(RNS) When the Supreme Court on Monday (June 30) issued a split decision narrowly backing the right of for-profit corporations to deny contraception coverage to their employees for religious reasons, many assumed that faith-based nonprofits would have it easy when their own cases eventually reach the high court.
(RNS) Despite numerous controversies over dismissing gay Catholics from church posts and the U.S. hierarchy’s campaign against same-sex marriage, Catholic leaders have carefully, if quietly, avoided doing anything to block gay couples from having their children baptized.
NEW YORK (RNS) Top Catholic and Orthodox church officials in North America are calling on the Vatican to let married men become priests in Eastern rite Catholic churches, another sign that optional celibacy could become a front-burner issue under Pope Francis.
Social media can bring out the worst in people, and even Pope Francis’s enormously popular Twitter feed is peppered with nasty comments. But the Vatican’s chief media strategist says the Catholic Church cannot ignore the opportunities for evangelization that the Internet offers.
Pope Francis’s recent announcement that he would meet with victims of sexual abuse by priests is dividing victim advocates, with some dismissing the move as “meaningless” and others endorsing it as a positive step, albeit taken belatedly and under pressure.
NEW YORK (RNS) The German cardinal who has been called the “pope’s theologian” said fresh Vatican criticism of American nuns was typical of the “narrower” view that officials of the Roman Curia tend to take, and he said U.S. Catholics shouldn’t be overly concerned.
(RNS) Catholic nuns in the U.S. have been thumbing their nose at Rome’s demands to toe the doctrinal line and they need to obey or face serious consequences, the Vatican’s enforcer of orthodoxy said in a surprisingly tough talk to women representing most American sisters.
(RNS) Pope Francis likes to say that he prefers to raise questions rather than issue edicts or change doctrine, and he has certainly generated plenty of debate with his off-the-cuff remarks about gays and his cold-call chats on topics like divorce and Communion, as happened recently with a woman in Argentina.
A year and a half after unveiling a slip of papyrus that she dubbed “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” Harvard biblical scholar Karen King has released the results of long-delayed testing on the controversial fragment which appear to show that it is not a modern forgery.
(RNS) A new translation of the Mass has been used in the nation’s Catholic parishes for less than three years, but there are signs that the language—often criticized as stilted and awkward—could be in for another edit.
ROME (RNS) President Obama is to meet Pope Francis for the first time next week (March 27) as Obama wraps up a European tour, a high-profile encounter between two major world leaders that appears to carry especially high stakes from the U.S. perspective.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) In another strongly worded message to the Catholic hierarchy, Pope Francis on Thursday (Feb. 27) told the Vatican body that vets nominees for bishops that they need to find him better candidates to send to dioceses around the world.
As Pope Francis led the world’s cardinals at talks in Rome, a senior American cardinal took to the pages of the Vatican newspaper to reassure conservatives that Francis remains opposed to abortion and gay marriage.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis on Tuesday (Feb. 25) lashed out at public indifference to the many wars raging around the globe, with especially harsh words for arms makers who he said profit from the violence and suffering.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis on Monday (Feb. 24) launched a sweeping reform of the Vatican’s scandal-plagued financial system by naming one of his closest advisers on reform, Australian Cardinal George Pell, to head a powerful new department that will oversee the entire management of the Holy See.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis on Thursday (Feb. 20) opened a major two-day meeting on the church’s approach to the complexities of modern family life, telling the world’s Catholic cardinals that the church needs a “pastoral” approach that is “intelligent, courageous and full of love” and not focused on abstract arguments.
(RNS) The news that President Obama will meet with Pope Francis on March 27 brightened a snowy Tuesday morning for Catholics who see a broad overlap between the president’s agenda and the pontiff’s repeated denunciations of income inequality and “trickle down” economics, and his support for the poor and migrants.
A California pastor made headlines in January when he announced that he will live like an atheist for a year to see what it’s like on the other side of belief. Ryan Bell was actually just the latest “stunt pastor” to use unorthodox means to draw attention to his message.