Catholic headlines for September 28

The Vatican announced Wednesday that Pope Francis will not be attending the funeral of longtime Israeli leader Shimon Peres, who died Sept. 28 at age 93, because he will be visiting Georgia on a planned pastoral visit. In a telegram to Israel, Pope Francis said he hoped that the “memory and many years of service” of Peres “will inspire us all to work with ever greater urgency for peace and reconciliation between peoples." Francis and Peres met as recently as June at the Vatican, and Peres was a key participant in the 2014 prayer service for peace held in the Vatican gardens.

At Mercatornet, Margaret Somerville argues that because the right to marry extends to the right to have a family, the same-sex marriage debate shouldn’t be as much about the equal rights of the same-sex couple, but rather “the fundamental rights of children in relation to their parents and family structure.”

A report released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops outlines the way U.S. Catholic dioceses are receiving and implementing Pope Francis’ document on the family, Amoris Laetitia. OSV Newsweekly has a podcast series that offers further insights into this process. 

Pope Francis leaves for Georgia and Azerbaijan on Friday. Here’s a sneak peek at his schedule

Russell Shaw says the threat to religious liberty in the form of non-discrimination laws is not one of the future, but one that we’re facing right now.  

In his General Audience today, Pope Francis spoke about forgiveness, particularly the forgiveness Jesus showed on the cross. This jubilee year is a time of grace and mercy for all, the good and the bad, those in health and those who suffer, he said. It is a time to remember that nothing can separate us from the Love of God (cf Rm 8:39).

Gretchen R. Crowe is editor-in-chief of OSV Newsweekly. Follow her @GretchenOSV.