Pope Francis sought Tuesday to assure conservatives that Catholic doctrine on marriage is safe, as a three-week meeting of bishops began hashing out how the church should welcome gays, divorcees and other Catholics in "irregular" unions.
Pope Francis on Monday urged the world's Catholic bishops to put aside personal prejudices and have the courage and humility to be guided by the "surprises" of God, as he opened a meeting on family issues marked by sharp divisions between conservatives and progressives.
Pope Francis opened a divisive meeting of the world's bishops on family issues Sunday by forcefully asserting that marriage is an indissoluble bond between man and woman. But he said the church doesn't judge and must "seek out and care for hurting couples with the balm of acceptance and mercy."
Pope Francis urged hundreds of thousands of the faithful gathered Sunday for the biggest event of his U.S. visit to be open to "miracles of love," closing out his joyful six-day trip with a message of hope for families, consolation for victims of child sexual abuse and a warning to America's bishops.
Pope Francis and an admiring throng of thousands enjoyed a little music from the Queen of Soul, Andrew Bocelli and other performers at the end of his first day in Philadelphia on his first-ever U.S. tour.
Sliced heirloom tomatoes, steamed lobster and house-made burrata greeted Pope Francis on his first night in New York, where a celebrity chef cooking for her second pontiff said her menu was inspired by Francis' humility and simplicity.
With Pope Francis on tour in the United States, many Roman Catholic Canadians are undertaking mini-pilgrimages south of the border to catch a glimpse of the pontiff while he's relatively close to home.