After the media firestorm surrounding the recent Synod of Bishops on family issues -- with reports about plans to modernize doctrines on homosexuality, divorce and other sexy issues -- Catholic activists are bracing for the sequels.
Mark these dates. First there will be the "Year of the Family" preceding a "World Meeting of Families" next Sept. 22-25 in Philadelphia. The three-week Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family will follow that.
That pivotal synod at the Vatican opens on Oct. 4, 2015, and faces the tough task of issuing pastoral guidelines in response to the heated debates at this year's synod.
The world will be watching that Sunday as the pope preaches in the opening Mass. That sermon will be a challenge, since the official lectionary has already established Mark 10: 2-16 as the day's Gospel.