World

Catholic synod: Family values and the Church

Pope Francis waves to crowds in Rome (1 Oct) Image copyright Reuters

Marriage, divorce and contraception - some of the most hotly debated issues in the Roman Catholic Church - will top the agenda as leading Catholic clergy gather for an extraordinary synod in Rome. Millions of Catholics around the world will be watching closely to see what signals the Vatican is sending about the future of family life. The synod is seen as the litmus test for Pope Francis' papacy, which may well be judged on the outcome.

Back in 2014, ahead of the synod, the BBC spoke to four Catholic families - in the Philippines, Brazil, Ireland and Ghana - about how their family values relate to the teachings of the Church.

Ginggoy and Jill Lotho from the Philippines would like to see the Church loosen its restrictions on family planning.

Gospel singer Erika Gelhardi from the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro finds it difficult to talk to her children about the Church's teachings on contraception.

Frank Brown from Ireland considered becoming a priest but had difficulty with the requirement to remain celibate.

Louis Doe Atsiatorme from Ghana had to get a special dispensation from the Church before he could marry a Methodist.