Church and Papacy

Pre-Synod meeting and John Henry Newman
‘The tradition of the Apostles manifests itself sometimes by the mouth of the episcopacy, sometimes by the doctors, sometimes by the people, sometimes by liturgies, rites, ceremonies, and customs, by events, disputes, movements, and all those other phenomena which are comprised under the name of history.’ The words of John Henry Newman, who is to be canonised on Sunday 13 October, make apt reading in the light of the Amazon Synod, says Theodora Hawksley. The Synod on the Amazon is only in...
Pope Francis plants a tree in the Vatican Gardens in a Service to dedicate the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region to St Francis of Assisi (Photo: Julian Filochowski)
‘You might think that the Synod for the Amazon has nothing to do with you, but one out of every five glasses of water that you drink comes from the Amazon!’ Mauricio López of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network shared his hopes for the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region with Thinking Faith earlier this year, and explains why this is such an important moment in the life not just of Amazonia, but the whole Church. It’s like a mosaic – there is some unity in it, but it’s only possible...
Participants in the pre-Synod meeting at St Ignatius, Lethem in Novebver 2018
The focus of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region that begins in Rome on 6 October is anything but narrow – witnessing to the realities of the Amazonian peoples and their wisdom demands the attention and participation of the whole Church. Giacomo Costa SJ explains how the dynamic between the local and the global will be the key to the success of the synodal process that seeks ‘new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology’. [1]Those of us who do not live in these lands need...
Cardinal Cláudio Hummes at the pre-Synod meeting at St Ignatius, Lethem in Nov 2018
The Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region in October 2019 will place the experience of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon at its centre. Michael Czerny SJ, Special Secretary to the Synod, explains why there is an urgent need for the Church to be present in the region with compassion and justice. The Church is committed to modelling its presence in the Amazon on the example of the Good Samaritan: it seeks to act on the gospel commitment to compassion and justice. It must observe,...
St Ignatius, Lethem (Photo: James Conway SJ)
This week, the Jesuit parish of St Ignatius, Lethem, in the interior of Guyana, is hosting part of the consultation process ahead of next year’s meeting of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region. Joel Thompson SJ outlines the context in which the synod will take place and reflects on Pope Francis’ objectives for the meeting. ‘As an invitation to discern the “signs of the times”, it comes at a critical moment.’ On 15 October 2017, Pope Francis announced his intention to convene a...
'The Great Amen' by Peter Bridgman
On 14 October, Pope Francis will declare Archbishop Oscar Romero a saint, along with Pope Paul VI and several other beati. Martin Maier SJ, who has a longstanding connection with El Salvador, traces Romero’s personal transformation up to the moment of his martyr’s death in the middle of a sermon. It has been a beatification and canonisation process dogged with obstacles and delays. In El Salvador, the vast majority of the population began venerating Archbishop Oscar Romero as a saint a...
Photo by xflickrx at flickr.com
In October 2018, bishops of the Catholic Church will gather in the Vatican to discuss ‘Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment’. Fr Giacomo Costa SJ, Special Secretary for the Synod of Bishops, describes the unique preparation for this meeting and says that the renewal of solidarity between the generations must be a priority for the Church and the whole of society. The Church is preparing for another synod: the XVth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held...
Pope Francis refused to answer reporters’ questions about a letter released on Sunday by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, instead urging reporters to draw their own conclusions about the former papal nuncio’s accusations. Austen Ivereigh explains that the roots of Francis’ response might be found in an article that Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrote in 1990, in which he claims silence is sometimes the only way to let the spirits reveal themselves. ‘When it’s our turn to live through a difficult...
Photo © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk
In a letter ‘To the People of God’ this week, Pope Francis addressed the suffering caused by clerical abuse, expressing deep sorrow for the ‘heart-wrenching pain’ of victims and giving voice to the shame of the Church. James Hanvey SJ believes that, in trying to be attentive to the Spirit’s voice and presence, the pope’s letter marks a definitive moment from which there can be no turning back. Pope Francis’ letter ‘To the People of God’ marks a definitive moment in the Church’s life. When...
Photo © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk
The collective mind-set in Ireland as the country prepares for Pope Francis’ visit to the World Meeting of Families is a fragile one. The consequences of a momentous vote in favour of repealing the 8th Amendment are being worked out, and the recent revelations about abuse in the USA have caused much discontent. Irish Jesuit Gerry O’Hanlon surveys the religious and political landscape in Ireland, and wonders how recent events might shape the future of the Church. How lies Ireland in the...

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