Pope Francis has indicated he wants the bishops to set forth on a new mission: overturning the old expectation that church news would always be bad. His first proclamation, he explained, is that "Christ has saved you," and an attitude of mercy must follow from that revelation. "Only someone who has encountered mercy, who has been caressed by the tenderness of mercy, is happy and comfortable with the Lord," he has said. If the church is a "field hospital," Francis explained, it must bring mercy and healing to its patients.
The highest ranking U.S. bishop at the Vatican says this month's Synod of Bishops on the family should mark the end of a high-level debate over whether to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.
"The matter really has to be clarified at this point so that this doesn't continue," Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, told Catholic News Service on Wednesday. "For this to go on for another year, it can only do harm."
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis.
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The prelate responsible for shepherding the process said one thing is clear: The coming days will see an "opportunity to deal with existential issues."
Guardian angels are not the stuff of fantasy; they are really present as wise travel companions helping people navigate life's journey, Pope Francis said.
Don't ignore the inner voice that says, "Well, you should do this." "That's not right." "Watch out!" the pope said in a morning homily Thursday, the feast of the Guardian Angels.
"It's the voice of our travel companion. Be confident that they will take us through to the end of our lives with their advice, and that's why (people should) listen to their voice, don't rebel," he said in remarks reported by Vatican Radio.
Young Voices: If our faith is to have any significance, it must leave space for people coming with viewpoints, experiences and questions across the ideological spectrum.
From Where I Stand: The coalition of renewal groups will hold a Forum on the Family to present the opinions and insights of families from all over the world.
Cardinal Raymond Burke said Pope Francis can't change current church teaching because he and all bishops "are held to obedience to the truth" about marriage, and that cannot change.