During this morning's discussions, "there was no sense of doom or gloom or despair," but a desire to share ideas that are working to promote church teaching.
Book review: Cardinal Walter Kasper's most recent book sets aside as inadequate the mercy-justice divide because there is a breadth to God's justice that encompasses mercy.
The bishops at the synod on the family will not change any doctrines, according to reports from the Vatican Press Office on the second day of their discussions.
On the floor of the synod, "there was no language whatsoever of a need to change doctrine," reported Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica who attended the closed sessions. Rather, the desire was "to repurpose what we know in a way that's accessible" to all.
"I didn't hear anything about changing doctrine, but I heard a great desire to deepen our understanding of doctrine," he told journalists.
Existing programs aimed at helping Catholic families are not strong enough to meet modern needs, a Wisconsin couple told the Synod of Bishops.
A papal commission on child protection will be expanding its nine-member panel to include more experts and another survivor of clerical abuse.
One theme said to be included in the synod: how the prelates use labels that "are not necessarily words that invite people to draw closer to the church."
"I wonder, though, if it is helpful to frame pastoral questions as totally distinct from doctrinal issues; to me, this downplays the significance of the challenges families face."
"The church constantly faces the tension of upholding the truth while expressing compassion and mercy. Families face this tension all the time."
NCR Today: This change in attitude is fueled by a pastoral concern for the huge number of divorced and remarried Catholics who are not allowed to go to Communion.
We say: The Vatican under Francis is acting. This is progress and portends of more action. This is something to applaud.