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home : news : pastoral care of families December 9, 2016


Synod calls for greater promotion of women's role in church
VATICAN CITY  -- If the Catholic Church did more to recognize and promote women's responsibility within the church, it could help their status in societies as well, said the Synod of Bishops on the family. More ...
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Synod report highlights pastoral care of society's marginalized
VATICAN CITY -- While they did not grab headlines, the elderly and people with disabilities, openness to life and the plight of migrants and refugees were also on the agenda of the Synod of Bishops on the family. More ...
Monday, October 26, 2015
Synod report urges 'accompaniment' tailored to family situations
VATICAN CITY  -- While not specifically mentioning the controversial proposal of a path toward full reconciliation and Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, members of the Synod of Bishops on the family handed Pope Francis a report emphasizing an obligation to recognize that not all Catholics in such a situation bear the same amount of blame. More ...
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Synod shows solidarity with people of Middle East, Ukraine, Africa
VATICAN CITY  -- Basic principles of human dignity are being violated repeatedly in the Middle East as conflict continues, particularly in Syria and Iraq, but also in Jerusalem and other areas of the Holy Land, said members of the Synod of Bishops on the family. More ...
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Synod report has new emphasis, not changed doctrine, U.S. bishops say
VATICAN CITY -- Several hours before the final report of the Synod of Bishops was put to a vote, two U.S. bishops said that what is new is not the church's message, but the synod's emphasis and attitude toward the role of the family in the modern world. More ...
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Synod had difficult moments as it tried to proclaim truth, pope says
VATICAN CITY  -- The first task of the Catholic Church "is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim the mercy of God," Pope Francis told members of the Synod of Bishops on the family. More ...
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Final report to be a general guide, not hard answers, says cardinal
The goal of the Synod drafting commission was to compile a text that would represent all the different concerns and opinions expressed during the synod as well as create "a text which would give a pastoral direction acceptable to everybody," Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai told reporters. More ...
Friday, October 23, 2015
Pope establishes new dicastery for laity, family, life
VATICAN CITY  -- Pope Francis announced he is establishing a new office for laity, family and life, which combines the responsibilities of two pontifical councils. More ...
Friday, October 23, 2015
Synod observers call for empathy, support for struggling families
VATICAN CITY -- Couples attending the Synod of Bishops called for empathy and support from the church to families suffering difficult circumstances. More ...
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Pope calls for 'synodal' church where all listen, learn, share mission
VATICAN CITY -- Marking the 50th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops, Pope Francis outlined his vision for a church that is "synodal" at every level, with everyone listening to one another, learning from one another and taking responsibility for proclaiming the Gospel. More ...
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Apologies and processes: Synod groups end with varied offerings
VATICAN CITY  -- Two of the 13 final small-group reports of the Synod of Bishops for the family contained apologies: one for ways in which a lack of pastoral care may have contributed to the breakdown of marriages and one for "harsh and merciless" attitudes toward unwed mothers and their children, the divorced and homosexuals. More ...
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Final report to be a general guide, not hard answers, says cardinal
VATICAN CITY -- After nearly three weeks of intense discussion and debate, the Synod of Bishop's final document on the family was not expected to have any hard-hitting answers, a member of the drafting commission said. More ...
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Volunteers are at front lines of Europe's response to refugees
HEGYESHALOM, Hungary -- Along the border between Hungary and Austria, Rosala Holzschuh stands in the midnight darkness as thousands of refugees flow past her on their way toward Western Europe.  More ...
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Shorter annulment process isn't about shortcuts, cardinals say
VATICAN CITY -- The reforms to the annulment process introduced by Pope Francis serve only to avoid delays in cases where marriages are clearly not valid, two synod fathers said. More ...
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Synod not manipulated; how it is depicted is distorted, says cardinal
VATICAN CITY -- The Synod of Bishops on the family is not being manipulated, rather the distortion rests in how it is being depicted or seen by a number of people, said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington. More ...
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Pope calls for 'synodal' church where all listen, learn, share mission
VATICAN CITY -- Marking the 50th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops, Pope Francis outlined his vision for a church that is "synodal" at every level, with everyone listening to one another, learning from one another and taking responsibility for proclaiming the Gospel. More ...
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Synod observers call for empathy, support for struggling families
VATICAN CITY  -- Couples attending the Synod of Bishops called for empathy and support from the church to families suffering difficult circumstances. More ...
Friday, October 16, 2015
Role of women, diversity in unity among issues debated at synod
VATICAN CITY  -- Several women participating in the Synod of Bishops on the family said they are encouraged that their views are not only respected but included in the discussions taking place. More ...
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Synod surprises: Universal compassion, inaccurate coverage, couples say
VATICAN CITY -- Two couples attending the Synod of Bishops on the family said what surprised them most about their first synod in Rome was reading inaccurate media coverage of the closed-door proceedings, the diversity of problems families face around the world and the synod fathers' great concern and compassion for the family. More ...
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Method of teaching about family can alienate people, synod members say
VATICAN CITY  -- Just like a family, the Catholic Church should challenge members to grow and behave better, but also like a family, it should not exclude those who still have some growing to do, said Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio. More ...
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Pope, synod join in prayers for peace in Middle East
VATICAN CITY -- Gathered with a worldwide representation of bishops, including patriarchs and other bishops from the Middle East, Pope Francis dedicated the morning prayer of the Synod of Bishops on the family to pleas for peace in the Middle East. More ...
Friday, October 9, 2015
Synod changes: Making less time for speeches, more time for dialogue
VATICAN CITY  -- Although the public is given glimpses of what happens inside the Catholic Church's world Synod of Bishops, the meetings themselves take place behind closed doors. More ...
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Pope says ministry to divorced, remarried is not only topic for synod
VATICAN CITY -- As the discussion began at the world Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis urged members not to act as if the only question that mattered was the pastoral care of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, his spokesman said. More ...
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Philadelphia couple joins family synod as marriage experts
PHILADELPHIA  -- Cathy and Tony Witczak of St. Isaac Jogues Parish, in Wayne, Pennsylvania, were taken by surprise when they were notified Pope Francis had invited them to participate as observers at the Synod of Bishops on the family meeting in Rome through Oct. 26. More ...
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Archbishop Chaput: Synod does include 'lobbying' in search of truth
VATICAN CITY -- When a big group of people gathers to discuss something important, people start lobbying, even if that group is the world Synod of Bishops, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia. More ...
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
More open approach at synod can ease fear of manipulation, cardinal says
VATICAN CITY -- Greater emphasis on small-group discussions and incorporating that work into the synod's final draft document is helping alleviate any suspicion of the synod being manipulated, said one of the four synod presidents. More ...
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Catholic feminist sees beauty of marriage and pitfalls of 'gospel of me'

