Sanders lauded Francis' repeated call to overcome a "globalization of indifference" -- labeling it "the most powerful name to the predicament of modern society."
Council of Cardinals
Pope Francis announced he is establishing a new office for laity, family and life, which combines the responsibilities of two pontifical councils.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx made it clear that the problem of whether or not to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to partake of communion would not be the synod's major topic.
Pope Francis has asked his international Council of Cardinals to study the way the church vets, identifies and appoints bishops around the world.
We say: The mere announcement of the tribunal should rouse bishops around the world from any hesitancy they may feel addressing this issue.
Pope Francis has set up a five-person committee -- which includes Irish Msgr. Paul Tighe -- to find ways to implement recommendations for streamlining and modernizing the Vatican's many communications structures.
When the pope met with his Council of Cardinals in April, the cardinal advisers suggested he name a new commission to implement a reform plan drafted by a previous 11-member papal commission.
The intensity of the opposition to Pope Francis' reform raises a basic question at the pope's two-year anniversary: Can his reform campaign outlast his papacy?
The cardinals advising Pope Francis on reforming the church's central bureaucracy have yet to create a single comprehensive draft of a new structure of governance.
The pope did not say which prelates would be named cardinals, but the names are expected to be made public in mid-January.
The synod on the family will not open until Oct. 5, but some of its members are already debating one of its most controversial topics.