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Analysis

Did Mario Cuomo pave way for today's dissenters?

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Amid the sweeping tributes for former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo following his death on Jan. 1 at 82, some of the loudest praise is coming from liberal Catholics for the brand of moral and political seriousness that Cuomo brought to public life. The reaction was understandable: Cuomo, whose son Andrew was sworn in for his second term as the state's governor the same day as his father's death, was the Democratic Party's most engaging defender of classic liberal policies and an eloquent promoter of Catholic social justice teachings.

Conscience vs. authority at Pope Francis' synod on the family

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A midpoint report from this month's Synod of Bishops reveals that Catholic leaders are considering more conciliatory language toward gays and lesbians, divorced and remarried Catholics, and couples who live together before getting married.

Meeting with nearly 200 senior prelates and several dozen lay experts and observers at the Vatican, Pope Francis has deliberately engineered a lively discussion of issues concerning marriage and family life. This assembly, and a follow-up summit in 2015, will help shape the pontiff's legacy.

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