Ross Douthat has written an outstanding piece about Pope Francis in The Atlantic. It provides a worthwhile read into an understanding of the forces that have shaped our current pope.
Synod of Bishops
A Roman Observer: A high-ranking Vatican official recently voiced serious doubts about the need to reform the Roman Curia. He said talk of reform was exaggerated.
Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has been very generous with his words. There have been addresses, homilies, conversations, phone calls, interviews and writings, including an apostolic exhortation on "The Joy of the Gospel" (Evangelii Gaudium). Still, the pope has been silent or very reticent on certain questions.
NCR Today: If you found the official survey on family life presented to Catholics difficult to answer, try the survey prepared by Strong Catholic Families.
Catholics who want to give input to their local bishops ahead of October's global Synod of Bishops on the family have ample opportunity -- but they better hurry.
A Roman Observer: Those clerics who are troubled by or pretend not to understand what Francis is "up to" were certainly not toasting the pope's Sunday homily.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited dioceses to prepare for the worldwide Synod of Bishops with a set of questions on marriage and family life, but the conference said any questionnaire results will remain private.
"The purpose of the synod is to ... develop pastoral practices that reach out to Catholics who have not felt welcomed because they do not entirely conform to current teaching."
NCR Today: The final document of the Synod of Bishops on the family has finally been translated into English and posted to the Vatican's website.
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.