Voices

Rome-based associate editor Gerard O’Connell is responsible for planning and producing America’s coverage of the papacy, Vatican affairs and Rome events. He writes a weekly column in the print edition of America called “Vatican Dispatch” and files reports

SYNODAL STROLL. Cardinals and bishops leave the Oct. 9 morning session at the Vatican.
Signs Of the Times
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 15, 2014
One of the Vatican’s top canon lawyers at the Synod of Bishops on the Family says the current process for the annulment of marriages in the Catholic Church could be streamlined and expanded to the benefit of many people whose marriages have broken down.Cardinal Francis Coccopalmerio of Italy s
Pope Francis wipes eyes at start of morning session of extraordinary Synod of Bishops on family at Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Dispatches
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 14, 2014
While very many synod fathers warmly welcomed and appreciated the midway report presented by the Relator General Cardinal Peter Erdo on Oct 13 a significant number expressed serious objections to parts of that interim text both in terms of content and style That text sought to summarize the ri
Pope Francis greets auditors of extraordinary Synod of Bishops on family as he arrives for afternoon session at Vatican, Oct. 10
Dispatches
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 13, 2014
A new wind is blowing at the extraordinary synod of bishops on the family nbsp A wind that is bringing back lsquo the spirit rsquo and even lsquo the letter rsquo of the Second Vatican Council several synod fathers said nbsp It rsquo s a wind that reveals a clear desire for the Church to dia
Dispatches
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 11, 2014
As the synod on the family reached the midway stage on a positive note Pope Francis took the unprecedented and highly significant decision to add six highly qualified synod fathers to the team that will write its Final Report nbsp That decision could prove to be a game changer At almost all of th
Italian Cardinal Coccopalmerio greets new Cardinal Langlois of Les Cayes, Haiti, during consistory at Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Dispatches
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 09, 2014
One of the Vatican rsquo s top canon lawyers at the Synod of Bishops on the Family says the current process for the annulment of marriages in the Catholic Church could be streamlined and expanded to the benefit of very many people whose marriages have broken down This could be one of the positive f
WEDDING INVITATION. Pope Francis presides at the wedding of 20 couples on Sept. 14.
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 08, 2014
Not since the Second Vatican Council has a gathering of representatives of the world’s Catholic bishops sparked such interest and controversy as the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, which opened in the Vatican on Oct. 5. While the agenda is very wide,
Vatican Dispatch
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 08, 2014
House arrest of former nuncio sends tremors through the Vatican establishment.
Does Democracy Have a Prayer? Catholic youth join demonstrators outside a government office in Hong Kong on Sept. 30.
Signs Of the Times
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 08, 2014
Tensions between student demonstrators and authorities in Beijing rose as protests continued for broader democratic rights in Hong Kong in October. On Oct. 3 protesters accused police of allowing pro-government “thugs” to assault them in the city’s Mong Kok district.“Nothing
Cardinal Kasper and other prelates leave morning session of extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican, Oct. 7.
Dispatches
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 07, 2014
The synod has just begun but there are already early signs that many aspects of church teaching and praxis are coming under scrutiny with demands for change including a change in the language it uses Seventy synod fathers spoke in the first 24 hours raising many issues including the need for the
Pope Francis greets prelates as he arrives for the afternoon session on the first working day of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 6. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Dispatches
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 06, 2014
In a major break with past praxis almost 50 years after Paul VI first established the synod of bishops Pope Francis has given the synod fathers the key elements for synodality something akin to a bill of rights that creates a climate of freedom He did so at the start of the synod rsquo s first pl