Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said an apostolic exhortation on the family following the recently concluded Synod of Bishops could be released soon. Synod fathers requested it.
Synod on the Family
Synod on the Family: Continue to watch NCR for coverage as we countdown to the start of the second Synod of Bishops on the family, starting Oct. 4.
American Catholic family life, increasingly influenced by broader secular culture, is experiencing a growing rift between observant parents and their children who feel far less attached to the institutional church. That detachment crosses economic and cultural lines and poses difficult questions for the future, according to sociologists who study American Catholicism.
'The absence of women's perspectives at times of reflection on these issues is not only an act of disdain toward women.'
Pope Francis has personally added four extra U.S. bishops as voting participants in October's hotly anticipated synod.
Analysis: September and October will be defining months for the Francis pontificate, especially for those following from the United States.
Viewpoint: The seventh annual Catholic Conversation Project focused on the family with a view toward the forthcoming synod in Rome.
Editorial: The question that the synod is forcing us to confront is if we have created a mistaken notion of the ideal, and the challenge is to create a new ideal that embraces new realities.
During the coming months leading up to the October Synod of Bishops on the family, the participants will be wrestling with the issue of denial of Eucharist to divorced and remarried Catholics. It is important that their reflection take its direction from the right starting place. Otherwise, the process and its outcome could be skewed from the outset.
I would suggest that they should begin, not from abstract concepts, nor from present canon law, but rather from evidence of a sentiment widely shared among church members around the globe.
When Catholic bishops arrive in Rome this October to debate “the vocation and mission of the family,” most will have carefully diagnosed the situation in their own dioceses.
That task may well have proved hardest in Europe, where traditional notions of family life are being widely challenged. Yet while some Catholics think the church is losing ground in consequence, others are more optimistic.