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Synod on the Family

Halftime at the Synod

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We are halfway through the Synod on the Family. After a week of interventions, prepared speeches delivered to the full body, now the synod fathers break into small discussion groups to burrow into the themes discussed. Very little has leaked out of the synod, and the new method of the Vatican press office leaves much to be desired.

Synod sends message, prayers to families suffering because of war

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Gathered with Pope Francis, members of the Synod of Bishops on the family issued a message of solidarity, support and prayers for all families suffering the impact of war and violence, especially in Iraq and Syria.

The members prayed particularly for those who, "because of the Christian faith they profess or because they belong to other ethnic or religious communities, have been forced to abandon everything and flee toward a future that lacks any kind of certainty."

The Vatican published the message Friday, in the middle of the Oct. 5-19 synod.

Speakers ask pope, synod to clear up 'confusion' on contraception

A married couple from Brazil told Pope Francis and the Synod of Bishops that the church should stop giving "contradictory advice" on birth control and help Catholics obey church teaching against contraception.

On the same morning, one of the synod's leaders spoke forcefully against a widespread "contraceptive mentality" that has led many Catholics to think the use of artificial birth control is not a sin.

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