With Francis, the "somewhat pessimistic basic mood" of the church has given way to a new joy, a spirit of optimism, and a new start, Cardinal Walter Kasper said.
Synod on the Family
Analysis: The synod was a victory for openness and discussion in the church, and the final document is an invitation for everyone to join that discussion.
As the Synod of Bishops on the family's final report narrowed its tone of openness, Pope Francis called on bishops Saturday to find a path between doctrine and reality.
Following is Vatican Radio's provisional translation of Pope Francis' address to the Synod Fathers:
Dear Eminences, Beatitudes, Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters,
With a heart full of appreciation and gratitude I want to thank, along with you, the Lord who has accompanied and guided us in the past days, with the light of the Holy Spirit.
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."
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.
OK, the working document from the synod on the family was indeed a "pastoral earthquake" for the gay and lesbian community (no mention of transgender folks, as far as I can tell) and for divorced and remarried Catholics. The tone from the Vatican was so positive that I was conjuring up memories of the tone of the church at the time of the Second Vatican Council.
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.