The clash seems to be a standoff between those who embrace Catholic teaching as settled and unchanging and those who insist it is evolving and must do so.
Christianity is not a set of prohibitions, but a "project for life" that can lead to true happiness in building better relationships and a better world, Pope Francis told Catholic young people.
"Do you realize how much you are worth in the eyes of God?" the pope asked youths in his annual message for local celebrations of World Youth Day. "Do you know that you are loved and welcomed by him unconditionally?"
Catholics who want to give input to their local bishops ahead of October's global Synod of Bishops on the family have ample opportunity -- but they better hurry.
Pope Francis on Monday denounced the brutal slayings of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya by militants linked to the Islamic State, saying "they were assassinated just for being Christian."
"The blood of our Christian brothers is a witness that cries out," Francis said in off-the-cuff remarks during an audience with an ecumenical delegation from the Church of Scotland.
The pope, switching to his native Spanish, noted that those killed only said, "Jesus help me."
A Roman Observer: Those clerics who are troubled by or pretend not to understand what Francis is "up to" were certainly not toasting the pope's Sunday homily.
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis.
In a beautiful homily by Pope Francis to the assembled cardinals and bishops, the need for reform was made clear once again.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited dioceses to prepare for the worldwide Synod of Bishops with a set of questions on marriage and family life, but the conference said any questionnaire results will remain private.
The economy is a human creation, not a god, so humans have the responsibility to manage the economy in a way that benefits the most people, said Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, president of Caritas Internationalis.
"The economy is not a god. We have to have the courage to put it in its place," the cardinal said Thursday at a presentation of the book Pope Francis: This Economy Kills by Italian journalists Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi.