Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/2/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Calls made for better pastoral care for those in need

Pope Francis in his brief time as leader of the Catholic Church, has warned against being obsessed with only hot button issues such as gay marriage, abortion and contraception. While downplaying any major doctrinal changes, the pope has reiterated that the church can not be defined by what it is against. In response, many in the church have begun to build bridges for those who are not in "conventional family situations."

The Catholic Church is offering an olive branch to those in unconventional family situations, emphasizing the Lord's love for all.

The Catholic Church is offering an olive branch to those in unconventional family situations, emphasizing the Lord's love for all.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

1/2/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Divorce, parishioners, Catholic Church, Pope Francis, Synod

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With the pope's encouragement of a need to not judge people and find a way to provide pastoral care for divorcees who remarry, the Church is continuing to reach out to divorcees and single parents with compassion.

A special Synod of Bishops will be shortly convened in Rome in October to discuss the Church's approach to family life in the 21st century. Pope Francis singled out next year's Synod during his Sunday address in St Peter's Square, urging the faithful to pray for its work.

This new emphasis arrives on the eve of a major gathering in Rome which will discuss the possibility of relaxing the ban on remarried divorcees receiving Holy Communion. It's all part of a reassessment of the Church's response to sweeping changes to family life.

The Most Rev Bernard Longley, The Archbishop of Birmingham,  was among a series of British bishops who issued pastoral letters to mark the Feast of the Holy Family, which honors Mary and Joseph. Longley called for greater "understanding and compassion" within the Church for those faced with marital breakdown.

Sending out a questionnaire to the worldwide Catholics community, Longley canvassed opinion on how best to deal with issues such as gay marriage, growing numbers of divorcees in the pews and single parent families, through a pastoral plan of care.

Longley spoke of the "difficult circumstances" faced by Mary and Joseph in a letter read out at services in his archdiocese.

"The example of the Holy Family and their experiences of misunderstanding and rejection remind us of the need for understanding and compassion - especially for those who have experienced a breakdown of family life or who may have become estranged from their closest relatives," he said.

"The family of the parish must always offer a place of welcome for those who no longer find themselves in stable or conventional family situations.

"As a New Year beckons we should be slow to judge and quick to embrace those who are afraid to cross the threshold of the Church because they fear they are not perfect."


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Marriage & Family

'Baby Jesus': Crying newborn discovered abandoned in church nativity scene Watch

Image of


A newborn baby was found abandoned in a New York church nativity scene. Just hours after entering the world, the church's custodian discovered the full-term infant wrapped in purple towels crying in the Queens' Holy Child Jesus Church's nativity scene. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Couple heartbroken after doctor performs abortion without mother's consent Watch

Image of Dr. Rifaat Salem is being sued for malpractice after implanting the wrong embryo into a woman, then aborting it without the mother's consent (KTLA).


When David and Melissa Pineda had trouble conceiving, they turned to Dr. Rifaat Salem for fertility treatment. Following the implantation of embryos, Melissa was called in for a check up. What she wasn't told was that she had been implanted with a stranger's embryos ... continue reading

5 unbelievable times children taught us to be better human beings Watch

Image of People aren't born cold-hearted. They learn how to respond to situations from their friends, family and society as a whole.


Children are bundles of energy and their perspective are so new and original we can't help but be surprised by what comes out of their mouths -but what about their actions? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - There are thousands of children around the world who offer ... continue reading

'Bring Back the Holidays' campaign promotes family values Watch

Image of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods came together to launch a Bring Back the Holidays campaign.


T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods have joined forces to launch a "Bring Back the Holidays" campaign to support family time around the holidays. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Each year companies compete to provide the best Black Friday "door-buster" sales earlier ... continue reading

7-year-old shows compassion to hate-crime victims in touching act of kindness Watch

Image of Seven-year-old Jack Swanson donated his piggy bank to the Islamic Center of Pflugerville in Texas following hate crime (KXAN).


Following a hate crime at a Texas mosque that involved smeared feces and torn pages from the Koran, seven-year-old Jack Swanson decided to donate his life savings of $20 to help. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The hate crime included torn pages from the Koran and ... continue reading

The shocking thing a New Jersey mall is doing this year with Santa Watch

Image of Cherryhill Village Mall has gone from offering children free sits on Santa's lap to charging $35-50 for photo and video packages, with no 'free' option.


Cherryhill Village Mall, located in southern New Jersey, has decided to offer photo and video packages for families who bring their children to see Santa. The catch? Families must pay an entrance fee of $35-50, with no free option for those with children who don't want ... continue reading

Mother's heart breaks when 3-year-old ginger son asks 'Why don't people like my horrible hair Mummy?' Watch

Image of Noah Gilbert, 3, was bullied on a public bus for having red hair (Mercury Press).


Southampton mother, Lauren Russel, witnessed her 3-year-old son being bullied by teenagers over the color of his hair. Furious and heart-broken, Russel took to Facebook to write an emotional message asking users to spread awareness of bullying and to show her son that ... continue reading

Blind 7-year-old banned from using walking cane at school Watch

Image of Seven-year-old Lily-Grace Hooper was told she could not use her walking cane at school, despite being blind (David Hedges).


A Brussels primary school banned a blind seven-year-old girl from using her walking cane at school in a shocking move after claiming she could trip other students or teachers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Lily-Grace Hooper had a stroke when she was only ... continue reading

Toddler burned to death in oven: Shocking story of severe neglect Watch

Image of J'zyra Thompson was found burned to death near the oven in her home, where she was left unsupervised with three siblings ages three to five (Facebook).


In a heart-breaking and gross display of child endangerment, 19-month-old J'zyra Thompson was found burned to death near the stove in her home Tuesday morning.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Thompson was left alone with three siblings aged three to ... continue reading

UPDATE: Two policemen shoot and kill Autistic boy strapped in carseat Watch

Image of Jeremy Mardis, 6, was shot and killed by two officers who did not know the boy was strapped in the front seat of his father's vehicle (Facebook).


An eyewitness has come forward to describe the encounter between Christopher Few and the murder of his 6-year-old son, Jeremy Mardis, at the hands of Marksville officers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mark Jeansonne, Few's attorney, viewed bodycam footage from ... continue reading

All Marriage & Family News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, November 28, 2015
  • Evidence mounts: U.S. supplying ISIS, herding fighters towards Syria ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • A special look into the inspirational meeting between Pope Francis ...
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: God is good
  • St. Catherine Laboure: Saint of the Day for Saturday, November 28, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:2-14
2 Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree and indeed every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2015 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of ... Read More