Philippines Cardinal Luis Tagle called on Catholics to embrace and live out the Second Vatican Council's sense of openness to the modern world.
Second Vatican Council
Analysis: Soon-to-be-Blessed Oscar Romero modeled what a bishop looks like in a church committed to justice for the poor.
At the meeting, 38 delegates from 10 countries said they seek to establish an international "network of networks" to develop strategies on church reform.
Brazilian Cardinal João Braz de Aviz told members of religious orders that they must live their vocations "inserted" into the world, open to changes of modern life.
Allowing priests to celebrate Mass in the language of the local congregation rather than in Latin allowed the faithful to understand and be encouraged by the word of God, Pope Francis said.
"You cannot turn back. We have to always go forward, always forward and who goes back is making a mistake," he told parishioners after commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first time a pope celebrated Mass in the vernacular following the Second Vatican Council.
"Some people, even up to now, 50 years after [Vatican II], are still asking the question, 'Why does the church bother with the world?' "
Last week, I conducted interviews on the decision by Duke University in North Carolina to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer from the bell tower of the campus Christian chapel. It was a gesture of friendship toward Muslim students (who did not request it) and a statement of interfaith solidarity. Duke administrators reversed that decision, however, after pressure from outside forces, including Franklin Graham and some university donors.
A Roman Observer: Pope Francis' transfer of Cardinal Raymond Burke has intensified yet more irresponsible talk of schism within the Catholic church.
OK, the working document from the synod on the family was indeed a "pastoral earthquake" for the gay and lesbian community (no mention of transgender folks, as far as I can tell) and for divorced and remarried Catholics. The tone from the Vatican was so positive that I was conjuring up memories of the tone of the church at the time of the Second Vatican Council.
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.