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."

On eve of family synod, Pope prays for "open and fraternal" debate

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VATICAN CITY - Hours before opening a Synod of Bishops whose members have already started a public debate over Catholic teaching on marriage and sexuality, Pope Francis prayed the bishops would express themselves and listen to each other openly, trusting in God to reconcile their differences.

Cardinal Kasper: Pope wants bishops to decide on Communion proposal

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VATICAN CITY - The author of a controversial proposal to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion says he believes Pope Francis backs the measure but would not apply it without support from bishops at two upcoming synods on the family.

Cardinal says synod will have open discussion, even on sensitive topics

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VATICAN CITY - The "freedom of expression" that characterized preparations for the Synod of Bishops on the family -- especially in responses to a Vatican questionnaire -- "will also characterize the synod assembly, which certainly will take place in a climate of respect for every position, mutual charity and an authentic sense of constructiveness," said the head of the synod.

Pope Francis wanted open debate. With clashing cardinals, he’s got it

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Leading up to a Vatican summit on family life that Pope Francis opens on Sunday (Oct. 5), high-ranking churchmen have fiercely debated church teaching — and criticized each other — in sharp exchanges that offer a ringside seat to the kind of battles that Rome used to keep under wraps.

Pope: Life means nothing to terrorists, arms trade root of Mideast woes

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis opened a three-day summit on the violence and persecution underway in the Middle East, saying arms trafficking was the root cause of many problems in the region.

Pope: Greed, throwaway culture fuel 'hidden euthanasia' of elderly

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis warned against the abandonment and neglect of the elderly, calling it a "hidden euthanasia" rooted in today's "poisonous" culture of disposal and an economic system of greed.

Pope Francis: Albania proves to world that diverse religions can live in peace

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VATICAN CITY - People of different religious beliefs can and must live together in peace, Pope Francis said.

Send prayers, aid to those hit by Ebola, Pope Francis says

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis called for prayers and concrete help for the thousands of people affected by the deadly Ebola virus.

Pope Francis to bishops: Guard the faith, build hope, love sinners as they are

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VATICAN CITY - Today's bishops must be as vigilant and courageous as sentinels keeping watch over the faith, and as forgiving and patient as Moses, leading a sinning people across harsh deserts to God, Pope Francis said.