Continuing initiatives aimed at a reconciliation with the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, Pope Francis has made it possible for bishops to ensure the validity of marriages celebrated in the traditionalist communities.
Many European Catholics are unsure which direction their spiritual leaders are now likely to take on key issues such as the granting of Communion to the divorced and remarried.
While prelates in Speyer and Freiburg see in Amoris Laetitia a path to the sacraments for the divorced, doctrinal chief Cardinal Müller reiterates no exceptions to Catholic marriage's indissolubility.
NCR Today: Cardinal Müller says the Vatican will not reply to four cardinals' letter questioning the document. Meanwhile, the Roman Rota dean calls publishing the letter a "slap in the face."
NCR Today: The new Vatican commission studying the possibility of allowing women to serve as deacons in the church will be meeting in Rome Nov. 25-26.
The Catholic church accepts cremation as an option, but forbids the scattering of ashes and the growing practice of keeping cremated remains at home.
Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl says the document reflects the tradition of the Roman Catholic church and the consensus opinion of its highest-ranking prelates.
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith leaders listened to women theologians and others talk about women's roles in the church, during a Sept. 26-28 symposium.
Some members are clearly supportive of the possibility of women serving as deacons, while others says there is no firm historical precedent to follow.
NCR Today: Meanwhile, Jesuit Fr. Klaus Mertes, the whistleblower who first unveiled the abuse in the Jesuit College in Berlin, has called for Müller to step down.