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Vatican City (AFP) – Pope Francis has called an extraordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops next year to discuss the Church’s position with regard to the family, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Tuesday.

Due to be held from October 5 to 19, 2014, the synod, or council, entitled “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization” is expected to address among other issues the problem of divorcees remarrying.

The announcement came as the Vatican criticized the German diocese of Freiburg for taking steps to allow divorcees to take communion, which is normally forbidden.

Francis, a more moderate pontiff than his predecessor Benedict XVI, has said he wants more discussion on the Church’s relationship with the modern family.

The assembly will be only the third since the synod’s creation in 1965.

AFP Photo/Filippo Monteforte

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