"Biblical teaching regarding the family is quite widespread, but there is much work that remains to be done in terms of ... church teaching on marriage."
Francis Chronicles: "The love of Christ ... is able to sustain their love and to renew it when, humanly speaking, it becomes lost, wounded or worn out."
In a long and complex article in the Sept. 15 issue of America magazine, Cardinal Walter Kasper discusses how mercy is understood in the Gospel and in the teaching of Pope Francis. He applies this to the possibility of permitting those in second marriages to be absolved and returned to the church in good standing. This issue is now under discussion in preparation for the upcoming synod, Kasper says, and it is clear he will be one of those pushing enthusiastically for change in the near future.
Among the men and women Pope Francis is set to unite in marriage are Catholics who have been living together as well as couples who already have children.
The pope will preside over his first wedding ceremony as pontiff during a nuptial Mass on Sunday in St. Peter's Basilica.
The event, which will see 20 couples from the Rome diocese celebrate the sacrament of marriage, was organized by the vicariate of Rome.
"Those who will get married Sunday are couples like many others," the diocese said in a press release Wednesday.
Essay: If the Synod of Bishops asked Melissa Musick Nussbaum about marriage, what would she say? Well, it starts with a little something known as Benedict's Rule.
Essay: If the Synod of Bishops asked me about marriage, what would I say? Something different than the bishops did in the synod's working document.
It's "getting difficult" for Catholics to partner with the government in providing social services because of laws like a federal mandate requiring contraceptive services.
Couples seeking a marriage annulment in the Cleveland diocese no longer have to pay a fee for the service.
Under a plan announced June 4 by Bishop Richard Lennon, all fees in annulment cases were eliminated. Cases already filed as well as marriage dispensations and marriage permissions also are covered by the policy change.
Lennon said in a press release that he hoped the change will encourage men and women in irregular marriages, especially those who have been divorced and remarried, to undertake greater participation in the life of the church.
THE GOSPEL OF THE FAMILY
By Cardinal Walter Kasper
Published by Paulist Press, $9.95
When he spoke -- at the request of Pope Francis -- in a two-hour session in front of at least 150 of the world's cardinals in February, Cardinal Walter Kasper's comments about divorce and remarriage caught the room's attention.
As the Synod on the family draws near, there seems to be an effort by traditionalists to shift the focus to doctrine rather than serving the pastoral needs of people.