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27 Jan 2015 Articles Comments (2)

Why the Crusaders Went

This post is the third in a series about the most prevalent modern myths about the Crusades and how to refute them. Anna Comnena was the thirteen-year-…

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11 Sep 2014 USA No comments

Tense political divide doesn't stop Christian unity over Middle East

Washington D.C., Sep 11, 2014 / 03:03 am .- Despite strained political differences, Christian leaders at a historic ecumenical conference voiced the need for un…

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30 Nov 2015 Middle East - Africa News No comments

Watch Pope Francis Open "Holy Door" in Bangui

Holy Father celebrates Mass in Central African Republic where he opened the holy door  

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12 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

Can deacons perform exposition and benediction?

Full Question My parish is instituting adoration and benediction during Lent. The pastor and associate are not willing to participate, and they are giving …

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31 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

Can God make square circles? If not, does that mean he isn't all-powerful?

Full Question Can God do literally anything? Make square circles? Make 1 + 1 = 72? If he can't do these things, is it safe to say that he cannot do literal…

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20 Nov 2015 Articles No comments

Governor forced to become bishop: the story of St Ambrose of Milan

St. Ambrose was Bishop of Milan, his hometown. He was born around A.D. 338 and died in 397. He was a very popular political figure, and since he was the Gove…

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13 Jul 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Middle East - Africa News USA Vatican No comments

Lesotho Church officials call for international intervention following shooting of journalist

The shooting of a newspaper editor in Lesotho is the latest in a series of attacks on government critics in the mountainous country surrounded by South Africa, …

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29 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

What is the difference between saints and blesseds?

Full Question What is the difference between saints and blesseds? Answer There are several steps in the Church’s process of declaring someone a s…

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09 Sep 2016 Articles No comments

Are Americans WRONG about work? How a Catholic approach to work actually increases profits

Are Americans wrong about work? New research and practical experience suggests we Americans are wrong about work, and that if we want to be more productive, we …

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Marriage prep begins at home, Bishop Conley says

Lincoln, Neb., Sep 19, 2014 / 07:33 am .- Preparation for the sacrament of Holy Matrimony begins with family life in the home long before a couple has met, said Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Neb., and this fact cannot be overlooked in addressing the prevalence of divorce.

“I’ve learned in nearly thirty years of ministry, that no priest can adequately prepare a couple for marriage in the months he spends with them before the wedding,” he said in a Sept. 19 column for CNA. “Real preparation for marriage begins in the home – in the witness of loving and married parents who embrace the holy vocation of family life.”

Although the priest’s duty in counseling a couple seeking marriage in the Church is to help them “embrace the sacrificial call of marriage” and to “reject the lies of the world about false relationships” – namely, contraception, divorce, cohabitation and “trial marriage,” the priest only has a few months with them, whereas a person’s family has years with them.

Formation as a faithful spouse – and formation for any vocation – begins in the home where the child is “taught to believe in the merciful and trustworthy God.”

He noted that many people today come from broken homes where such love is not modeled, making it difficult for a priest to convey the importance and sanctity of marriage in a short amount of time before a couple is married.

“Broken families beget more broken families, broken marriages beget more broken marriage,” Bishop Conley said.

Next month’s Synod of Bishops in Rome will focus on matters of family life. Leading up to the event, much attention has been given in the media and commentaries to the situation of divorced and remarried Catholics.

Bishop Conley said that divorce is a “symptom of the culture of death” and that if we wish to prevent it, the Church needs to address both family life and marriage preparation.

“In short, if we want to overcome the culture of death, we must do it by attacking the problem at the root – by allowing Jesus Christ to heal families.”

Bishop Conley hopes that the upcoming synod will “help families encounter Jesus Christ” no matter what their situation and that it will encourage pastors to examine marriage and family life “as seriously as the Church prepares young men for priesthood, or young men and women for consecrated life.”

“In the midst of broken families, it is the Church who must shoulder much of the responsibility for preparing couples to embrace the cross of married life,” he said.

Closing with a quote from Pope Francis’ homily at the marriage of 20 couples at the Vatican last week, Bishop Conley reminded readers that families are the “bricks” that make up society.


  1. Diana Reply

    What happens to a child who see violence at home during up bring. Father abusing wife physically and sexually. I witnessed this and now I suppose to be a model wife. I wan eager to leave home. For years of unhappiness in my marriage. Yet I must follow God’s law to remain married and faithful.

    1. Visuca Reply

      Diana, may God bless you. You seem to have been ‘put to the test’… Life can be like that and this is why we do have . – God created us FREE: He also created us to be happy and gave us his Law: The Ten Comandments. Those who brake God’s Law are in a bad way and I cannot see ANY reason at all to follow them or stay with them. As a child I did have to be patient and wait… But I have ALWAYS chosen ‘my way’ in life (in the light of God’s teachings), followed it, and I am happy! I do believe everyone can do the same. – I love you, as Jesus taught us to love, and I shall pray that all is well with you..

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