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Family needed today as much as ever, synod official emphasizes

By ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI

Vatican City, Oct 6, 2014 / 05:34 pm (CNA/EWTN News) - The family is not an outdated model, and Catholics should defend it from the sins that call into question and often destroy the traditional family, the general rapporteur of the Synod of Bishops said Monday.

Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest presented the 14-page “relatio ante disceptationem” at an Oct. 6 press conference.

The relatio took into consideration the responses given a preliminary questionnaire which was delivered to bishops' conferences earlier this year, as well as the relations of the synodal fathers; it is in four parts: the Gospel of the Family in the Context of New Evangelization; the Gospel of the Family and Family Ministry; difficult Pastoral Situations; and the Family and the Gospel of Life.

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On the bishops' discussion slate: Streamlining annulments

By ELISE HARRIS

Vatican City, Oct 7, 2014 / 03:02 pm (CNA).- The opening report for the bishops' synod on the family touched on the process of annulments, noting that reform is being asked by many who often misunderstand the indissolubility of marriage.

General relator Cardinal Peter Erdo said the synod's Instrumentum laboris – or “working document” –  shows a “broad consensus in favor of simplifying marriage cases from the pastoral point of view and recounts increasing instances of a divorce mentality in the valid celebration of the Sacrament. ”

“With this in mind, it does not seem hazardous to believe that many marriages celebrated in the Church may be invalid,” he said in an Oct. 6 press conference.

Synod discussions will address the responses to the questionnaire released by the Vatican last year, in which many said they feel that the annulment procedure lacks “an effective and streamlined process.”

An annulment, officially called a Decree of Nullity, is the finding by a Church tribunal that on the day spouses exchanged their wedding vows, at least some essential elements for a valid marriage was lacking.

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'Decisive' role of marriage in

focus as Court declines cases

Washington D.C., Oct 6, 2014 / 03:39 pm (CNA/EWTN News) - The Supreme Court’s decision not to review defense of marriage appeals by five states has been met with disappointment, along with a renewed emphasis on highlighting the meaning and purpose of marriage.

Two leading U.S. bishops on marriage issues referred to the decision as “extremely disappointing and surprising.”

“Marriage is and can only be between a man and a woman – a unique relationship in which the state has a vested interest. It is the only institution that unites a wife and a husband together for life and unites them to any children that come from their union,” said Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo and Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco.

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We want Church truth on marriage,

young Catholics say

BY MARY REZAC

Denver, Colo., Oct 5, 2014 / 04:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News) - It always bothered Grace Raun when she heard her college classmates saying “nobody waits anymore” for marriage, because she knew it wasn’t true.  

As a practicing Catholic who had been dating the same person for five years, Grace knew all about waiting. But she said following the rules of the Church regarding premarital sex never felt oppressive.

“I waited. I never felt like I didn’t ‘discover myself’ in college just because I was chaste,” she told CNA. “In fact, I felt like I knew myself better, because I wasn’t just looking for simple pleasures, but I was seeking a purpose to my life and the deeper meaning of who I was.”

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