NCR Today: I sent a survey to my 27 nieces and nephews, to gather data that could be useful to those ministering to today's American Catholics.
Column: The Eucharist is not just for people who have faith all figured out.
The Field Hospital: Nonprofit takes in babies whose mothers can't provide care; Montana bishop's diocese is "one large parish"; Evangelization program's remarkable results
Pope Francis set traditionalist teeth on edge yet again by seeming to suggest that a Lutheran could receive communion in the Catholic church after consulting her conscience.
Synod, Day 11: Synod prelates have entered into discussions about how the church should treat persons who divorce and remarry without first obtaining annulments.
I have just returned from one of the best weekend conferences I have ever attended. It was a meeting June 26-28 in St. Paul, Minn., of about 275 Catholics who are involved with IECs, or Intentional Eucharistic Communities. These are groups that come together to celebrate the Eucharist outside a parish setting. It was called “Living the Gospel: Collective Voices.”
The Eucharist is the seal of God's covenant, uniting Christians and giving them the strength to bring God's love to others, even when faith carries a high price, Pope Francis said.
Celebrating the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ with an evening Mass outside Rome's Basilica of St. John Lateran on Thursday, Pope Francis said the church and its members will never cease being in awe of the Eucharist.
As the sun began to set, the Mass was followed by a traditional Corpus Christi procession from St. John Lateran to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one mile away.
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."
Going forward for Communion at Mass, Catholics must do so with a desire to imitate Jesus' compassion for others and with a commitment to sharing what they have, Pope Francis said.
"One who goes to the Eucharist without having compassion for the needy and without sharing is not right with Jesus," the pope said Sunday before reciting the Angelus prayer with visitors gathered in St. Peter's Square.