National Catholic Reporter

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Rome

Italian priest, unfazed by death threats, goes after the Mafia

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.

Cardinal Nichols: Synod to be frank, but going 'gently and sensitively'

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Discussions inside the global meeting of Catholic bishops on issues of family life are going to be "open and frank" with a focus on the lived realities of people today, one of the cardinals attending the closed-door event said Saturday.

"In the end, what we're talking about always are people's lives," said Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who is the archbishop of Westminster and is attending the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops as the president of the bishops' conference of England and Wales.

Reform group in Rome calls for family input at synod

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Wearing pins declaring "families must have a vote in family synods," a global group pushing for greater inclusivity in the church is meeting here this week in an effort to influence the Vatican's upcoming global meeting of Catholic bishops.

The coalition, known as Catholic Church Reform International and claiming backing of like-minded groups around the world, is calling specifically for more ways for ordinary families to have input in the discussions at the meeting, known as a synod.

Catholic church must welcome 'unconventional couples,' top Italian bishop says

The Catholic church should make "unconventional couples" feel at home instead of making them targets of "de facto discrimination," the leader of the Italian Bishops Conference and an ally of Pope Francis said this week.

"Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice," said Bishop Nunzio Galantino, an apparent reference to divorced and remarried Catholics.

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