,” the Pope said during his catechesis for this month’s Jubilee Year of Mercy audience in St. Peter’s Square. “A clear sign of its authenticity is that we recognize the needs of our brothers and sisters, and we are ready to meet them.”

In off-the-cuff remarks, the pontiff spoke of the challenge many feel in the face of this need for conversion and how only Jesus can bring about real change.

“How often do we tell ourselves: ‘I must change; I cannot continue...READ MORE

Filed under change of heart, conversion, jesus, love of jesus, love of neighbor, pope francis, year of mercy

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