By Lou Baldwin | Catholic News Service

PHILADELPHIA -- Helen Alvare is a law professor at George Mason University, a consultant to the Vatican and the U.S. bishops about marriage and life issues, and has been a recognized defender of Catholic teaching on marriage and the family for many years. She also is a wife and mother.

 More ...
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Keynote speakers stress importance of family life
More than 17,000 people, representing more than 100 countries gathered Sept. 22 to 25 in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, for the World Meeting of Families. The following are some highlights from the week in Philadelphia. For full stories, visit www.TrentonMonitor.com: More ...
Friday, October 2, 2015
Diocesan attendees come away renewed, enthused from week-long conference
For Daniel and Alyce Rossi, of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square, the week of Sept. 22 to 27 was one they won’t soon forget. More ...
Friday, October 2, 2015
Family needs defense by 'heroes' in dark world, cardinal tells delegates
PHILADELPHIA -- The first symbol of God's creative love is when he said, "Let there be light," because light encourages good and darkness encourages evil, Cardinal Robert Sarah said at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. More ...
Friday, September 25, 2015
Speakers say couples facing infertility need prayer, understanding
PHILADELPHIA -- Couples facing infertility need not only to hear that others understand their heartbreak, they need to feel it, too, said Cardinal Willem Eijk of Utrecht, Netherlands. More ...
Friday, September 25, 2015
World Meeting of Families includes special focus on and activities for youth
With 17,500 pilgrims from across the world gathering in Philadelphia for a conference on why families are important, the youngest members of families haven’t been forgotten. More ...
Thursday, September 24, 2015
First Person: Philadelphia turns into global city for World Meeting

This week, I’m on my own turf.

My home, near the Italian Market in South Philadelphia, is less than a 30-minute walk to all the action of the World Meeting of Families.

As I neared the entrance to the Pennsylvania Convention Center at South 11th and Arch Streets, I could feel an energy spilling from the building and into the street.

The positivity even seemed to affect the native Philadelphians. No one was yelling. No one was walking too fast and pushing people out of the way -- everyone seemed to be on their best behavior, which is unusual for here.

 More ...
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
WMF promises to be memorable experience for diocesan director
For many, the Sept. 22-25 World Meeting of Families in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, is a chance to meet people from different countries and backgrounds, all in the name of strengthening family life worldwide. More ...
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Key organizer of families' meeting is dropped from Italian investigation
VATICAN CITY  -- Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, head of the Pontifical Council for the Family and lead Vatican organizer of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, has been dropped from a criminal investigation. More ...
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Church leaders affirm commitment to family as world meeting kicks off
PHILADELPHIA -- Known as the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia will be "the city of family love" and the "world capital of families" during the four-day World Meeting of Families, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. More ...
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Bishop tells families to be God's image for secularized society
PHILADELPHIA -- Being created in the image of God is a mission, an adventure and a command that each Catholic is called to carry out into the world and something we need to rediscover as people of faith living in today's secularized culture, said Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles Sept. 21. More ...
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
WMOF, Papal visit to include Mass, accommodations for those with disabilities
Organizers of the World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Philadelphia next week, have announced that the annual Mass of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia honoring the lives and gifts of those with disabilities, will be celebrated during the historic program. More ...
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Villanova joint choirs to play free concert during WMOF
The joint choirs of Villanova University, Villanova. Pa., will play a special role in the World Meeting of Families during a free concert Sept. 24. More ...
Thursday, August 27, 2015
WMOF, Papal Visit store unveils commemorative items
The official online store of the World Meeting of Families and the visit of Pope Francis has rolled out an expanded product line this month. More ...
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Special exhibit to showcase Biblical artifacts for WMOF
Organizers of the World Meeting of Families, in partnership with the Museum of the Bible, have announced that a special exhibit, “Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations,” will be on display in Philadelphia for the gathering. More ...
Thursday, August 27, 2015



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