Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family Opens in the Vatican

Pope Francis inaugurates the Ordinary Synod of Bishops on Family in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican, on Oct. 14
Photo courtesy: EPA, through USA Today

Pope Francis on Sunday, October 4, in a solemn Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, inaugurated the Ordinary Synod of Bishops on Family. 

The Pope in his homily reiterated that the Catholic marriage is between a man and a woman, but he pleaded for acceptance of and mercy on couples facing real life difficulties and challenges. The synod will run from October 4 to 25.

For details on the ongoing synod, please read the following:

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The Quotation of the Week (October 4 - 10, 2015)

A quotation of Raymond Salvatore Harmon on 'art,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A painted mural on the wall of a restaurant in Toronto: October 23, 2013) © Jerome D'Costa
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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Senior Vatican Priest Declares He Is a Homosexual With a Partner

Father  with his gay partner Edouard at the press conference in Rome
Photo courtesy: AFP

Forty-three-year-old Polish Catholic priest, Father Krzysztof Charamsa, in a press conference in Rome today, publicly admitted that he has been a gay (homosexual) and he has a regular partner, named Edouard. In spite of official Catholic Church teaching against homosexual acts, many Catholic priests practise homosexuality in secret, and this Polish priest, holding high Vatican posts, is a rare one coming out publicly. 

According to the Vatican Radio, Father Charamsa -- a theologian -- has been living in Rome for the past 17 years and has worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) since 2003. He was an assistant secretary of the Theological Commission and was teaching theology at two Pontifical universities in Rome -- Pontifica Universita Gregoriana (Pontifical Gregorian University) and Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum (Pontifical Academy of the Queen of Apostles). 

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See press office in the Vatican, announced that Father Charamsa would no longer be holding the positions with immediate effect.

For more details on this subject, please read the following: 

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pope Francis Visits the USA

Pope Francis (left, bottom) addressing a joint meeting of the Congress on the Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 24, 2015
Photo courtesy: AP

Pope Francis, after a week long hectic visit to the USA, returned to the Vatican. On his return flight to Rome, he expressed his expressed his satisfaction, joy and love for the American people. 

He arrived in Washington, D.C. on September 22 and met with President Obama. 

On September 23, in Washing, D.C., the Pope is given an official welcome at the White House lawn, then he participates in a parade and attends a mid-day prayer with US bishops at St. Matthew's Cathedral. Later he canonizes Father Junipero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

On September 24 morning Pope Francis gives a speech at the joint meeting of the US Congress in the Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C. He then pays a visit to St. Patrick's Church. In the afternoon, he arrives in New York and attends an evening prayer at St. Patrick's Cathedral there.

On September 25, he addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Late in the morning, he attends a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and World Trade Centre. In the Afternoon, he visits Our Lady, Queen of Angels School in East Harlem of the city. In the afternoon, Pope Francis with his motorcade passes through the New York Central Park. In the evening, he celebrates a Mass for the masses at the Madison Square Garden.

On September 26, PopeFrancis leaves for Philadelphia from New York. He then offers Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. In the afternoon, he visits and meets with people in the Independence Mall in the same city. In the evening, he attends the Festival of Families at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 

On September 27, Pope Francis meets with the Bishops at Martin's Chapel of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. These bishops were there attending the World Meeting of Families. In the afternoon, he offers the closing Mass for the World Meeting of Families outside the Philadelphia Art Museum where hundreds of thousands were in attendance. In the evening, he flies to Rome from Philadelphia International Airport.

For details of his visit to the USA and his speeches and photos, please read the following:

(Updated on Oct. 3, 2015)

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (September 27 - October 3, 2015)

A quotation of Hans Urs von Balthasar on 'God's gift to you and your gift to God,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (Inside the St. Theresa's Parish Shrine in Scarborough, Toronto : July 18, 2015) © Jerome D'Costa

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis Simplifies Catholic Marriage Annulment Process

A symbol of marriage annulment
Photo courtesy:

Pope Francis, on September 8, introduced a new law allowing for quicker decisions and removing automatic appeals to speed up and simplify the Catholic marriage annulment process, reports the National Post.

The annulment process of the Church has been under criticism for a long time for being complicated, expensive and out of reach of many Catholics, especially in poor countries where dioceses don't have marriage tribunals. Many Catholics having the right reasons for getting annulments suffered a lot due to this long-drawn unhelpful process. 

As a result, there were long-lasting demands for reforms of this process. You may read about it here: Pope Francis should consider the church's outdated annulment process (January 13, 2014), and, The Annulment Dilemma: Revisiting a Complicated Process (February 16, 20015). 

For more detailed information on Pope Francis' reform, Catholic marriage and annulment, kindly read the following:

Pope Reforms Catholic Marriage Annulment Process:

What and How of Catholic Marriage and Annulment:

Causes or Grounds for Catholic Marriage Annulment:

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (September 20 - 26, 2015)

A quotation of Mahatma Gandhi on 'determination and faith,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A mosaic head of a pillar in Toronto: Oct. 19, 2015) © Jerome D'Costa

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