Synod surprises: Universal compassion, inaccurate coverage, couples say

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Two couples attending the Synod of Bishops on the family said what surprised them most about their first synod in Rome was reading inaccurate media coverage of the closed-door proceedings, the diversity problems families face around the world and the synod fathers’ great concern and compassion for the family. Even though…

Take a positive approach to families, synod members say

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The first week of the Synod of Bishops on the family ended with near unanimous calls to be more positive in describing family life today and to show more appreciation for Catholic families living close to the church’s ideals. But there were also widespread questions among synod participants about the work…

Families show the beauty, blessing of family life, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Synod of Bishops on the family must find ways to give Catholic families a leading role in evangelizing and supporting other families, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops told the synod. “Families who by the grace of God model tenderness, forgiveness and the joy of family life…

Synod changes: Making less time for speeches, more time for dialogue

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Although the public is given glimpses of what happens inside the Catholic Church’s world Synod of Bishops, the meetings themselves take place behind closed doors. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Synod of Bishops has been the object of a continual hunt to balance creating a protected space where bishops…

Church and society must learn from families, pope says at audience

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Society and the church have much to learn from the family and, in fact, the bond between the church and the family is “indissoluble,” Pope Francis said. Families bring needed values and a humanizing spirit to society and, when they mirror God’s love for all, they teach the church how it…

Archbishop Chaput: Synod does include ‘lobbying’ in search of truth

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When a big group of people gathers to discuss something important, people start lobbying, even if that group is the world Synod of Bishops, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia. Pope Francis told participants Oct. 6 “we should avoid thinking of each other as conspiring against one another, but to…

California bishops disappointed assisted suicide measure signed into law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CNS) — California’s bishops expressed disappointment with Gov. Jerry Brown’s Oct. 5 signing of a measure legalizing physician-assisted suicide in the state, saying the law “stands in direct contradiction to providing compassionate, quality care for those facing a terminal illness.” “This bill does nothing to validate the lives of the vulnerable,” said the…

Pope says ministry to divorced, remarried is not only topic for synod

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As the discussion began at the world Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis urged members not to act as if the only question that mattered was the pastoral care of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, his spokesman said. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters Oct. 6 that…

Synod should reflect on possibly allowing female deacons, says archbishop

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, said the synod should reflect on the possibility of allowing for female deacons as it seeks ways to open up more opportunities for women in church life. Where possible, qualified women should be given higher positions and decision-making authority within church structures and new…