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.
Synod on the Family
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 emulating Christ and not casting stones at sinners.
Faith and Justice: Now that the synod process has moved to the local level, will the bishops emulate Francis and encourage open discussion in their dioceses?
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said the church needs to take a closer look at the broader family environment instead of focusing solely on gay relationships and divorced and remarried Catholics.
Simply Spirit: While the outcomes of part one of the synod on the family are disappointing, the synod itself modeled a healthy new process of wide-ranging discussion.
"I was very disturbed by what happened," Chaput said. "I think confusion is of the devil, and I think the public image that came across was one of confusion."
Analysis: The Vatican summit on the challenges of family life wrapped without reaching a consensus on hot-button topics. Where does that leave Francis' papacy and the church?
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.
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.