Analysis: The synod was a victory for openness and discussion in the church, and the final document is an invitation for everyone to join that discussion.
Synod of Bishops
Excitement and anticipation for this synod have been high, partly because of a survey the Vatican sent to the world's bishops last year.
An article by Josephine McKenna points out some contradictions as we gear up for the opening of the Synod of Bishops on the family. A conservative group of cardinals is releasing a new book that challenges Cardinal Walter Kasper's efforts to move the conversation in the direction of change.
"Biblical teaching regarding the family is quite widespread, but there is much work that remains to be done in terms of ... church teaching on marriage."
The World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in 2015 will serve as a forum for debating issues on the agenda for the world Synod of Bishops the following month.
Michael Sean Winters last week wrote in-depth and scholarly pieces on the October Synod of Bishops on the family. Anybody interested in learning everything that can be known in preparation for the synod needs to read these blog posts.
Among the nonvoting members of 38 observers and 16 experts appointed by the pope, the majority are laymen and laywomen, including 14 married couples.
The Catholic church should make "unconventional couples" feel at home instead of making them targets of "de facto discrimination," the leader of the Italian Bishops Conference and an ally of Pope Francis said this week.
"Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice," said Bishop Nunzio Galantino, an apparent reference to divorced and remarried Catholics.
We say: The bishops seem unaware of these threatening obstacles, many of them inherent in the very culture out of which the bishops work.
For Philippines Cardinal Luis Tagle, the Synod of Bishops on the family is a "hopeful" sign that the church is willing to listen to the difficulties families experience.