Pope Francis used his weekly audience Dec. 10 to challenge media reports of “clashes between factions” at the recent bishops’ synod on family issues.
“Some of you have asked me if the synod fathers fought,” Francis said. “I don’t know if they ‘fought,’ but they spoke forcefully. This is freedom. This is just the kind of freedom that there is in the church.”
In a bid to set the record straight, the pope acknowledged the extensive media coverage of the global gathering in October and likened it to “sports or political coverage.”
“They often spoke of two teams, pro and con, conservatives and liberals,” the pope told thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square.
“There was no clash between factions … but a dialogue between the bishops, which came after a long process of preparation and now continues, for the good of the family, the church, and society. It’s a process.”