The 50-page instrumentum laboris, or working document, that was released June 26 and will guide the discussion during the October Synod of Bishops on the family was dry and impersonal, lifeless almost, and confounded us at NCR. So we asked two NCR contributors to answer this: If the Synod of Bishops asked me about marriage, what would I say? Marriage: two people 'in this thing together' by Michael Leach and Marriage: listening with the ear of the heart by Melissa Musick Nussbaum.
Speaking of the family, we all know what the church thinks about contraception, but what do they teach on the parish level? Fr. Peter Daly has that answer.
Also in China -- Hundreds of policemen took down a church's cross in the city known as China's Jerusalem.
In Iraq -- Policemen found 15 bodies in a bloody start to the Muslim Eid holiday.
Ebola outbreak -- Two Americans have been infected and one Liberian doctor is dead. The two Americans are Christian missionaries serving in Monrovia, Liberia.
At Global Sisters Report, a site dedicated to telling the stories of sisters and the people they serve, GSR's latest blog: Prayers called for upcoming LCWR assembly by Dan Stockman. Nun Justice, a coalition of 15 progressive Catholic organizations in the United States, is asking Catholics to pray for women religious at their LCWR upcoming national assembly, which is Aug. 12-16 in Nashville.
Opinion -- How LGBT students are changing Christian colleges. On evangelical campuses, where codes of conduct prohibit "homosexual behavior," it's becoming more and more difficult to ignore the presence of gay and lesbian students.
Immigration -- Experts point to US role in migrants' flight.
Paraguay -- The Vatican fires a priest accused of molesting U.S. seminarians, and restricts the powers of the bishop who hired him. The Vatican also suspended ordinations in the diocese.
Ireland -- A Catholic officer is suing Scotland Yard for religious discrimination, claiming his Protestant boss bullied him.
England -- A priest is so angered by a tax imposed on listed places of worship that he has come head-to-head with the government over the issue.
A polish priest has claimed he is receiving hate texts from a demon. He said he started getting the texts after carrying out an exorcism on a teenaged girl.
Looking for a little inspiration to begin your day? NCR's sister publication, Celebration, gives you two options, both based on the Scripture readings of the day:
Pencil Preaching is a blog in which Celebration editor Pat Marrin combines Scripture and sketching to reflect on the Word.
Daily Bread is a series of short reflections written by four authors who meet regularly to share the readings. Daily Bread is intended to help daily preachers and others who pray from the assigned Scriptures each day to orient themselves to the Living Word addressed to the church in the world. It's a great way to begin the day.