In a message to families, the Synod of Bishops outlines a situation of "light and shadow" around the world and says married love "shines out brightly, warming bodies and souls."
Pope Paul VI was best known for reaffirming the church's ban on artificial contraception, but Pope Francis is focusing on Paul's other groundbreaking, though often overlooked, contributions.
Q and A: Archbishop Joseph Kurtz says the synod on the family is starting a process of discernment among the church's prelates.
"Saying that the doctrine will never change is a restrictive view of things. ... The core of the Catholic church remains the Gospel, but have we discovered everything?"
Faith and Justice: The synod process has been in place since Pope Paul VI's papacy, but the synod on the family has some aspects that are uniquely Pope Francis.
Upholding the Christian ideal of marriage and family life while also reaching out to those whose lives do not reflect that ideal is a pastoral challenge faced by all Christian communities, said the Anglican representative to the Synod of Bishops.
Anglican Bishop Paul Butler of Durham, England, and "fraternal delegates" from seven other Christian communities addressed the synod Oct. 10. Butler also spoke to Vatican Radio on Wednesday as synod members worked in small groups to amend the assembly's midterm report.
Despite worries about the impact of millions of tourists on Michelangelo's precious frescoes, the Sistine Chapel is opening its doors for the first time to a new kind of tourist to support Pope Francis' charities.
Porsche enthusiasts will pay 5,000 euros ($6,400) each for a tour in and around Rome that will include an exclusive after-hours concert inside the Sistine Chapel and a dinner in the Vatican Museums on Saturday.
Analysis: The English-speaking bishops at the synod want a fuller presentation of the theology of marriage, the elimination of confusing passages, and more.
Questions over the tone presented by the synod toward gay people dominated conversations Thursday, after the Vatican seemingly tried to water down its message of openness.
Synod14 -- Eleventh General Assembly: "Relatio post disceptationem" of the General Rapporteur, Card. Péter Erdő, 13.10.2014