Catholic Church should not fear change, Pope Francis says at synod close

October 20, 2014
(Pope Francis greets cardinals at the end of a mass for the beatification of former pope Paul VI in St. Peter's square at the Vatican October 19, 2014. Former pope Paul VI who led the Roman Catholic Church during one of its most turbulent modern periods and enshrined its opposition to contraception, will be beatified by Pope Francis at the Vatican. Beatification is the last step before sainthood. The late pope's move towards canonization was made possible when the Vatican recognised a miracle concerning a pregnant woman in California whose child was at risk of dying. After praying to Paul VI, the child survived. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

(Pope Francis greets cardinals at the end of a mass for the beatification of former pope Paul VI in St. Peter’s square at the Vatican October 19, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

Pope Francis has closed an assembly of Catholic bishops that revealed deep divisions on how to respond to homosexuality and divorce, saying on Sunday the Church should not be afraid of change and new challenges.

Francis, who has said he wants a more merciful and less rigid Church, made his comments in a sermon to some 70,000 people in St. Peter’s Square for the ceremonial closing of a two-week assembly, known as a synod.

The working session of the gathering ended on Saturday night with a final document that reversed a historic acceptance of gays by the Church made just a week earlier — a result some progressives see as a setback for Francis.

“God is not afraid of new things. That is why he is continuously surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways,” the pope said.

At the Mass, he beatified Pope Paul VI, who died in 1978, bringing the pontiff best known for concluding the ground-breaking reforms of the Second Vatican Council and enshrining the Church’s ban on contraception a step closer to sainthood.

Read the full story here.

Follow RTRFaithWorld via Twitter Follow all posts on Twitter @ RTRFaithWorld

rss button Follow all posts via RSS

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Could never understand a few of the strict nature of rules regarding the Clergy and/or the parishoners of the Catholic whether Roman or not ..

Why the Clergy or Priests are not allowed to Marry ?? Why with all the misconduct that has been found to be happening with the Male servants of our Lord this Church of our Lord is so stringent on banishing divorced people , “gays” and self-righteous on abortion ..

I am not trying to Judge , however since I am now 57 and at a much younger age I was introduced to the Roman Catholic Church via my Aunt & Uncle .. As a person of the Orthodox Faith I was eager to learn about ALL faiths ..

With time I was a bit taken back with a lot of why’s .. And still am .. Not that the Orthodox doesn’t have rules Governing Marriage , Divorce but some of this has been adjusted to fit the times .. We don’t have much in the respect of abortion although we know it is morally wrong ..

As for “gay” it is pretty much a don’t ask, don’t tell .. As we rely on the Word of our Lord heavily in that we DO NOT JUDGE .. Only our Lord God has that right .. A person may do many things he regrets and yet who are these “Officials” of the Church to Judge .. They should end this reign of “rules” and re-write some to be inclusive and some just let go of to allow those who just wish to worship do just that ..

They also need to remember that in their time they too shall be judged by their deeds and thoughts and words .. The Lord is our Judge and so he knows all …

Posted by Byzantine57 | Report as abusive