During the past month, the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the family has been the dominant Catholic story in the world. The gathering of 270 prelates in Rome drew massive coverage and commentary, with many styling it as almost a “Vatican III” — maybe with a dash of the Iowa caucuses thrown in, because of its political intrigue.
There’s a case to be made, however, that it wasn’t even the most important synod of Catholic bishops in October.
To be sure, the issues involved, such as whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics should be able to receive Communion, and how the Church ought to think about gay and lesbian relationships, raised important questions about the Catholic Church in the early 21st century: its pastoral effectiveness and its relationship with the culture.
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