On today's Behind the Catholic Counter, I talked with Mark Brumley, President of Ignatius Press about the three new titles they released to coincide with the ongoing Synod on the Family.
The idea for these books was suggested back in the spring after Cardinal Kaspar did an interview about the upcoming family synod. The cardinal suggested, among other things, that it could be possible to allow remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion.
The first book, Remaining in the Truth of Christ, deals directly with the issue of the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried couples who haven't gotten annulments. The book is actually a collection of essays by several cardinals and theologians covering the topic from all angles. The most interesting part for me was a survey of divorce practices in the Orthodox churches. I didn't realize that there wasn't really any standard among the various denominations and what was practiced has varied considerably over the centuries.
The book, The Hope of the Family, addresses the topics of the threats to marriage and the family in an interview format with Cardinal Mueller, Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Mark Brumley said that this is the easiest of the three books to read and is a good starting point for someone who wants to get a basic grasp of the issues facing the synod.
We also discussed the issues of pastoral care for families, especially ones that are in danger of falling apart and what true mercy is when helping those who have gone through divorce. The Gospel of the Family takes a look at the various proposals made by Cardinal Kaspar and uses them as the start of a discussion about how to help families. While pointing out where the cardinal's proposals are wrong, the book also highlights areas where he is correct in his assessments and provides suggestions for solving these problems.
After discussing the three books specifically, Mark suggested Back to Virtue by Peter Kreeft and We Have Found Mercy by Cardinal Schoenborn as other resources to help you figure out how to make rational conclusions about moral issues and how to determine what true mercy is.