Francis gives speech criticising extremism both in defence of tradition and pursuit of progress

The extraordinary synod of bishops on the family has ended without a consensus on the questions of Communion for the remarried and the pastoral care of gay people.

The synod’s last working session featured a speech by Pope Francis in which he celebrated the members’ frank exchanges while warning them against extremism in the defence of tradition or the pursuit of progress.

Discussions in the synod hall had grown heated after the delivery of a mid-term report that used strikingly conciliatory language toward people with ways of life contrary to Church teaching, including divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, cohabitating couples and those in same-sex unions.

The summaries of working group discussions showed a majority of synod fathers wanted the final document to be clearer about relevant Church doctrine and give more attention to families whose lives exemplify that teaching.

The final report, which the Pope ordered to be published almost at once after the synod’s conclusion, featured many more citations of Scripture, as well as new references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the teachings of Pope Paul VI, St John Paul II and Benedict XVI.