Q and A: "In my judgment, there never has been an infallible church teaching on a specific moral issue," Fr. Charles Curran says.
Synod on the Family
Within weeks, the Vatican said in a statement Thursday, bishops' conferences around the world will be receiving preparatory documents for the 2015 synod.
Episcopal and interest group reactions to the conclusion of the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops ranged from concern that the event's discussions would lead to doctrinal confusion, to elation that they had reopened an atmosphere of dialogue and discussion in the church.
Following is a sampling of such reactions to the conclusion of the 2014 synod.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said Oct. 23 that he was "very disturbed" by the synod's discussions of the church's pastoral practices toward divorced and remarried persons and toward gay people.
My Table is Spread: I like to imagine myself one of the faithful of the fourth-century Diocletian persecution, but I know better.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin decried comments from clerics and others who said Pope Francis caused confusion in his calls for an open discussion on how the church should reach out to those who are marginalized, hurt and wounded in their lives during the recent Synod of Bishops on the family.
Martin said he was "quite surprised at the remarks of some commentators within church circles about the recent Synod of Bishops, often making accusations of confusion where such confusion did not exist and so actually fomenting confusion."
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia is confused about the recently completed family synod in Rome. He notes that "confusion is of the devil."
Chaput wants to clearly restate church teaching on homosexuals and marriage. I wonder how many times we need to restate the obvious. Is that our only function? Is it simply to keep repeating the same words over and over that everybody already knows and has heard many times?
That didn't take long.
Over at America magazine, Jesuit Fr. John W. O'Malley, a university professor in the theology department at Georgetown University and author of What Happened at Vatican II, quickly dismissed Ross Douthat's New York Times Sunday column, "The Pope and the Precipice."
Analysis: Since the end of the synod, news outlets have portrayed the outcome as a "setback" or "loss" for Pope Francis -- even a "rebuke" to him.
At the close of the first session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis beatified Pope Paul VI. That Francis moved the author of Humanae Vitae closer to sainthood at a synod on marriage and family should not inspire liberal optimism. But it has.
Faith and Justice: During the synod, the bishops struggled to find a way that the church could be a loving mother while still being a clear teacher