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Synod fathers pray at the start of a morning session of the family synod (AP)

Letters from the Synod: October 7, 2015

Reports and commentary, from Rome and elsewhere, on the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

‘I was reminded of that streetlight scene from The Exorcist...’

The night I outran my demons

As a young doctor on a cancer ward, I consoled myself with drink and
New Age nonsense. Then one evening I stepped into a chamber of horrors

Pope Francis in St Peter's Basilica (Photo: AP)

In a homily the Pope says priests who struggle to be merciful should avoid hearing Confessions

Pope Francis listens to a confession in St Peter's Basilica (PA)

What is immediately interesting about the Pope’s letter ahead of the Year of Mercy is the old-fashioned nature of his concerns

Pope Francis blesses faithful during the Angelus noon prayer he delivered from his studio window overlooking St Peter's Square at the Vatican

The Pope made his appeal during his Angelus address on Sunday

A priest offers Holy Communion to an elderly man in Chile (Photo: CNS)

In admitting his guilt he would have faced the truth about himself – and encountered the truth about God too

Queuing for Confession: ‘What a great leveller it is to be alone-in-company’ (CNS)

Apologising to God

A former Anglican’s first Confession was an unfamiliar struggle between her honesty and her vanity – but, as she explains here, it brought her one step close to her Maker

Francis hands a copy of the bull of indiction of the Holy Year of Mercy to a Vatican official (AP)

Pope says Holy Year of Mercy is ‘a time to offer everyone the way of forgiveness and reconciliation’

People pray during a religious education congress in LA (CNS)

A new book shows that merciful priests who don’t water down the truth are vital for the Church

Pope Francis hears a Confession during a penitential liturgy in St Peter's Basilica (CNS)

The Pope says people should leave the confessional ‘with happiness in their hearts and faces radiating hope’