Families need prayers, mercy, courage, including from synod, pope says

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July 6, 2015

People wait for Pope Francis' arrival to celebrate Mass in Samanes Park in Guayaquil, Ecuador, July 6. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-FAMILY July 6, 2015.

People wait for Pope Francis’ arrival to celebrate Mass in Samanes Park in Guayaquil, Ecuador, July 6. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador (CNS) — Even if a pastoral proposal for helping a Catholic family with problems seems scandalous at first, it is possible God could use that proposal to bring healing and holiness, Pope Francis said.

Encouraging and celebrating family life during a Mass July 6 in Guayaquil, Pope Francis asked people to pray for the October Synod of Bishops on the family, and he tied the synod to the Jubilee of Mercy, a yearlong celebration that will begin in December.

The synod will be a time for the church to “deepen her spiritual discernment and consider concrete solutions to the many difficult and significant challenges facing families in our time,” the pope said.

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