Pope urges "courageous" ways to help families but cautions against case-by-case doctrine

Cardinals from around the globe have begun discussing some of the most contentious issues in the church amid findings from Vatican-mandated surveys that most Catholics reject church teaching on contraception, divorce and homosexuality.

Pope Francis opened the two-day meeting Thursday by urging his cardinals to find "intelligent, courageous" ways to help families under threat today without delving into case-by-case options to get around Catholic doctrine.

He said the church must find ways to help families with pastoral care that is "full of love."

The sessions are aimed at starting discussions ahead of a major meeting in October on family issues amid calls by ordinary Catholics and even some bishops for the church to at the very least streamline its annulment process so divorced and remarried Catholics can receive Communion.