Pope Francis removed U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke as head of the Vatican's highest court and named him to a largely ceremonial post.
Episcopal and interest group reactions to the conclusion of the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops ranged from concern that the event's discussions would lead to doctrinal confusion, to elation that they had reopened an atmosphere of dialogue and discussion in the church.
Following is a sampling of such reactions to the conclusion of the 2014 synod.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said Oct. 23 that he was "very disturbed" by the synod's discussions of the church's pastoral practices toward divorced and remarried persons and toward gay people.
Religious orders and communities must combat "the terrorism of gossip," which is even worse than an occasional physical confrontation, said Pope Francis, a former Jesuit provincial in Argentina.
Meeting Friday with Italy's superiors of men's orders, which combined have a total of nearly 19,000 members, the pope said the way members of religious orders live should attract people to Christ and the church, and should be a model for other Catholics of creating harmony among a varied group of people thrown together by a common call.
We say: It is difficult to imagine a gathering of bishops called to discuss important issues of the day with the expectation that they would not generate disagreement among themselves.
Pope Francis will visit the Shroud of Turin during its public display in Turin's cathedral April 19-June 24, 2015, as well as commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco.
The move seems to be an attempt by Francis to clear up any ambiguity about the pontiff's power to replace prelates around the world.
Pope Francis said the church's marriage annulment process should be more efficient and perhaps even free of charge, and he decried any attempts to exploit it for profit.
"Some procedures are so long and so burdensome, they don't favor [justice], and people give up," the pope said. "Mother church should do justice and say: 'Yes, it's true, your marriage is null. No, your marriage is valid.' But justice means saying so. That way, they can move on without this doubt, this darkness in their soul."
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin decried comments from clerics and others who said Pope Francis caused confusion in his calls for an open discussion on how the church should reach out to those who are marginalized, hurt and wounded in their lives during the recent Synod of Bishops on the family.
Martin said he was "quite surprised at the remarks of some commentators within church circles about the recent Synod of Bishops, often making accusations of confusion where such confusion did not exist and so actually fomenting confusion."
The Vatican will host religious leaders from across the religious spectrum for a conference where they are expected to defend traditional marriage.
Marking a significant step in an extensive process of the reform of the Legionaries of Christ, the Vatican approved the congregation's amended constitutions.