VATICAN CITY - Cardinal George Pell said working-group reports from the Synod of Bishops on the family finally give a true picture of the assembly's views, counteracting what he characterized as a misleading midterm report.

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VATICAN CITY - The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family must put greater focus on the beauty of the Christian vision of marriage and not let an approach of "welcoming" and mercy override the Church's duty to call people to turn away from sin, according to a number of reports from the Synod's small groups.

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VATICAN CITY - The tug-of-war at the Vatican over calls for the Catholic Church to be more open to gays and cohabiting couples intensified Oct. 16 as conservative bishops sought to rein in or renounce draft language they feared might condone lifestyles not in accord with Church teachings.

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VATICAN CITY - Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, one of the Catholic Church's best known cardinal-theologians, said the Catholic Church must hold together truth and mercy, even if it is criticized for its attempt.

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VATICAN CITY - Upholding the Christian ideal of marriage and family life while also reaching out to those whose lives do not reflect that ideal is a pastoral challenge faced by all Christian communities, said the Anglican representative to the Synod of Bishops.

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VATICAN CITY - U.S. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz said he hoped the final report of the Synod of Bishops on the family would improve on the assembly's midterm report in celebrating exemplary families, encouraging missionary outreach and emphasizing that the Church's pastoral efforts must be grounded in Scripture and Catholic teaching.

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The world has waited almost 50 years for the day, but is it on the horizon? 

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VATICAN CITY - The official midterm report from the Synod of Bishops, which uses strikingly conciliatory language toward divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and same-sex unions, has proven highly controversial inside and outside the synod hall, with some synod fathers saying it does not accurately reflect the assembly's views.

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VATICAN CITY - A day after signaling a warmer embrace of gays and lesbians and divorced Catholics, conservative cardinals hit back strongly Oct. 14, with one insisting that an abrupt about-face on Church teaching is “not what we are saying at all.”

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OTTAWA - The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has been appointed to the commission preparing the final pastoral message of the Synod on the family.

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VATICAN CITY - In strikingly conciliatory language on situations contrary to Catholic teaching, an official midterm report from the Synod of Bishops on the family emphasized calls for greater acceptance and appreciation of divorced and remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and homosexuals.

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VATICAN CITY - Meeting Catholics from Pope Paul VI's home diocese, Brescia, Pope Francis said his predecessor's witness "nourishes within us the flame of love for Christ, love for the Church and the drive to proclaim the Gospel to the people of today with mercy, patience, courage and joy."

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Senior Catholic leaders meeting at the Vatican are deep into passionate debates about how the Church can respond to the realities of modern family life, yet at the same time they have repeatedly stressed that they are not going to alter long-standing doctrines, such as the teaching on divorce and remarriage.

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VATICAN CITY - Gathered with Pope Francis, members of the Synod of Bishops on the family issued a message of solidarity, support and prayers for all families suffering the impact of war and violence, especially in Iraq and Syria.

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VATICAN CITY - The Church needs to find better ways to show how the Gospel message is a way of life meant to bring great joy to couples and families, and is not a burdensome set of rules aimed at exclusion, Archbishop Paul-André Durocher told the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family.

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