Did Pope Francis get what he wanted from the synod?

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Since the end of the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family, news outlets have portrayed the outcome as a “setback” or “loss” for Pope Francis — even a “rebuke” to him. Journalists have pointed to the absence, in the synod’s final report, of an earlier version’s strikingly conciliatory language…

English cardinal’s pastoral letter addresses themes discussed at synod

LONDON (CNS) — Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster asked Catholics to recognize the “real goodness” in the lives of many cohabiting couples and those who have divorced and civilly remarried. He said the two-week Synod of Bishops on the family, which concluded at the Vatican Oct. 19, called the faithful “to walk alongside people in…

Church must reach out to gays, divorced, Philippine bishop says

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) — The church must widen its reach to gays and divorced Catholics, said the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, in an Oct. 21 statement after the Synod of Bishops on the family, called for a merciful approach to ministering to the faithful by…

Cardinal Wuerl says family synod came to ‘real consensus’

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington said the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family came to a “real consensus” after two weeks of animated debate, and that its final report will serve as a solid basis for the world synod on the family in 2015. “What we saw and…

Synod on the family’s dynamics recalls the Second Vatican Council

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Even before the start of the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family, observers were likening it to the Second Vatican Council of 1962-65. In both cases, an innovative and charismatic pope called an assembly in the first months of his pontificate, seeking to preach the Gospel in terms of…

Terrorism in Mideast has reached ‘unimaginable proportions,’ pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria, are experiencing “terrorism of previously unimaginable proportions” in which the perpetrators seem to have absolutely no regard for the value of human life, Pope Francis said. “It seems that the awareness of the value of human life has been lost; it seems that the…

Archbishop Kurtz urges more transparency at next family synod

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, said the October 2015 world Synod of Bishops on the family should return to the practice of previous synods in publishing participants’ interventions, for the benefit of their discussions and the information of the outside world. The archbishop, president of the U.S. Conference of…

Synod ends by affirming tradition, leaving controversial questions open

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — After several days of animated debate over its official midterm report, the Synod of Bishops on the family agreed on a final document more clearly grounded in traditional Catholic teaching. Yet the assembly failed to reach consensus on especially controversial questions of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried and the…

Synod of Bishops sends message of encouragement to traditional families

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — On its last day of business, the Synod of Bishops on the family approved and released a three-page message expressing solidarity with Christian families around the world. The message, released Oct. 18, is distinct from the synod’s final report, which the assembly was scheduled to vote on later the same day….