Catholic leaders will begin discussing this weekend a host of family-related matters, including same-sex marriage, birth control and other pressing issues in an ever-changing world.

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, who is attending the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, said it would not be surprising if the meeting produces an affirmation “on the nature of marriage and family, the importance of family as the natural building block of all society.”

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