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Pope opens Catholic meeting expected to reaffirm opposition to homosexuality

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The Pope has opened a meeting of over 200 Catholic bishops, which is expected to reaffirm the church’s teachings on homosexuality.

The ‘extraordinary synod’  follows up on a worldwide consultation earlier last year, which found the Church was out of touch with ordinary Catholics on issues involving sex and sexuality.

The meeting will evaluate the Church’s response to a range of family issues, from divorce and contraception through to unwed couples with children and homosexuality.

Pope Francis has previously urged the Church to focus its resources on issues other than “abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraception”, and the two-week closed doors meeting is expected to bring reform on some of the issues.

However, there is little to suggest that the bishops will agree to shift the Church’s stance on homosexuality.

Pope Francis opened the synod at a mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, saying: “Synod gatherings are not meant to discuss beautiful and clever ideas, or to see who is more intelligent.

“[It is an opportunity] to work generously with authentic freedom and humble creativity.”

As well as Catholic bishops and cardinals, the meeting will be attended by a number of couples hand-picked by the church to represent everyday Catholics – though they are all straight and married.

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