The divisive Synod lasted three weeks and discussed issues like sexuality, Communion and divorce.
Pope Francis said the Synod was designed for “listening to and making heard the voices of the families.”
Following weeks of controversial debate it is thought that doctrine towards divorcees will be softened but there will not be change surrounding how the Church feels about homosexuality.
The key paragraph in the report says a case-by-case approach is necessary when dealing with remarriage since not everyone bears the same responsibility for the preceding divorce, passed with only one vote more than the two-thirds majority necessary.
During the talks, attended by bishops from all over the world, 94 articles about the Church and families were voted on.
One issue, the Church’s treatment of LGBT people and gay marriage, created divisions between parties.
The bishops concluded that church teaching would remain – it was agreed that homosexuals should not be discriminated against but said there were “absolutely no grounds” for gay marriage.
In his summary speech the Pope said: “Certainly, the Synod was not about settling all the issues having to do with the family, but rather attempting to see them in the light of the Gospel and the Church’s tradition and two-thousand-year history, bringing the joy of hope without falling into a facile repetition of what is obvious or has already been said.”
It has been suggested that Pope Francis has criticised conservative bishops: “Surely it was not about finding exhaustive solutions for all the difficulties and uncertainties which challenge and threaten the family, but rather about seeing these difficulties and uncertainties in the light of the Faith, carefully studying them and confronting them fearlessly, without burying our heads in the sand.”
The Pope also alluded to the scandal and rumour that has plagued the Synod: “In the course of this Synod, the different opinions which were freely expressed – and at times, unfortunately, not in entirely well-meaning ways – certainly led to a rich and lively dialogue; they offered a vivid image of a Church which does not simply ‘rubber stamp’, but draws from the sources of her faith living waters to refresh parched hearts.”
A leading Polish bishop came out as gay the day before the Synod officially began.
Rumours also surfaced the the Holy Father had suffered a small brain tumour, however the Vatican denied this and suggested it was said to discredit the Pope. Premier