VATICAN CITY - Two of the 13 final small-group reports of the Synod of Bishops for the family contained apologies: one for ways in which a lack of pastoral care may have contributed to the breakdown of marriages and one for "harsh and merciless" attitudes toward unwed mothers and their children, the divorced and homosexuals.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Observers told the Synod of Bishops on the Family to discourage Christian women from marrying Muslim men, urge priests not to tell women to return to abusive husbands, share the truth of Church teaching about marriage and embrace single mothers who are alienated from the Church.

Published in Vatican

ROME - The eight American bishops taking part in the Synod on family life stay at a huge seminary built high on a hill overlooking St. Peter’s Basilica and the rest of the Eternal City. It’s a lovely place with spacious apartments for each bishop and any amenity they might need.

Published in Vatican

For Fr. Gilles Routhier, one of the world’s leading historians of the Second Vatican Council, watching the Synod unfold in Rome is more exciting than any Game 7 in any sport you care to name.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Canadians had a rather prominent role in the first week of the Synod on the Family. Two of the language- based discussion groups elected Canadians as their moderators — Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto for one of the English groups, and Cardinal Gerald Lacroix for one of the French.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

VATICAN CITY - As members of the Synod of Bishops concluded work on the second of three chapters in their working document, they continued to call for a tone and for language that is clear, simple and encourages people to see it is possible to live the vocation of marriage and family life.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The first week of the Synod of Bishops on the family ended with near unanimous calls to be more positive in describing family life today and to show more appreciation for Catholic families living close to the church's ideals. But there were also widespread questions among synod participants about the work they are expected to produce.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Gathered with a worldwide representation of bishops, including patriarchs and other bishops from the Middle East, Pope Francis dedicated the morning prayer of the Synod of Bishops on the family to pleas for peace in the Middle East.

Published in Vatican

OTTAWA - A popular American psychologist and author told an Ottawa audience he hopes bishops attending this month’s Synod on the Family in Rome will address the importance of strong fathers in the family.

Published in Canada

The Synod on the Family is not about communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, or how to reach out to gay Catholics, or even celibacy of priests. It’s about the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis reminded 318 delegates as they began closed door discussions on family issues.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Showing mercy and accompanying people who are living in situations that go against church teaching entail helping to steer them in the direction that God wants, said two synod participants.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Ghanaian Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle defended African bishops’ role in the Vatican’s meeting on family issues, stating they were not in Rome to block progress but to present their own views.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said the Synod on the family must recognize global diversity while staying true to Church doctrine.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, said the synod should reflect on the possibility of allowing for female deacons as it seeks ways to open up more opportunities for women in church life.

Published in International

The world Synod of Bishops on the family is not a parliament where participants will negotiate or lobby, Pope Francis said, but it must be a place of prayer where bishops speak with courage and open themselves to “God who always surprises us.”

Published in Vatican