Family

Reviewing the Synod on the Family, October 2015
Three weeks of intense work have ended. It has been an incredible experience to be at and live through a Synod of Bishops. No significant changes to Church discipline or doctrine are on the cards. There was no agreement on the hot-button issue of admitting the divorced and civilly re-married to Communion. As the Synod ends there are two reactions: for some, relief that Church teaching has been affirmed; for others, disappointment - especially for those in difficult circumstances who had hoped...
Michelle Ellison, parishioner at Corpus Christi Boscombe, reflects on finding a deeper spirituality amidst a busy family life,as the parish prepares for its Hearts on Fire mission week in July.Corpus Christi parish is situated in the heart of a very diverse multi-cultural community in the beautiful sea side resort of Bournemouth. Surrounding our parish are schools serving many of the local families from various cultural backgrounds.  Thus, we have gravitating towards the parish,  a...
2015 sees the centenary of the birth of Thomas Merton (pictured), the monk, writer and peace activist. And this month’s The Way considers his 'Contemplative Journey' in an article by Jane Kopas. As he followed his own sense of God’s call, he became, paradoxically, a ‘spokesman for silence’, she writes. In the article, Ms Kopas traces the spiritual journey of one who, as she describes it: ‘embraces his contradictions as well as strengths’, thereby encouraging others to do the same for themselves...
Pope Francis has called for “responsible” parenthood, saying that to be good Catholics people do not need to breed “like rabbits”. Speaking on the flight back to Rome from the Philippines, he was responding to questions from journalists about the size of families and the Church's teaching on birth control.During his visit to Asia, the Pope met with former street children who had been abandoned by their parents because they could not afford to care for them. He was asked whether he felt the...
Paul VI
The close of the recent Synod of Bishops gathered to discuss family life issues, was the occasion of beatifying Paul VI.  It is unfortunate that Paul is remembered negatively by many because of his encyclical Humanae Vitae 1968 (‘On Human Life’).  It may be that Humanae Vitae, while missing a strategic opportunity, was in many ways prophetic. The opportunity missed was the occasion to articulate clearly the difference between contraception and the taking of human life....
Father General has compared the Synod on the Family that concluded at the weekend with the Second Vatican Council. Reflecting on the discussions that took place in Rome on marriage and relationships, Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ told Salt and Light TV that he hoped one of the positive results of the Synod of Bishops would be “a change of pastoral attitudes”. Rather than aiming to reach conclusions at the Synod, Fr Nicolás said its purpose was to look carefully and compassionately at the...
Pope Francis has presided over a Mass that included a wedding ceremony for 20 couples from the Diocese of Rome. The celebration in St Peter’s Basilica comes three weeks before the start of the Synod on the Family and is the first wedding that Francis has performed since being elected pope 18 months ago.The last time that a pope presided over such a ceremony was in 2000, when it was performed by Pope St John Paul II. At the ceremony on 14 September, Pope Francis took each couple through...
Image of a tree
The story of Christ and the meaning of Christmas can only be properly understood by looking at Jesus’ family tree, and by looking at how his story continues today. Why is his family tree, this long list of names in Matthew and Luke so important? Among other things, the genealogies trace Jesus' origins in a way that tells us his real story will not be grasped by anyone who thinks that Christ Jesus’ human origins contained no sin or weakness. Christ’s ancestors weren’t all saintly. Rather,...