"Some people, even up to now, 50 years after [Vatican II], are still asking the question, 'Why does the church bother with the world?' "
Second Vatican Council
Last week, I conducted interviews on the decision by Duke University in North Carolina to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer from the bell tower of the campus Christian chapel. It was a gesture of friendship toward Muslim students (who did not request it) and a statement of interfaith solidarity. Duke administrators reversed that decision, however, after pressure from outside forces, including Franklin Graham and some university donors.
A Roman Observer: Pope Francis' transfer of Cardinal Raymond Burke has intensified yet more irresponsible talk of schism within the Catholic church.
OK, the working document from the synod on the family was indeed a "pastoral earthquake" for the gay and lesbian community (no mention of transgender folks, as far as I can tell) and for divorced and remarried Catholics. The tone from the Vatican was so positive that I was conjuring up memories of the tone of the church at the time of the Second Vatican Council.
A Roman Observer: Pope Francis has succeeded in cracking open a frank and lively debate among bishops on issues many of them were told were not up for discussion.
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.
A Roman Observer: For his first column, Robert Mickens, a longtime Vatican observer, tells us what to expect when the synod on the family opens this weekend.
In accepting LCWR's Outstanding Leadership Award, St. Joseph Sr. Elizabeth Johnson praised the sisters and urged them to stay the course.
Bulletins from the Human Side: It might have been better if Cardinal Gerhard Müller had simply told LCWR, "We just don't like the way you decide things."
At their annual meeting, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious will discuss how they plan to react to continued charges of infidelity.