Excitement and anticipation for this synod have been high, partly because of a survey the Vatican sent to the world's bishops last year.
Sept. 22 marked exactly one year before the start of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, so organizers for the event took the occasion to brief staff of the Philadelphia archdiocese on the latest details.
Registration for the Sept. 22-25 event will begin within several weeks as agreements with speakers for the program are finalized. That part of the planning is ahead of schedule, as registration for the meetings held every three years in a different city typically begins only eight to nine months before the event.
Addressing the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, the Vatican's secretary of state said "terrorism represents a fundamental threat to our common humanity" and its escalation requires the response of a "shared commitment" from all nations.
"Nations must come together in order to fulfill our primary responsibility to protect people threatened by violence and direct assaults on their human dignity," Cardinal Pietro Parolin said.
As fleeting as soap bubbles, showy as peacocks and shallow as an over-primped star, conceited Christians are building their lives on lies and their faith on shifting sands, Pope Francis said.
Everyone is vulnerable to vanity, even Christians, the pope said in a morning homily Thursday.
However, boastfulness "is a very serious spiritual disease" for Christians because it distances them from the truth. Christians are called to "be authentic with the truth of reality and of the Gospel," he said in remarks reported by Vatican Radio.
Yes, I agree. It is incredible that the competent and capable bishop from Spokane, Wash., diocese was named archbishop-designate of the great Chicago archdiocese. No question about it. Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich is prayerful, intellectually sharp, humble, humorous, balanced, respectful and fearless. Terrific qualities for a bishop and an authentic churchman.
A sense of "shared responsibility to protect our planet and the human family" must influence how nations react to the reality of climate change, the Vatican's secretary of state told the United Nations Tuesday.
In a statement during the U.N. Climate Summit, Cardinal Pietro Parolin observed that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal. It is a very serious problem which ... has grave consequences for the most vulnerable sectors of society and, clearly, for future generations."
Just Catholic: Pope Francis has made it pretty clear: He wants more women involved in things churchy. Two prelates seem to have gotten the memo.
Pope's quotes: Some of our favorite quotes from Pope Francis.
Many voices -- including Pope Francis' -- have discussed the role of poverty on family life. Does one issue feed into the other? Is there a cause and effect?