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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

U.S. CATHOLIC - October 7, 2014

October 7, 2014

Cardinal Kasper talks marriage and divorce 
Will the Synod on the Family bring change for divorced and remarried Catholics? One influential reform-minded cardinal hopes so.

With the first of two meetings of the world's bishops on family life set for this October, the issue that has raised the most expectations for change has been the church's rule barring divorced and remarried Catholics from receiving communion. Those hopes for change intensified when Pope Francis earlier this year asked German Cardinal Walter Kasper to deliver a lengthy address on "the gospel of the family" to a gathering of the world's cardinals. With the encouragement of the pope, Kasper, long an advocate for finding new pastoral approaches for remarried divorced Catholics, used the opportunity to outline his proposals for reform. Read more.

St. Vincent de Paul: Patron of
the poor
We can borrow Vincent de Paul's tough questions about how to best help those most in need. 

Turn away from the new iPhone and toward your neighbor. This is the message of Pope Francis--to reject what he labels the "throwaway culture," in which not just possessions but people are disposable when a newer, flashier model appears. Instead of spiritual worldliness, Pope Francis invites us to build community, to become a church on the margins. To do this, we might just need a little help from the saints. Take Vincent de Paul, the model of a modern career man. Intelligent and ambitious, he saw the priesthood as the perfect way to advance in 17th-century France. He was on the fast track when experiences with the poor in small French villages sparked a conversion. Seeing the face of Christ in the neglected and abandoned, Vincent became "charity's saint," dedicating his life to God and the poor. Read more

Does the church need a new theology of women?
Pope Francis himself has stated that the church needs a "new theology of women." But what does that mean, exactly? And who might write that?

A traditional Chinese proverb teaches that "women hold up half the sky." Women also hold up half the church. This truth may have been on Pope Francis' mind when he told reporters in July 2013, "I think that we haven't yet come up with a deep theology of the woman in the church." The pope is exactly right: The church does need a deep theology of the woman, but the question we have to ask is: How do we get there? Are these just words, or are church leaders finally ready to begin to implement a more gender-inclusive agenda? Read more
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30 years ago in U.S. Catholic: Why divorced Catholics won't just go away 
It's a shame so many Catholics don't feel like they belong to a parish after they divorce. Dan Mintie tackles the myths and stereotypes surrounding divorce and remarriage.

Ruth, 67-year-old pre-Vatican II daughter of the church in Portland, Oregon, married a blue-eyed dandy with a weakness for the grog. Brought up straight and clean, blue collar and Irish, to this day she hammers out by rote her reply to the bishop himself on her Confirmation day: What are the attributes of the church? The attributes of the church are three: authority, infallibility, indefectibility. As her husband sank more deeply into alcoholism and began laying up the week's pay against the horse-flesh at Portland Acres, Ruth held on through five kids: "I knew divorce and birth control were deadly sins before I was old enough to know what they were." Thirty years later, the kids gone, worn out, she locked the door and filed the papers. Read more.

U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke mounts defense on Catholic teaching on divorce 
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 Cardinal Burke making another push against loosening the rules.

In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday (Sept. 30), Burke, who currently heads the Vatican's high court, singled out the leading proponent of reforms, German Cardinal Walter Kasper, and his claims that critics of his proposals are really attacking Pope Francis. Kasper has said that the pope supports his efforts to find ways to fully reintegrate divorced and remarried Catholics into church life. The proposals have become a prime focus of the upcoming Vatican meeting, called a synod, which will convene on Sunday for two weeks to consider changes in family life in the modern world. Read more.

Watch: The Giver
Directed by Phillip Noyce (The Weinstein Company, 2014) 

It is difficult to explain why a film fails where a book succeeds. Often it is because our imaginations are so much more capable of developing rich scenes, understanding nuanced relationships, and perceiving subtle undercurrents of fear, evil, and love. It's rare for a book to be bettered when made into a film. Sadly, Lois Lowry's 1993 book The Giver is no exception. Read more.

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October 2014

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