Synod on the family: Pope Francis told the prelates they should speak without fear of upsetting him or limiting discussions to things he would want to hear.
Synod on the family: "Bad shepherds lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others," said Pope Francis, opening the Synod of Bishops.
The highest ranking U.S. bishop at the Vatican says this month's Synod of Bishops on the family should mark the end of a high-level debate over whether to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.
"The matter really has to be clarified at this point so that this doesn't continue," Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, told Catholic News Service on Wednesday. "For this to go on for another year, it can only do harm."
The Vatican spokesman says his daily briefings will give "an effective feeling of what has happened in the room in the diverse languages with the diverse fathers."
Guardian angels are not the stuff of fantasy; they are really present as wise travel companions helping people navigate life's journey, Pope Francis said.
Don't ignore the inner voice that says, "Well, you should do this." "That's not right." "Watch out!" the pope said in a morning homily Thursday, the feast of the Guardian Angels.
"It's the voice of our travel companion. Be confident that they will take us through to the end of our lives with their advice, and that's why (people should) listen to their voice, don't rebel," he said in remarks reported by Vatican Radio.
Everyone has a special gift to offer the whole church, just make sure it is used to serve everyone and not to puff up one's own pride or to create division, Pope Francis said.
"It is a gift that God has given to someone not because he or she is a better person than someone else or because she or he deserves it," the pope said Wednesday at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.
The biggest threat facing the Vatican isn't a bomb or bullet from the outside, but the insidious work of mischief-makers within, who plant discord and resentment, Pope Francis told the Vatican's security force.
"There are bombs in here, very dangerous bombs in here," he told security personnel. "Please, keep your eyes open, because in the darkness of so many wicked lives, the enemy has sown weeds," he said in his homily.
The Vatican's seven ambassadors throughout the Middle East will hold a summit at the Vatican this week that will be addressed by the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Pope Francis.
Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi announced the convening of the Vatican officials, formally known as apostolic nuncios, in a short press briefing Tuesday.
While neither Lombardi nor a statement issued by the Vatican gives firm reasoning for the summit, it comes as focus around the world is centered on efforts to combat the Islamic State militant group.
Pope Francis warned against the abandonment and neglect of the elderly, calling it a "hidden euthanasia" rooted in today's "poisonous" culture of disposal and an economic system of greed.
In the presence of his predecessor, Pope Francis also thanked retired Pope Benedict XVI for staying to live at the Vatican and being like "a wise grandfather at home."
"A people who don't take care of their grandparents and don't treat them well is a people with no future. Why no future? Because they lose the memory [of the past] and they sever their own roots," he said.
"There were serious problems with [Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano's] management of the diocese, the education of clergy and relations with other bishops."