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Pope Francis calls for abolishing death penalty and life imprisonment
The electric chair that executed 125 men between 1916 and 1960 in Tennessee is seen on display at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington March 5. (CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA) See POPE-PUNISHMENT Oct. 23, 2014.

The electric chair that executed 125 men between 1916 and 1960 in Tennessee is seen on display at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington March 5. (CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA)

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service 

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis called for abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, and denounced what he called a “penal populism” that promises to solve society’s problems by punishing crime instead of pursuing social justice. Continue reading

 
Synod ends by affirming tradition, leaving controversial questions open
Pope Francis attends the morning session on the final day of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 18. At left is Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, and at right Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, relator for the synod. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See SYNOD-MESSAGES and SYNOD-CONCLUSION Oct. 18, 2014.

Pope Francis attends the morning session on the final day of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 18. At left is Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, and at right Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, relator for the synod. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service 

VATICAN CITY — After several days of animated debate over its official midterm report, the Synod of Bishops on the family agreed on a final document more clearly grounded in traditional Catholic teaching. Yet the assembly failed to reach consensus on especially controversial questions of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried and the pastoral care of homosexuals. Continue reading

 
Pope beatifies Blessed Paul VI, the ‘great helmsman’ of Vatican II
A tapestry of Blessed Paul VI hangs from the facade of St. Peter's Basilica during his beatification Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 19. The Mass also concluded the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. Blessed Paul, who served as pope from 1963-1978, is most remembered for his 1968 encyclical, "Humanae Vitae," which affirmed the church's teaching against artificial contraception. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See BEATIFICATION-MASS Oct. 19, 2014.

A tapestry of Blessed Paul VI hangs from the facade of St. Peter's Basilica during his beatification Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 19. The Mass also concluded the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. Blessed Paul, who served as pope from 1963-1978, is most remembered for his 1968 encyclical, "Humanae Vitae," which affirmed the church's teaching against artificial contraception. (CNS photo/Paul Haring

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY —Beatifying Blessed Paul VI at the concluding Mass of the Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis praised the late pope as the “great helmsman” of the Second Vatican Council and founder of the synod, as well as a “humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his church.”

The pope spoke during a homily in St. Peter’s Square at a Mass for more than 30,000 people, under a sunny sky on an unseasonably warm Oct. 19. Continue reading

 
Synod working groups emphasize beauty of marriage, church teaching

Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, relator for the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family, talks with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, retired Vatican secretary of state, as they arrive for the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 16. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service 

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. Continue reading

 
African cardinal: Pressure groups behind push to change Church teaching

CNA Graphic

CNA/EWTN News

VATICAN — Innacurate media reports about Church teaching on homosexuality published after the synod’s midterm relatio are an attempt to pressure the Church to change its perennial teaching, a cardinal who is also a synod father has affirmed.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, emphasized to CNA Oct. 16 that “what has been published by the media about homosexual unions is an attempt to push the Church (to change) her doctrine.” Continue reading

 
Anglican, Lutheran delegates say synod’s concerns are theirs, too

Cardinals Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, arrive for the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 14. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service 

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.

Anglican Bishop Paul Butler of Durham, England, and “fraternal delegates” from seven other Christian communities addressed the synod Oct. 10. Continue reading

 
How an incorrect translation of the synod report created chaos

CNA Graphic

CNA/EWTN News

VATICAN CITY — An incorrect translation into English of the original midterm report of the Synod on the Family may have spurred controversial interpretations of the document itself.

The document’s original version was written in Italian, which Pope Francis directed to be used as the official language of the synod. In prior synods the official language had been Latin, esteemed for its precision and lack of ambiguity. Continue reading

 
Family synod midterm report stirs controversy among bishops
Cardinal Wilfrid F. Napier of Durban, South Africa, arrives for the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 14. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See SYNOD-REACTION Oct. 14, 2014.

Cardinal Wilfrid F. Napier of Durban, South Africa, arrives for the morning session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 14. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service 

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. Continue reading

 
Synod interim report: the Church can renew commitment to family

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CNA/EWTN News

VATICAN CITY — The approach to irregular unions must start from positive aspects, and stable couples should be accompanied in a development toward the sacrament of marriage, the Synod of Bishops said in a midterm report issued Monday.

“We have gathered together the results of our reflections and our dialogues in the following three parts,” reads the Oct. 13 “relatio post disceptationem,” the interim document which the synod fathers will consider in small groups during the remainder of the meeting. Continue reading

 
Who leads the fight against gay discrimination in Nigeria? The Catholic Church

Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, Nigeria, is pictured in a 2010 file photo. Archbishop Kaigama is president of the Nigerian bishops' conference. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

By Ann Schneible
CNA/EWTN News 

The Catholic Church in Nigeria has been at the forefront in fighting discrimination towards persons with same-sex attraction, says Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, who adds that media coverage of the Church has been imbalanced.

In one of the strongest statements made about homosexuality during the first week of the Synod on the Family, the Nigerian prelate told the press on Oct. 8 that “the Catholic Church respects all human beings, and we believe we are all created in the image and likeness of God.” Continue reading