Is The “God Of Surprises” Preparing To Surprise Us Again In October?

Approximately 20 theologians are in Rome for 10 days of preparatory work preceding the drafting of the guiding document for the next assembly of the Synod on Synodality. The June 4–13 closed-door gathering of experts in theology, ecclesiology, and canon law is being held at the Jesuit general curia down the street from the Vatican. … Read more

Cardinal Hollerich: The Openness of the Synod ‘Will Change the Church’

At the conclusion of the Synod on Synodality, Pope Francis’ monthlong Vatican assembly, one of the meeting’s leaders said the freedom and openness experienced during the gathering will help the Church change in the future. While sometimes people had their “knives out” over an issue during small group discussions at the Oct. 4-29 assembly, eventually, … Read more

Synod Participants Asked to ‘Rethink the Whole Church’ According to Synodality

The next stage of the Vatican’s Synod on Synodality opened Wednesday with a call to focus on authority, decentralization, the co-responsibility of the laity, and concrete changes to the institutional Church. Before beginning discussions Oct. 18, delegates were presented with a sweeping vision for the hierarchical Church in a theological exposition from Father Dario Vitali. … Read more

Bishop Stika Resigns

Pope Francis on Tuesday accepted the resignation of the embattled Bishop Rick Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee. Stika, 65, was investigated by the Vatican for mismanagement of his diocese. He is also named in a 2022 lawsuit (refiled in 2023) accusing him of protecting a seminarian accused of multiple counts of rape. The lawsuit also claims … Read more

Francis Allows Laypeople to Vote in Synod on Synodality Assembly

The Vatican announced Wednesday that there will be laypeople participating as voting members in the Synod on Synodality’s October assembly, a break with past custom, which allowed laypeople to participate without the right to vote. Pope Francis will also approve every member in advance. The general assembly of the Synod on Synodality will take place … Read more

German Bishop Refuses To Resign After Report He Mishandled Abuse Cases

The vice president of the German bishops’ conference said Thursday he had thought about resigning after the publication of a report claiming he mishandled abuse cases, but that he had ultimately decided against it. A report published Sept. 20 said Bishop Franz-Josef Bode mishandled abuse cases in the Diocese of Osnabrück, in northwestern Germany, which … Read more

Cardinal Becciu Testifies That Pope Francis Was Responsible for Vatican Auditor’s Ousting

Cardinal Angelo Becciu said Wednesday that he is blameless in the forced resignation of a Vatican auditor, because it came at Pope Francis’ request. Cardinal Becciu was said to be responsible for the sudden firing in 2017 of the Vatican’s first auditor general, Libero Milone, as well as the cancelation of an internal audit. But … Read more