Christians are suffering the same "savage attacks" once suffered by Jews, Pope Francis told a delegation of prominent Jewish leaders.
Today's bishops must be as vigilant and courageous as sentinels keeping watch over the faith, and as forgiving and patient as Moses, leading a sinning people across harsh deserts to God, Pope Francis said.
Their vocation is not to be wardens of a failed estate, "but custodians of Evangelii Gaudium ["The Joy of the Gospel"]; therefore, you cannot be without the only treasure we really have to give, and that the world cannot give itself: the joy of God's love," he told new bishops.
The synod on the family will not open until Oct. 5, but some of its members are already debating one of its most controversial topics.
The series of discussions have now begun a more "concrete" phase with "putting ink on paper" in the form of a draft for the introduction to a new constitution.
Tuck the Gospel in your pocket and put on your walking shoes to share Christ's love, peace and joy with the world, Pope Francis said.
Iraq's ambassador to the Holy See said the pope could be a target for the Islamic State, but the Vatican says Francis faces no specific threat.
Francis Chronicles: "The love of Christ ... is able to sustain their love and to renew it when, humanly speaking, it becomes lost, wounded or worn out."
The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis is planning to visit Turkey "in the last days of November," but said the length of his trip and his agenda in the country have yet to be determined.
Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, made the announcement to reporters Friday, noting that a formal invitation from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had arrived at the Vatican earlier in the day.
Faith and Justice: The first synod I covered as a journalist was the 1980 Synod of Bishops on the family, which proved to be a month of fun and frustration.
In light of "countless requests from every part of the world," Pope Francis has approved putting Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII on the church's universal calendar of feast days.
Called the General Roman Calendar, it is the universal schedule of holy days and feast days for the Latin rite of the Catholic church.
The two saints' feast days, both of which have the ranking of an optional -- not obligatory -- memorial, are Oct. 11 for St. John XXIII and Oct. 22 for St. John Paul II.