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Pope Francis prays during the opening Mass of the family synod (AP)

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

Archbishops Anthony Fisher of Sydney and Blase Cupich of Chicago, centre, exchange the sign of peace during  Mass (CNS)

46 new archbishops representing 34 different countries concelebrated Mass with Francis in St Peter’s Basilica

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at St Peter's Basilica today (CNS)

Pope Francis has called on archbishops to be brave witnesses for the Church during Mass for Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Ss Peter and Paul (c 1620) by an anonymous artist of the Roman School

The Solemnity of Ss Peter and Paul, Acts 12:1-11; 2 Tim 4:6-8 & 17-18; Mt 16:13-19 (Year B)

A detail from Hans Holbein's portrait of St Thomas More

Fisher and More lived exemplary lives and were content to be martyred for the faith

Archbishops Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia processes with fellow bishops outside the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark (CNS)

It is worth remembering that the American Church predates our own restored English hierarchy by some 70 years

The Good Shepherd in the catacombs

MAGNIFICAT: The week ahead

How to get more from MAGNIFICAT, the daily spiritual life companion

Fr Richard McBrien (CNS)

The prolific academic and author has passed away at the age of 78

St Peter Freed by an Angel (1639) by Spanish Tenebrist painter Jusepe de Ribera

An American author makes an admirable attempt to shed light on a confusing period in papal history

Pope Francis venerates what are believed to be the relics of St Peter (Photo: CNS)

After the Mass Pope Francis handed out copies of his first apostolic exhortation