Working document is too negative, Synod fathers say
At the Synod of Bishops, a clear common theme emerged from the reports of small groups that have been discussing the Synod's working document: virtually every group said that the instrumentum laboris was overly preoccupied with the problems of marriage and family life, and did not provide enough encouragement and guidance for the faithful who are committed to living out their vocations in the family.
Chicago shrine seeks help to rebuild after devastating fire
This morning the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in Chicago launched an online restoration fund following Wednesday's fire at the church, which collapsed much of its roof. Firefighters responded to the conflagration shortly before 6 a.m. Oct. 7. The following day the shrine, a certified charity, launched a GoFundMe campaign aimed at raising $500,000 for its restoration. In the last nine hours, it has already raised more than $11,000.
Pope, synod join in prayers for peace in Middle East
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. Opening the synod's session Oct. 9, Pope Francis asked the more than 300 synod participants to devote their day's prayer to "the intention of reconciliation and peace in the Middle East."
At UN, Vatican envoy calls for action against drug trade, human trafficking
In an October 8 address to the UN on the issue of crime, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s representative, emphasized the need to fight illegal drug trade and human trafficking. “Illicit drug abuse destroys the social fabric of individual families, which metastasizes to the community, and leads ultimately to the destabilization of civil society,” the Vatican envoy said. He cited the worlds of Pope Francis, in an address to international drug-enforcement officials: “Drugs are evil, and with evil there can be neither surrender nor compromise.”
Washington resident remembers 'kindness' of former teacher, now pope
One day in early September, Washington resident Yayo Grassi was interrupted by a mysterious phone call while working in his backyard. "I was watering my plants and the cellphone rings, and it says 'caller is not in your contacts,'" Grassi recounted recently from his house in Washington. "So I pick up the phone, and I say 'hello,' and this voice says, 'Hello, is Obdulio there?'" he continued. The only person who ever referred to him by that nickname was his high school literature teacher of some 50 years ago in Argentina -- Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.