Pope Francis called on participants of the Synod on the Family to speak freely at the sessions. He wants every opinion to be taken into account for the discussion.
"This is a basic general condition: speak clearly. Do not say: I cannot say this, if I do they will think badly of me. Speak freely of everything you believe. Following the last consistory on February of this year in which we spoke about the family, a cardinal wrote the following: "What a pity! Some cardinals did not dare to say some things in respect for the Pope, thinking that maybe he thought differently.” This is not alright”.
In addition to speaking clearly, Pope Francis asked Bishops to listen to the opinions of the others openly and with interest.
"At the same time, one must listen with humility and take in the words of our brothers with an open heart. With these two attitudes, one practices synodality”.
A synod is a meeting of Bishops summoned by the Pope to exchange opinions about a specific issue.
Usually, experts are invited to take their input into account.
In this occasion, the presidents of every episcopal conference around the world and 13 married couples will speak about the family. They will suggest measures to face different challenges such as the preparation for marriage, the pastoral participation of divorced couples, the education of children, domestic violence and polygamy.