VATICAN CITY - The "freedom of expression" that characterized preparations for the Synod of Bishops on the family -- especially in responses to a Vatican questionnaire -- "will also characterize the synod assembly, which certainly will take place in a climate of respect for every position, mutual charity and an authentic sense of constructiveness," said the head of the synod.

Published in Faith

Leading up to a Vatican summit on family life that Pope Francis opens on Sunday (Oct. 5), high-ranking churchmen have fiercely debated church teaching — and criticized each other — in sharp exchanges that offer a ringside seat to the kind of battles that Rome used to keep under wraps.

Published in Faith

Public disagreements over whether the Roman Catholic Church can change its teachings on Communion for remarried Catholics are growing sharper on the eve of a major Vatican summit, with conservatives led by U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke making another push against loosening the rules.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - As the family gets special focus in two upcoming synods and an international gathering in Philadelphia next year, Pope Francis is highlighting the beauty and value of the family in his message for World Communications Day.

Published in Vatican

OTTAWA - Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet has joined several other prominent cardinals who have stated that the Church teaching on marriage and divorce cannot be changed. 

Published in Features

Dr. Mona-Lee Feehan, author of the recently released marriage preparation book What God Has Joined: Preparing for Marriage in the Catholic Church, published by Novalis, is a faculty member at St. Stephen’s College in Edmonton. With marriage to be such an important topic at the Synod on the family, she was recently interviewed about her ministry and offered advice for new couples. 

Published in Features

In advance of the Synod on the Family, four Canadian bishops spoke at the recent bishops’ plenary meeting in Beaupré, Que., about marriage and family challenges in their respective dioceses. Using the Synod’s working document Instrumentum Laboris as their guide, they provided an insightful look at how the issue takes many shapes in the Canadian Church. Below are snapshots of their comments.

Published in Features

There’s not a lot of wiggle room in what Jesus had to say about divorce in the Gospel of Mark. 

Published in Features

The Church is gathering many of the world’s bishops in October to start talking about how the Christian life is really lived. They will meet in the Vatican at an extraordinary Synod of Bishops convened by Pope Francis to start to address the pastoral challenges of family life.

Published in Features


From Oct. 5-19 approximately 250 people will gather in Vatican City for the extraordinary synod on the family.  Pope Francis has written that the synod will discuss the "challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children, and the role of the family in the life of the church."

September 25, 2014

Daunting challenge

The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will examine a broad range of important issues but, even before the Oct. 5 opening session, one question dominates: Will Pope Francis entertain a reinterpretation of doctrine to permit full participation in the sacraments for civilly divorced and remarried Catholics who have not received a Church annulment? In short, will they be welcomed back to Communion?

Published in Editorial

Pope Francis has asked that Sept. 28 be a day of prayer for next month’s meeting of bishops on the family. Given the crisis in family life, the Holy Father called this extraordinary Synod to address the pastoral care of the family in the context of evangelization. However, the preparation for the Synod has been entirely dominated by one topic: Will Catholics who are divorced and have entered a second civil marriage be permitted to receive Holy Communion? At the moment they should not receive Holy Communion, as any Catholic who is in a state of mortal sin is not to receive Holy Communion. 

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

TORONTO - Joanne McGarry was a lot of things to a lot of people — an advocate for Catholic civil rights, a Catholic journalist and a dedicated colleague to some, to others always be a dear friend, loving wife and caring mother of three. Now to all she is an angel in heaven.

Published in Canada

VATICAN CITY - St. John Paul II would not want Catholics' applause, but he would want to inspire the way they live, especially in defending the family and the sacredness of human life, said Cardinal Angelo Comastri.

Published in Papal Canonizations

Holy Family Ministries is bringing faith back to the family — at summer camp.

Published in Youth Speak News