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Synod on the Family

Reality is messy for US Catholic families


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.

Policy fails test of pastoral wisdom


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.

Changes in family life challenge Europe’s Catholic church


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.



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November 20-December 3, 2015


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