The October extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family was not the scene of "a clash between factions, but of a debate among bishops," a work that will continue with the 2015 general synod "for the good of families, the church and society," Pope Francis said.
Within weeks, the Vatican said in a statement Thursday, bishops' conferences around the world will be receiving preparatory documents for the 2015 synod.
Faith and Justice: The pope has caught the imagination of the world. But most of the bishops' meeting was devoted to mind-numbing housekeeping actions and reports.
Faith and Justice: Now that the synod process has moved to the local level, will the bishops emulate Francis and encourage open discussion in their dioceses?
Simply Spirit: While the outcomes of part one of the synod on the family are disappointing, the synod itself modeled a healthy new process of wide-ranging discussion.
Analysis: The Vatican summit on the challenges of family life wrapped without reaching a consensus on hot-button topics. Where does that leave Francis' papacy and the church?
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.
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."
Analysis: Listening, respecting, welcoming, dialogue are words repeated throughout the Synod of Bishops' new document. Condemnation and marginalization are nowhere to be found.