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Pope Francis leads the opening session of the Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct. 5. Also pictured are Cardinals Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, left, and Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, relator for the synod. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-SYNOD-OPEN Oct. 5, 2015.

Synod changes: Making less time for speeches, more time for dialogue

October 8, 2015 VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Although the public is given glimpses of what happens inside the Catholic Church’s world Synod of Bishops, the meetings themselves take place behind closed doors. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Synod of Bishops has been the object of a continual hunt to balance creating a protected…

Keynote speaker Helen Alvare speaks Sept. 24 at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Alvare, a law professor at George Mason University in Arlington, Va., who  spoke on the topic "Creating the Future: the Fertility of Christian Love," is an expert on marriage and life issues. (CNS photo/Sarah Webb, See ALVARE-MARRIAGE Oct. 7, 2015.

Catholic feminist sees beauty of marriage and pitfalls of ‘gospel of me’

October 7, 2015 PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Helen Alvare is a law professor at George Mason University, a consultant to the Vatican and the U.S. bishops about marriage and life issues, and has been a recognized defender of Catholic teaching on marriage and the family for many years. She also is a wife and mother. But…

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