Opening Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for the 2014 Extraoridinary Synod on the Family on Oct. 5, 2014_Credit Bohumil Petrik-CNA_CNA_10-6-14As bishops from around the world gather in Rome for the 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops, several websites are launching special pages to offer in-depth coverage of the event.

The synod, which is being held Oct. 4-25, is an international gathering of bishops that will discuss “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world.” This year’s synod follows an extraordinary synod last year on the same topic.

Much of the media coverage surrounding the synod has focused on efforts to normalize homosexuality and push for a change in Church teaching on communion for the divorced-and-remarried. However, Pope Francis has warned that the gathering will be about a much broader range of family-related topics. Other issues expected to be discussed include marriage preparation, family life, pornography, and education of children.


Amid the media frenzy surrounding this year’s synod, several online outlets are working to offer clear information.

One website, Synod Watch, aggregates content from around the internet to offer an up-to-date perspective on news from the synod. It also includes Facebook and Twitter accounts to provide timely news from across the web.

Catholic Voice, a recent publication in Ireland and the U.K., has released “A Survivor’s Guide to the Synod,” offering explanations of the issues at hand.

Another initiative, Letters from the Synod, will also offer reports and analysis from various sources, along with interviews and other information. Letters from the Synod will appear on the New York-based website of First Things, the London-based website of the Catholic Herald, and the Sydney-based website of the Catholic Weekly. Some of its articles will include bylines, while others will be written by pseudonymous editor Xavier Rynne II.