South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier said the synod's relatio has put the prelates in "a position that is virtually irredeemable."
"While the Church must welcome those in difficulty, it would be useful to speak more widely about those families who remain faithful to the teachings of the Gospel."
"This morning in the free discussion, some of the synod fathers and participants said openly that they felt the spirit of Vatican II very much."
The document the synod released Monday acknowledges that the strict application of church doctrine is no longer enough to support people seeking God.
Irish Archbishop Diarmuid Martin says the synod on the family "has to find new language to show that there can be development of doctrine."
Gathered with Pope Francis, members of the Synod of Bishops on the family issued a message of solidarity, support and prayers for all families suffering the impact of war and violence, especially in Iraq and Syria.
The members prayed particularly for those who, "because of the Christian faith they profess or because they belong to other ethnic or religious communities, have been forced to abandon everything and flee toward a future that lacks any kind of certainty."
The Vatican published the message Friday, in the middle of the Oct. 5-19 synod.
Just as you protect your home from thieves, you need to protect your heart from the temptations of the devil, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.
Preaching Friday during Mass in his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the pope said Christians should not be shocked that the devil continues to assail them; even after Jesus defeated Satan in the desert, the devil continued to try to tempt him, including when he was dying on the cross.
Catholic couples who ignore church teaching on contraception "don't know what they are missing," said a U.S. couple invited to address the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family.
A married couple from Brazil told Pope Francis and the Synod of Bishops that the church should stop giving "contradictory advice" on birth control and help Catholics obey church teaching against contraception.
On the same morning, one of the synod's leaders spoke forcefully against a widespread "contraceptive mentality" that has led many Catholics to think the use of artificial birth control is not a sin.
Bishops meeting at the Vatican to discuss issues of family life have to relearn how to do theology in order to address contemporary concerns, one archbishop said.