Catholic Herald logo
Pope Francis flanked by adviser Bishop Marcello Semeraro (AP)

The cracks widen at the family synod

The past three weeks have shown there is a real fracture within the Catholic hierarchy. Can Francis find a way to lead and unite the conflicting factions?

Pope Francis with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople (CNS)

By strengthening the synod of bishops Pope Francis hopes to boost the chances of unity between Catholics and Orthodox Christians

An Orthodox priest stands at a bus stop with a poster urging a Yes vote in last Sunday's referendum (AP)

In the minds of many Greeks, the Orthodox Church has become part of an arrogant and self-serving establishment

Friend or foe? Pope Francis greets Cardinal Raymond Burke in the Clementine Hall (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

As the crucial family synod approaches, his critics could prove his greatest allies

Archbishop Gänswein looks on as the Pope Emeritus meets Francis after the conclave (CNS)

The Pope Emeritus experiment is working

Two years ago Benedict XVI became the first Pope Emeritus in the Catholic Church’s history. Thanks to his wisdom and restraint the historic innovation hasn’t led to disaster

Archbishop Paul Gallagher in our Christian Adams cartoon

The first Briton to serve as Vatican ‘foreign minister’ is a remarkable personality

Pope Francis arrives for a week-long Lenten retreat with members of the Roman Curia in Ariccia, near Rome (Photo: CNS)

The rolling of heads is hardly a de-Ratzingerisation, but it does suggest an adjustment to the line taken by Benedict XVI and St John Paul II

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and  Vladimir Putin attend celebrations marking the 700th anniversary of St Sergius of Radonezh earlier this month

Francis’s ‘who am I to judge?’ line may have cooled the ecumenical ardour of the Russian Orthodox hierarchy

Patriarch Kirill doesn’t want large sections of his flock looking westwards

The Russian Orthodox Church cannot afford to alienate Ukrainians as it bids for primacy within the Orthodox world

Pope Francis making his first annual address to the members of the Roman Curia in December (CNS)

Despite establishing the super cardinals, so far the Pope has overseen only piecemeal reforms