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Family Synod Three Pack

Item Number: 95922

Catalog Code: FamilySynodKit

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Family Synod Three Pack

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Get all three Ignatius Press titles about the Synod on the Family for one low price!

The Gospel of the Family

Walter Cardinal Kasper created an international media stir when he proposed allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive the sacraments after a penitential period. But is this something the Church can even authorize?

As the Church enters into the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on Marriage and the Family, this book takes up the Kasper Proposal and sorts the helpful from the problematic. Never separating pastoral concerns from doctrinal considerations, the authors engage Cardinal Kasper’s ideas with respect, but also at times with some profound disagreement.

How can we heal the wounds of a broken culture? How do we best support families, given the challenges of modern life? What is truly merciful? If the family is central to both society and the Church, how do we best express the truth of its importance? As the authors delve into the matter, they discuss how the early Church addressed issues of marriage and separation, and review the history of Church practice and discipline on marriage. They also explore how contemporary moral attitudes have shaped modern perceptions of marriage and divorce, and how the Church can offer pastoral guidance in this area.

The good points of Cardinal Kasper’s proposal are discussed, but also the ways in which his proposal falls short in presenting the “Gospel of the Family” as the center of our understanding of married life. Stay informed with this essential guide to one of the most important debates in the Church today.

Stephan Kampowski is an associate professor of philosophical anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome. He is a coordinator of the masters in bioethics and formation organized in conjunction with the Bioethics Institute of the University of the Sacred Heart, Rome. His two other books in English are Arendt, Augustine, and the New Beginning and A Greater Freedom: Biotechnology, Love, and Human Destiny.

Juan José Pérez-Soba is a priest of the Diocese of Madrid, Spain. He is the director of international research in moral theology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Rome, where he is a professor of pastoral theology. His other publications include El corazón de la familia, Il mistero della famiglia, and La pastorale familiare.

The Hope of the Family

"Today, the family is in crisis--it is in crisis worldwide", Pope Francis has said. "Young people don’t want to get married, they don’t get married, or they live together. Marriage is in crisis, and so the family is in crisis." The main problem with the family in the Church today, contends Cardinal Gerhard Müller, is not the small number of civilly remarried divorced Catholics who want to received Holy Communion. It is the large number of Catholics who live together before marriage, who marry civilly, or who do not even bother with marriage, as if these choices were sound options for Catholic living. It is also a failure of many who marry "in the Church" to understand marriage as part of their Christian discipleship.

In this engaging conversation, Cardinal Müller, one of Pope Francis' top advisers in the Vatican, addresses the challenges facing marriage and family life today. The loss of faith in many traditionally Christian societies has led to a crisis. In turn, cohabitation, civil marriage, and divorce and civil remarriage, further undermine faith because they harm the family as the "domestic Church" and the place of initial evangelization. The solution: the Church must undertake a robust new evangelization of the family: sharing the fullness of truth about marriage and family in Christ, encouraging families to worship and pray together, and helping them witness by their lives to the joy of the gospel.

Cardinal Müller stresses mercy and compassion in pastoral minstry with struggling Catholics, but he does so without contradicting the teaching of Jesus about divorce and remarriage and minimizing the power of grace to transform lives. In this way he proclaims hope for the family rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller is the Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Formerly the Archbishop of Regensberg and a professor of theology, he is President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Communion. He is also the author of many books, including Priesthood and Diaconate. He was created a cardinal of the Catholic Church by Pope Francis in 2014.

Remaining in the Truth of Christ

In this volume five Cardinals of the Church, and four other scholars, respond to the call issued by Cardinal Walter Kasper for the Church to harmonize “fidelity and mercy in its pastoral practice with civilly remarried, divorced people”. Contributors include Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, C.S., Robert Dodaro, O.S.A., Paul Mankowski, S.J., Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, John M. Rist, and Archbishop Cyril Vasil, S.J.

Cardinal Kasper claims support for his position in early Church practice. The contributors bring their wealth of knowledge and expertise to bear upon this question, concluding that patristic and biblical texts do not support the kind of “toleration” of civil marriages following divorce advocated by Cardinal Kasper. They also examine the Eastern Orthodox practice of oikonomia (understood as “mercy” implying “toleration”) in cases of remarriage after divorce and in the context of the vexed question of Eucharistic communion. The book traces the long history of Catholic resistance to this convention, revealing serious theological difficulties inherent in past and current Orthodox Church practice.

As the authors demonstrate, the charge that traditional Catholic doctrine and contemporary pastoral practice are in contradiction is an erroneous perception that can be remedied by closer examination of the Church’s teachings.

"Because it is the task of the apostolic ministry to ensure that the Church remains in the truth of Christ and to lead her ever more deeply into that truth, pastors must promote the sense of faith in all the faithful, examine and authoritatively judge the genuineness of its expressions and educate the faithful in an ever more mature evangelical discernment." 
- St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio





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  1. The Gospel of the Family
    (Going Beyond Cardinal Kasper's Proposal in the Debate on Marriage, Civil Re-Marriage and Communion in the Church)

  2. The Hope of the Family
    (A Dialogue with Cardinal Gerhard Müller)

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