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Church should not fear change, pope says at close of Bishop's gathering

7:31am IST - 01:25

Pope Francis closes an assembly of Catholic bishops that revealed deep divisions on how to respond to homosexuality and divorce, saying the Church should not be afraid of change and new challenges. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Under a brilliant blue sky in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis beatified the late Pope Paul VI on Sunday. The lavish ceremony comes at the end of a two-week-long assembly of bishops that revealed deep divisions in the Church on how to respond to homosexuality and divorce. Just a week ago, the Church released a historic document asking Catholics to consider acceptance of gays. But the final document drafted on Saturday reversed that decision. Pope Francis, who wants to modernize the Church, called on the assembly not to fear change. He paraphrased from Pope Paul VI, the very man whom he was honoring with a Beautification. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: "By carefully surveying the signs of the times, we are making every effort to adapt ways and methods… to the growing needs of our time and the changing conditions of society." Voting tallies show the articles on acceptance of gays failed to get a 2/3 majority to win a broad consensus. But in an unusual move, Pope Francis decided to keep that earlier draft alive in the final document. That means these divisive themes can be discussed locally ahead of next year's assembly. Bringing the debate over doctrine to the local level among the faithful.

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Church should not fear change, pope says at close of Bishop's gathering

7:31am IST - 01:25

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