Even as an annual review in mid-May gave Catholic bishops high marks on sexual abuse prevention policies, officials with the church’s oversight agencies expressed serious concerns about “recent high-profile failings.”
News that scientists had for the first time recovered stem cells from cloned human embryos prompted dire warnings from religious leaders who say the research crosses a moral red line and could lead to designer babies.
(RNS) Pope Francis is warning Catholics not to demonize those who are not members of the church, and he specifically defended atheists, saying that building walls against non-Catholics leads to “killing in the name of God.”
(RNS) Even before rogue abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted in Philadelphia on Monday (May 13) of delivering and then killing late-term infants, abortion opponents were convinced they had a case that could reshape an abortion debate that has remained static over the years.
NEW YORK (RNS) A Tony-nominated play that offered a controversial take on the Virgin Mary reflecting on her life held its final performance on Sunday (May 5), closing after only two weeks as poor ticket sales never matched high expectations.
Christian conservatives became alarmed recently over reports and rumors that the Pentagon was considering new policies aimed at discriminating against Christians and disciplining or even court-martialing Christians who share their faith.
NEW YORK (RNS) The “Nuns on the Bus” are revving up their engines for another national campaign, only this time the Catholic sisters are taking their mobile platform for social justice along the country’s Southern border to push Congress to pass immigration reform.
Leading U.S. Catholic bishops have denounced efforts to use the Boston Marathon bombings to derail the push for immigration reform, saying it is wrong to brand all immigrants as dangerous and that a revamped system would in fact make Americans safer.
NEW YORK (RNS) A gay man ousted from posts at his Long Island parish after a critic complained that he had married his partner delivered a petition with more than 18,000 signatures on Thursday (April 11) to Bishop William Murphy, asking to be reinstated.
Since the moment of his election on March 13, Pope Francis has been warmly embraced by his own flock and even by the media and the wider public in a way that his bookish predecessor, Benedict XVI, was not.
(RNS) Pope Francis was once "dazzled" by a young woman he met as a seminarian and even considered abandoning his vocation, adding that it would be "abnormal" for such things not to happen to priests. And he seemed to hold open the possibility that church law on priestly celibacy could be changed.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Ahead of his formal installation as pontiff on Tuesday (March 19), Pope Francis is sending clear signals that he intends to lead a papacy markedly different from his predecessor -- and perhaps different from that of any other pope in modern times.
When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, the surprising choice cast a pall over the liberal wing of the flock and left conservatives giddy with the prospect of total victory.
Ratzinger had for decades served as the Vatican’s guardian of orthodoxy, the man known as “God’s Rottweiler,” and his vocal fans were crowing about the glorious reign to come.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Scotland resigned on February 25 in the wake of explosive charges that he had made “inappropriate” sexual advances to four men, three of them priests and one now a former seminarian, starting in the 1980s.
Pope Benedict XVI's sudden announcement that he would resign by the end of the month took the church and the world by surprise, in large part because it was a move without precedent in the modern world.
But what comes next is as old and familiar as the papacy itself: Speculating about who will succeed to the Throne of St. Peter.
The nation's Catholic bishops on Thursday (Feb. 7) rejected the Obama administration's latest proposals to broaden accommodations for religious groups in regulations that require insurance companies or employers to provide free birth control coverage.
Retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony has been stripped of his official duties in an unusual public rebuke by his successor that followed the release of thousands of pages of internal church documents showing how Mahony and aides for years conspired to cover up the sexual abuse of children by clergy.
The Obama administration on Friday (Feb. 1) sought to placate religious groups by broadening religious exemptions and giving faith-based organizations more room to maneuver around its controversial contraception mandate, but the new rules offer no loopholes for privately owned businesses.