Organizing an effort to listen "as widely as possible" to Catholics views on various issues takes time and dedication, as previous synods show.
While U.S. bishops consider how best to collect information ahead of a 2014 global meeting on family issues, several lay Catholic groups took the task into their own hands.
Italy's Center for Studies on New Religions reported Sunday that around half of the 250 priests it surveyed reported a significant rise in church attendance since Pope Francis' election.
The Vatican said it would display for the first time bones believed to be the mortal remains of St. Peter, the leader of Jesus' 12 apostles, to mark the end of the Year of Faith, Nov. 24.
Opinion: Francis' pen-and-paper revolution is truly radical, and transforms hierarchy into personal relationships.
U.S. Cardinal William Levada said some media portrayals of Pope Francis risk making him appear as a sign of division in the church.
Mentoring inner-city youths is hardly the most obvious way to prepare for working at the Vatican, but Fr. Geno Sylva says the lessons he learned in a low-income New Jersey community have served him abundantly well in his current job as an official at the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.
Ordained in 1993, the New Jersey native has long had a passion for spreading the Gospel. He worked as a teacher, chaplain and president at DePaul Catholic High School in the diocese of Paterson, as well as a mentor at Young Prophets, a program for inner-city teenagers there.
Comparing notes from recent Vatican statements, it is hard to decipher whether the Vatican's call for consultation is unprecedented or something that's happened for decades.
"The Holy Father should not have received that individual," said Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, who served as personal secretary to the pope for 39 years.
The Vatican has asked bishops' conferences around the world to conduct a poll of Catholics asking for their opinions on controversial church teachings.