Under certain circumstances and after long prayer and a profound examination of conscience, some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics may return to the sacraments, said the bishops of Malta.
NCR Today: Obama's farewell speech; Knights of Malta refuse to cooperate with papal investigation; Flannery to celebrate birthday Mass; Senate confirmation hearings
Viewpoint: Catholics and Lutherans have made more progress in the last 50 years toward healing the wounds of our divisions than we have in the last five centuries.
"People call me 'the enemy of the pope' and so forth. I have never been and I am not presently the enemy of the pope," says Cardinal Raymond Burke.
NCR Today: "When you are with them in the field you see that all these people are human beings. ... They just need a hand to walk next to them."
U.S. Cardinal: Catholic leaders have a tendency "to simply think that Islam is a religion like the Catholic faith or the Jewish faith. That is simply not objectively the case."
A month after naming him president of a Vatican board hearing appeals in clerical sex abuse cases, Pope Francis tapped Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta to be the new head of the archdiocese.
Malta's bishops were "surprised" but reassured by the findings of the survey of Catholics they conducted for the Synod of Bishops on the family.
NCR Today: Indian priest runs for election; Oregon priest leaves Roman Catholic church; the common touch of Gabriel García Márquez; Canadian Catholic school contracts.
After a controversial vote in parliament Monday, Malta became the latest country to recognize same-sex unions as the legal equivalent of marriage, and to permit adoption by same-sex couples.
Shortly before the 37-0 vote, Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the former sex abuse investigator for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told The Malta Independent newspaper that the civil unions bill had some good points but was not in the best interests of children.