National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican City

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.

Avoiding temptation requires vigilance, pope says at morning Mass

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Just as you protect your home from thieves, you need to protect your heart from the temptations of the devil, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Preaching Friday during Mass in his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the pope said Christians should not be shocked that the devil continues to assail them; even after Jesus defeated Satan in the desert, the devil continued to try to tempt him, including when he was dying on the cross.

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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