Special Reports

The Meaning of Marriage

A great debate is currently raging in the United States over the meaning of marriage. Contraception, divorce and cohabitation all have presented formidable challenges to the institution of marriage, which was already under heavy attack by economic and social forces. Now, the relatively new issue of same-sex unions has emerged. In the face of all this, what does the Church have to teach us about the true nature of marriage?

Both a natural institution…

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1601) states this about the marriage covenant:

Canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII


On July 5, 2013, the day that his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith), was released, Pope Francis approved the canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. After signing decrees from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, he immediately called for a consistory of cardinals to set the date and make plans for the ceremonies. Pope Francis announced the final decision on Sept. 30, 2013, explaining that both late popes would be declared saints at a single ceremony on April 27, 2014.

Pope Francis’ exhortation Evangelii Gaudium

On the Solemnity of Christ the King (November 24, 2013), Pope Francis brought the “Year of Faith to its conclusion with the issuance of his first apostolic exhortation entitled, Evangelii Gaudium (the “Joy of the Gospel”). The Year of Faith had been declared by Pope Benedict XVI in an apostolic letter, Porta Fidei (the “Door of Faith”) on October 11, 2011. It began a year later on October 11, 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Typhoon Haiyan

On November 8, 2013, the massive typhoon Haiyan slammed the Philippines packing sustained winds of 195 miles per hour and gusts of up to 235 miles per hour. The damage done to the nation’s central islands by one of the most powerful storms ever recorded has been nothing short of catastrophic.


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