VATICAN CITY - A married couple from Brazil told Pope Francis and the Synod of Bishops that the Church should stop giving "contradictory advice" on birth control and help Catholics obey Church teaching against contraception.

U.S. bishops emphasize traditional marriage after Supreme Court action

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WASHINGTON - After the U.S. Supreme Court Oct. 6 declined to review rulings overturning five states' bans on same-sex marriage, several U.S. bishops criticized the court's inaction and reiterated that according to Church teaching, traditional marriage is a union between one man and one woman.

Mixing it up: Synod members turn to metaphor to get message across

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis may be the universal Church's undisputed master of metaphor and analogy, but other members of the Synod of Bishops on the family are showing a willingness to use snappy images to get their points across, too.

Real-life experience can strengthen Church teaching, bishops tell Synod

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VATICAN CITY - When Catholics see couples who are patient, kind, never jealous or rude, they "behold the beauty and simplicity and strength of married love," but the Church also must learn to help and to heal those whose dreams for lifelong love have been shattered, said Scottish Archbishop Philip Tartaglia.

On sexual and medical ethics, synod fathers speak of 'graduality'

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VATICAN - In their discussions of sexual and medical ethics, participants at the Synod of Bishops on the family are giving emphasis to the concept of "graduality," as a way of thinking about morality that allows for human imperfection without compromising ideals.

Speakers tell pope, synod that parishes should welcome same-sex couples

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VATICAN CITY - A married couple told Pope Francis and the Synod of Bishops on the family that Catholic parishes should welcome same-sex couples, following the example of parents who invite their son and his male partner to their home for Christmas.

Philippine cardinal hopes synod debate goes beyond Communion question

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VATICAN CITY - The separation of married couples is a huge issue in the Philippines and other parts of Asia, not because of divorce but because poverty pushes couples to separate in search of jobs abroad, said Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila.

Blessed married couples, St. Therese of Lisieux, highlighted at synod

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VATICAN CITY - The first two married couples beatified as couples and St. Therese of Lisieux were being honored during the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family.

Pope tells bishops at family synod to speak fearlessly, listen humbly

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis opened the first working session of an extraordinary Synod of Bishops Oct. 6, urging participants to speak fearlessly and listen humbly during two weeks of discussion of the "pastoral challenges of the family."

Synod members called to seek unity in diversity, cardinal says

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VATICAN CITY - The Greek root of the word "synod" means "to walk together," which is exactly what bishops and other members of the Synod of Bishops are called to do as they seek to apply the Gospel and church teaching to the challenges facing family life today, said the gathering's general secretary.

Opening family synod, Pope warns bishops of hypocrisy, pride and greed

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VATICAN CITY - Opening a two-week Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis warned participants against the temptations of hypocrisy, pride and greed, urging them instead to serve the church with "freedom, creativity and hard work."