Synod on the family: Pope Francis told the prelates they should speak without fear of upsetting him or limiting discussions to things he would want to hear.
Synod on the family: "Bad shepherds lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others," said Pope Francis, opening the Synod of Bishops.
In an address to the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy, Pope Francis warned bishops against accepting men for the priesthood who are not healthy or balanced.
The Congregation for the Clergy deals with priestly vocations and formation as well as the life of priests. The pope spoke Friday during a plenary meeting of the congregation, which includes cardinals and bishops from all over the world.
Global Sisters Report: While much of the pre-synod discussion has centered on whether divorced and remarried Catholics can receive Communion, many issues are up for grabs this month.
The highest ranking U.S. bishop at the Vatican says this month's Synod of Bishops on the family should mark the end of a high-level debate over whether to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.
"The matter really has to be clarified at this point so that this doesn't continue," Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, told Catholic News Service on Wednesday. "For this to go on for another year, it can only do harm."
Faith and Justice: Divorce is a sad reality with multiple and varied causes. Blaming the victims is no solution. No one gets married just so they can get a divorce.
The Vatican spokesman says his daily briefings will give "an effective feeling of what has happened in the room in the diverse languages with the diverse fathers."
The prelate responsible for shepherding the process said one thing is clear: The coming days will see an "opportunity to deal with existential issues."
Cardinal Raymond Burke said Pope Francis can't change current church teaching because he and all bishops "are held to obedience to the truth" about marriage, and that cannot change.
Everyone has a special gift to offer the whole church, just make sure it is used to serve everyone and not to puff up one's own pride or to create division, Pope Francis said.
"It is a gift that God has given to someone not because he or she is a better person than someone else or because she or he deserves it," the pope said Wednesday at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.