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The synod fathers pray during a session of this month's family synod (AP)

The great party politics trap

The Holy Father denounced many of the synod fathers as being Pharisees rather than good pastors

Pope Francis flanked by adviser Bishop Marcello Semeraro (AP)

The cracks widen at the family synod

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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 celebrates the closing Mass of the family synod (AP)

What the family synod means for us

The three-week gathering has opened up a new appreciation of family life in the Church

Pope Francis with Philippine President Benigno Aquino in January (AP)

President Benigno Aquino spoke to reporters about Pope Francis’s trip to the Philippines earlier this year

An injured Pakistani injured child attending the funeral of his grandfather who died in the earthquake (AP)

The magnitude-7.5 earthquake has left at least 380 dead

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St Peter's Square (AP)

The Pope addressed a special audience in St Peter’s Square to mark the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate

Archbishop-elect Matteo Zuppi (Community of St Egidio website)

Bishop Matteo Zuppi will succeed conservative Cardinal Carlo Caffarra

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster at the closing synod session (CNS)

The Archbishop of Westminster gives interview in which he says synod process is ‘beginning to gain maturity’

A military chaplain consoles a family in Zamboanga City, Philippines (CNS)

Military chaplains were in Rome earlier this week for a course on international humanitarian law

Pope Francis (AP)

In a letter to Cardinal Parolin, Francis said until a new apostolic constitution is created established rules still apply