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Pope Francis jokes with Italian musician Salvatore Sessa in St Peter's Square (AP)

Francis tells the faithful that families bring needed values and a humanising spirit to society

Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec (CNS)

Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau said, where possible, women should be given higher positions in the Church

Newly married couples kneel as Pope Francis celebrates the marriage rite for 20 couples during a Mass in St Peter's Basilica (CNS)

By the time young Catholics reach university so many are ill-equipped to relate their faith to their lives

Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois with Cardinal Peter Erdo (CNS)

Cardinal André Vingt-Trois says observers expecting shift in Church teaching ‘are going to be disappointed’

The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics gathering

The Global Network of Rainbow Catholics held a four-day assembly in Rome over the weekend

Soldiers of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic movement ride tanks as they withdraw from the front line outside Luhansk, Ukraine (CNS)

‘The time for cautious diplomacy is at an end,’ Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk has said

Pope Francis arrives for the opening session of  the synod on the family (PA)

Vatican Radio translation of Pope Francis’s speech to the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops earlier today

A Swiss guard salutes Pope Francis as the Pontiff leaves at the end of Monday's synod session (AP)

Pope Francis has spoken at the opening of the Synod of Bishops on the Family

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead his weekly general audience (CNS)

The Pope reviewed his papal visit to Cuba and the US during his general audience in St Peter’s Square

Next week's synod of bishops is a crucial event for the Catholic Church (CNS)

Letters from the Synod: September 29, 2015

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