On eve of family synod, pope prays for ”open and fraternal” debate

Synod of Bishops on the family

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — 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.

”Let us invoke openness to a sincere, open and fraternal exchange of views, that it might lead us to take pastoral responsibility for the questions that this changing time brings with it,” the pope said Oct. 4. ”Let them fill our heart, without ever losing peace, but with serene trust that in his time the Lord will not fail to lead us back to unity.

Luisana Puocci and Elise Natale, 10, attend an Oct. 4 prayer vigil led by Pope Francis for the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (CNS/Paul Haring) Luisana Puocci and Elise Natale, 10, attend an Oct. 4 prayer vigil led by Pope Francis for the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family in St. Peter’s Square at the…

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