The creation of new cardinals may determine whether the papacy of Pope Francis is a flash in the pan or a turning point in history.
The bishops at the synod on the family will not change any doctrines, according to reports from the Vatican Press Office on the second day of their discussions.
On the floor of the synod, "there was no language whatsoever of a need to change doctrine," reported Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica who attended the closed sessions. Rather, the desire was "to repurpose what we know in a way that's accessible" to all.
"I didn't hear anything about changing doctrine, but I heard a great desire to deepen our understanding of doctrine," he told journalists.
Paul Elie has written a masterful article in The Atlantic on Benedict, Francis, and the direction of the church today.
Analysis: The prospect of a weakened papacy seemed plausible in the wake of Pope Benedict's announcement, but the world has watched his successor make the office stronger.
In retirement, Pope Benedict XVI follows a schedule similar to that of any retired bishop or religious: He prays, reads, strolls, talks with people and offers them spiritual advice.
Distinctly Catholic: History will be kinder to Pope Benedict than most contemporary assessments. He was like a man from a different place and time.
Perspective: The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI caught the world by surprise, but after the shock wore off, it didn't seem all that surprising.
Faith and Justice: The U.N. report on the Vatican's role in sexual abuse could have improved the church's handling of sexual abuse; instead, it was an editorial screed.