Pope Francis rocked the Catholic Church and surprised the wider world with a free-ranging interview in which he envisioned a church that is not “obsessed” with a few sexual and moral issues and is more pastoral, less clerical and less doctrinaire.
(RNS) Catholic military chaplains cannot be forced to witness or bless a same-sex marriage, nor are they allowed to take part in any marriage counseling retreats that are open to gay couples under new rules issued by the Archdiocese for the Military Services.
(RNS) Pope Francis’ comments this week on everything from gays to abortion (less talk, more mercy), the hierarchy (be pastors, not bureaucrats) and religious faith (doubt is part of belief) continue to reverberate through the church and the media.
Of all the novelties that Pope Francis has brought to the Vatican, few have endeared him to the public—and unsettled his aides—as much as his penchant for picking up the phone and calling someone out of the blue.
NEW YORK (RNS) New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the most famous funny man in the American hierarchy, went on “The Colbert Report” Tuesday (Sept. 3) night to trade quips with another funny guy — and another well-known Catholic — host Stephen Colbert.
SOMERSET, N.J. (RNS) Centuries ago, Roman Catholics helped kick-start the market for religious articles with their insatiable demand for rosaries, icons, prayer cards and all manner of devotional objects and spiritual souvenirs.
(RNS) Conservative activists are threatening the social justice mission of the Catholic Church just when the country needs it most, a new report charges, by attacking the church’s flagship anti-poverty program with 21st-century style “Catholic McCarthyism.”
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (RNS) With the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, the “Nuns on the Bus” on Wednesday (May 29) kicked off a national tour for immigration reform aimed at giving a faith-based push to legislation that’s now hanging in the balance in Congress.
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.
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.”
(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.