by Rev. Nicholas L. Gregoris

How many of you remember the childish jingle, "Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire!"? Or perhaps you are familiar with Sir Walter Scott’s insightful line, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!" Or, the famous quip of Mark Twain (or was it Benjamin Disraeli?): "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Well, during this immediate post-synodal period, some lies seem to be surfacing in the Vatican concerning matters great and small. Indeed, there are certain strange and scandalous developments happening nowadays, most notably "Part II" (as it were) of "Vatileaks" whose intricacies have yet to be resolved, and which therefore remain far beyond the scope of the present article. So, let's reflect a bit on a smaller matter. 

By a priest who cares about the Church

Is a homosexual agenda unduly influencing the outcome of the Synod on the family? It’s a question that needs to be raised because snippets gleaned from the Vatican in recent years seem to point in this direction. But before we explore this in more detail we need to underline the following points:

by Rev. Nicholas L. Gregoris

One of the most controversial topics touched upon at both the Extraordinary and Ordinary Synods on the Family is whether or not the Church should recognize that there is goodness in homosexuality both as regards a person's homosexual orientation and his or her homosexual acts/relationships. Let's try to discuss this topic by relying on traditional Catholic moral theology and then make some practical observations and applications. 

by Rev. Nicholas L. Gregoris

That question was once asked by Stalin in a provocative way to poke fun at the Pope from a dark, militaristic standpoint. Following the Synod, one may ask this question in a more wholesome theological and spiritual light.

Those who pretend that the Synod Fathers were not divided – and vocally so on the Synod floor – are living in the land of make-believe. All one has to do is read Pope Francis' final address to the Synod Fathers to get a feel for the divisions that really existed among them. One shouldn't have to apply political labels to matters of faith and morals, but it's hard in common parlance not to speak of differences in the Church without using terms like right, left, center, center-right, center-left, extreme right, extreme left, moderate, traditional, conservative, liberal, progressive, etc.

by Rev. Nicholas L. Gregoris

The word "synod" derives from Greek and means "to walk together." The synodal journey of the bishops has drawn to a close, with the Final Document presented and voted on. In a certain sense, the synodal journey may even be prolonged if Pope Francis should decide to pen a post-synodal apostolic exhortation. Even if he should decide to forgo such an exhortation, the upcoming Jubilee of Mercy will be an occasion for the work of the two Synods, Extraordinary and Ordinary, to bear fruit in the life of the Church, universal and particular. 

by Rev. Nicholas L. Gregoris

This Friday afternoon, most of the Synod Fathers got a "merciful" break in the action even as the 10-member Commission chosen by Pope Francis to write the Final Document carried on full steam ahead.

For quite some time now, Pope Francis has made known his desire to reform the Roman Curia. On Thursday, October 22, he took another step in this direction by bringing under one umbrella the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Academy for Life, and the Pontifical Council for the Laity. It is worth mentioning that all three dicasteries (as Vatican departments are known) are post-Vatican II entities, which many have called to be subsumed into one body. It is likely that a few other dicasteries will experience the same "merger" phenomenon, so as to save money and personnel and to function with less duplication.

by Deacon Nick Donnelly 

How do we make sense of what has happened at the Synod of Bishops that has just completed its deliberations in Rome? The very fact that I have to ask this question indicates that something has gone wrong. The confusion and counter claims as to what has been ‘agreed’ show that Pope Francis’ dual synods have not brought greater clarity, unity and peace to the Church. Instead, doctrines that have been certain for two thousand years – indissolubility, the immorality of adultery, mortal sin, and the sanctity of Holy Communion – have after two years of debate become contested questions among the bishops.