The U.S. community organizers and union leaders hope to sway Pope Francis into addressing a number of lingering national social justice issues.
Pope Francis' upcoming encyclical on ecology and climate is expected to send a strong moral message -- one message that could make some readers uncomfortable, some observers say.
"The encyclical will address the issue of inequality in the distribution of resources and topics such as the wasting of food and the irresponsible exploitation of nature and the consequences for people's life and health," Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru, told Catholic News Service.
The country's Catholic bishops urged voters to reject "notoriously corrupt" politicians running in next year's national elections in a pastoral letter sent to parishes.
The bishops, in the letter read at Masses Sunday, also sought to remind the voters that voting was not merely a political right, but "a moral obligation," reported the Asian Catholic news portal ucanews.com.
NCR Today: Four years after overthrowing long-standing dictatorships, neighboring Tunisia and Libya could not be more different.
Global Sisters Report: Helping the differently abled has become "a mission of joy. It gives me tremendous happiness."
"Pope Francis' visit to Sarajevo may help create an atmosphere in which the long journey to truth and reconciliation ... will be given strong support."
Faith and Justice: "If [the Islamic State group] does come in ... it will be a major humanitarian disaster."
French Catholics have urged church support for a campaign to stop Western companies from buying oil from the Islamic State group, in effect funding the mass killing of Christians.
"Our brothers and sisters are being massacred, women and children taken into slavery -- and while Christians are suffering most, so are Muslims and other minorities," said Joseph Thouvenel, vice president of the French Confederation of Christian Workers.
The current "culture of conflict" is an indication that schools and universities need to create conditions that will develop "a new humanism" and "rebuild a spirit of fraternity among people and nations," Cardinal Pietro Parolin said.
"The current context of hatred and contempt among people is constituted by a radical rejection of humanity in the other," said Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, on Wednesday. "The acceptance of diversity is therefore fundamental for mutual respect and for the freedom to express one's own ideas and religious convictions."
Cubans are waiting for Pope Francis "with open arms," said Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana.
The cardinal met briefly with the pope at the end of the papal general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square. The cardinal was in Rome fine-tuning the program for the papal visit to Cuba this September, according to the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.