Faith and Justice: The synod process has been in place since Pope Paul VI's papacy, but the synod on the family has some aspects that are uniquely Pope Francis.
Despite worries about the impact of millions of tourists on Michelangelo's precious frescoes, the Sistine Chapel is opening its doors for the first time to a new kind of tourist to support Pope Francis' charities.
Porsche enthusiasts will pay 5,000 euros ($6,400) each for a tour in and around Rome that will include an exclusive after-hours concert inside the Sistine Chapel and a dinner in the Vatican Museums on Saturday.
Young Voices: As a Catholic newlywed, there are three concerns I would have mention if Pope Francis had invited me to address the synod on the family.
The church of Christ is called to keep the light of hope alive in the world, showing all humanity the path leading to "the merciful face of God" and salvation in Christ, Pope Francis said.
Focusing his general audience talk Wednesday on the ultimate destiny of the church and all its members, Pope Francis asked the estimated 30,000 people in St. Peter's Square to repeat with him three times: "We will be with God forever."
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis
Parish Diary: What has been valued in the appointment of bishops over the last 40 years? How does one actually become a bishop?
Although he failed to receive the Nobel Peace Prize last week, Pope Francis continues his efforts at Middle East peacemaking in what is truly an epochal conflict across the region. In his latest move, the Holy Father has called for a consistory of cardinals and patriarchs for Oct. 20, immediately following the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, to discuss the ongoing conflict with which the future of the region's churches are inevitably intertwined.
A Roman Observer: Pope Francis has succeeded in cracking open a frank and lively debate among bishops on issues many of them were told were not up for discussion.
"This morning in the free discussion, some of the synod fathers and participants said openly that they felt the spirit of Vatican II very much."