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Pope tells cardinals to tackle divisive family issues with courage

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday urged cardinals gathered to discuss family-related issues such as contraception, cohabitation, divorce and gay relationships to be “intelligent, courageous and loving” in their debate.

He was opening two days of closed-door sessions with some 185 cardinals from around the world to prepare for an autumn synod of bishops that will discuss the issues at greater length.

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