Within weeks, the Vatican said in a statement Thursday, bishops' conferences around the world will be receiving preparatory documents for the 2015 synod.
"It's not new for us. ... It's not a revolution. It's an affirmation of various intuitions of the church in Asia and of the universal church."
"I'm just in awe of how the church has been so present in the midst of the fear of this epidemic," said deacon and doctor Timothy Flanigan.
Pope Francis' frequent criticism of the global market capitalist system is forcing governments around the world to "sit up and take notice," the British ambassador to the Holy See has said.
Speaking to a Rome conference on the relationship of faith and culture, Ambassador Nigel Baker said governments have to notice Francis' critiques because of the pope's "huge global impact."
The move is an attempt by the pontiff to address concerns that some accused clerics were not getting an adequate opportunity to defend themselves.
A Roman Observer: Pope Francis' transfer of Cardinal Raymond Burke has intensified yet more irresponsible talk of schism within the Catholic church.
A Roman Observer: Debate has begun in the Vatican. But there is a problem: A lot of bishops do not seem too pleased about this. Not one bit.
A Dominican priest is protecting priceless manuscripts from falling into the hands of the Islamic State militant group in northern Iraq.
Half a dozen men stand nonchalantly in front of a grubby building on one of Rome's busiest streets as cars whizz past. They stiffen whenever a stranger approaches.
But few would guess they're undercover cops protecting Italy's most endangered man.
Inside is Fr. Luigi Ciotti, a 69-year-old priest with soft brown eyes and silver hair who has spent the past 20 years fighting the Italian Mafia.
Sr. Cristina Scuccia, 26, says her version of the salacious pop song is a "testimony of God's capacity to turn all things into something new."