Members of the Synod of Bishops recommended the Vatican establish a commission to monitor religious freedom, develop guidelines for training evangelizers and confession is always available.
Despite the growth of secularism, hostility toward Christianity and sinful behavior by some ministers, members of the Synod of Bishops said they are optimistic about the future.
Abandonment of internal church discipline over the past half century has undermined the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, said one American cardinal at the synod.
Paolo Gabriele will immediately begin serving his prison sentence because the Vatican's prosecutor decided not to file an appeal, a Vatican spokesman said.
Cardinal-designate James M. Harvey has spent 30 years working at the Vatican in positions requiring great discretion and bringing him into daily contact with the pope, the world's most powerful government leaders and millions of Catholic faithful.
Pope Benedict XVI announced Wednesday that he would induct Harvey, a native of Milwaukee, into the College of Cardinals Nov. 24 and that he would appoint him archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the major basilica built over the presumed tomb of St. Paul.
The Filipino cardinal announced Wednesday is widely lauded for his theological gifts and his humility.
Cardinal-designate Luis Tagle, 55, of Manila, Philippines, "really takes care of people ... he's so simple and generous and there's no class structure when he deals with people; everyone is equal in his eyes," said Nemie Anciado, a longtime custodian at the cathedral in Imus, Philippines, where the cardinal-designate was bishop from 2001 to 2011.
The world's huge technological and scientific progress hasn't always made people freer or happier, Pope Benedict XVI said.
While scientific knowledge and advancements "are important for human life, it's not enough on its own," the pope said Wednesday at his weekly general audience.
"We need not just material sustenance, we need love, meaning, hope and a solid foundation" that helps people live with courage even in the face of doubt, difficulties, and everyday problems, he said.
The appointments weren't announced during the synod, so news only spread during the prelates' lunch break.
The Society of St. Pius X has expelled Bishop Richard Williamson, saying he refused "to show due respect ... to his lawful superiors."
The report on Paolo Gabriele's trial said while Gabriele was not paid for the Vatileaks, he stood to profit from it "intellectually and morally."