'The Pope Has the Final Word' - An Assessment of the New Synod Rules

10/03/2015 Comments (17)


After the chicanery of last year’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family, the Vatican has clearly been taking steps, on paper at least, to make the larger and longer Ordinary Synod that begins on Sunday more transparent and less open to manipulation. 

Various officials, synod fathers and observers had been expressing private concerns that the three-week synod, which acts as a consultative body for the Holy Father, will lack transparency.

Some of those concerns remain, in addition to some new ones (these are listed below), but some novelties, announced at a Vatican briefing on Friday, have been introduced that mark an improvement on last year’s meeting. These are:

Filed under family, human sexuality, marriage, synod on the family

Vatican Dismisses CDF Official After Admitting to Being Actively Homosexual

10/03/2015 Comments (3)

Msgr. Krzystof Charamsa

– YouTube

The Vatican has dismissed an official working in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith after he announced he was living in a homosexual relationship and wished to change the catechism’s teaching on homosexuality.

In a statement issued this afternoon, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said:

“With regard to the declarations and interview given by Msgr. Krzystof Charamsa it should be observed that, notwithstanding the respect due to the events and personal situations, and reflections on the issue, the decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the Synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the Synod assembly to undue...READ MORE

Filed under cdf, homosexuality, homosexuality and the priesthood, vatican

Vatican Issues More Detailed Statement on Pope's Meeting With Kim Davis

10/02/2015 Comments (60)

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi SJ

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi SJ this morning issued the following statement regarding the meeting of Pope Francis and Kim Davis at the Nunciature in Washington, DC:

"The brief meeting between Mrs. Kim Davis and Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in  Washington, DC has continued to provoke comments and discussion.  In order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired I am able to clarify the following points:

Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic...READ MORE

Filed under holy see, kim davis, pope francis, religious freedom, vatican

Same-Sex Attracted Individuals Underline Importance of Church Teaching Ahead of Synod

10/02/2015 Comments (39)

The Church must lose her “seeming bashfulness” and find the nerve to consistently preach the truth of the Church’s doctrine on human sexuality, individuals with a history of same-sex attraction have said.

Speaking on the eve of the Synod on the Family, they offered views rarely heard due to ideologically-driven rights movements taking precedent in the media and elsewhere.

Four of those who have had experience of SSA discussed challenges and expectations regarding the upcoming synod at a teleconference Thursday.

The teleconference also coincided with the publication of ‘Living the Truth in Love: Pastoral Approaches to Same-Sex Attraction’ – a book published by Ignatius Press in which...READ MORE

Filed under homosexuality, same-sex attraction, synod on the family

Does the ‘Judicial Path’ for Annulments Avoid ‘Catholic Divorce’?

09/30/2015 Comments (5)


On the papal plane back from the United States, French journalist Jean-Marie Genois of Le Figaro asked Pope Francis to respond to those who fear that his recent annulment reform, which streamlined the process of obtaining a declaration of nullity, has de-facto created ‘Catholic divorce’.

The Holy Father responded by saying that regarding the “procedure and the method, I closed the door to the administrative path, which was the path through which divorce could have entered.”

He added: “You could say that those who think this is ‘Catholic divorce’ are wrong because this last document has closed the door to divorce by which it could have entered. It would have been easier with the...READ MORE

Filed under annulments, canon law, marriage, pope francis

Nearly 800,000 Sign Appeal Calling on Pope Francis to Clarify Church Doctrine

09/29/2015 Comments (26)

A petition of nearly 800,000 signatures from individuals and associations around the world including 202 prelates was presented to Pope Francis today, calling on the Holy Father to issue words of clarity on the Church's teaching on marriage and family.

The “filial petition”, which has received 790,150 signatures since the appeal was launched in March, reflects concerns emanating from last year’s Extraordinary Synod.

The appeal expresses concern about “widespread confusion” arising from the possibility that “a breach” had been opened within the Church at last year's meeting, one “that would accept adultery—by permitting divorced and then civilly remarried Catholics to receive Holy...READ MORE

Filed under family, filial appeal, marriage, pope francis, sexuality, synod on the family

Dissenters Express High Hopes for Synod

Meanwhile orthodox-thinking Catholics to reassert Church doctrine with four major Rome conferences scheduled for this week

09/28/2015 Comments (10)

As the Synod on the Family approaches, those pushing for radical reform in the Church — or rather dissent from established Church teaching — and those upholding the Church’s doctrine, are both making their views more widely known.

Beginning with the dissenters, Swiss Vaticanist Giuseppe Rusconi has helpfully summarized their views on Pope Francis and the synod. The heterodox views of 30 individuals including Italian priests, a bishop, and a leftist politician appear in a special issue of “Micromega”, a secularist journal, published in time for the synod.

With the exception of two who are strongly critical, the other contributors are very satisfied with the Pope and see him as a vehicle...READ MORE

Filed under dissent, heterodoxy, orthodoxy, pope francis, synod on the family

Cardinal Danneels' Biographers Retract Comments on St. Gallen Group

But the cardinal's assertion that the secretive "mafia-like" group existed and opposed Joseph Ratzinger still stands

09/26/2015 Comments (33)

Cardinal Danneels at a launch of the new authorized biography.

The authors of a new authorized biography of Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels, have issued a correction to earlier comments quoted in a Belgian newspaper and which I reported here

Karim Schelkens and Jürgen Mettepenningen, authors of Godfried Danneels Biographie, have stressed that the “St. Gallen club” of reformist prelates was not a lobby group that prepared for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to be elected Pope.

They say their quote in the original article in “Le Vif”, which had said “the election of Bergoglio was prepared in St. Gallen” by Cardinal Danneels and others, was a mistake made "after their approval and correction" of the quote.

Now they...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, cardinal danneels, conclave

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About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of "The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family", published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin