Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo's mission to the United States is of the utmost importance to the Vatican: to be the pope's ears on the ground.
While one Catholic archbishop was urging a fix to the country's immigration laws before a Catholic crowd, another was pleading with the government not to separate mothers from their children while in immigration detention, and yet another, a cardinal, was accompanying a grandfather to an appointment that could have resulted in his deportation.
Catholic Church leaders in the U.S. spent the week of March 6-10 trying to allay fears, urging compassion, not just from the government from those who are not seeing "God's creation" when they malign unauthorized immigrants.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin farewell Mass in Indianapolis: The Mass was originally planned as a celebration of Tobin being inducted into the College of Cardinals Nov. 19. But when it was announced on Nov. 7 that Pope Francis had appointed Tobin to lead the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, the Dec. 3 liturgy became a bittersweet farewell for Cardinal Tobin and the 1,000 Catholics from across central and southern Indiana who gathered in the cathedral to worship with him, and offer him their heartfelt prayers as he goes forward to lead the Church in northern New Jersey.
Fr. Kevin Gugliotta is accused of of possessing and disseminating child pornography. The Vatican dismissed a prior sex abuse charge because it took place before he was ordained.
Fr. Warren Hall was barred from ministry for supporting gay advocacy groups and backing a Catholic high school counselor who was fired for being in a same-sex marriage.
The appointment of Bernard Hebda as archbishop-designate of St. Paul-Minneapolis raises the question: Who will Hebda become as a now-rooted resident in the historically important archdiocese?
Archbishop John Myers has given his priests strict guidelines on refusing Communion to Catholics who support gay marriage or whose own marriage is invalid in the eyes of the church.
The abuse victims' advocacy group Catholic Whistleblowers has asked if Myers is found to have abused his episcopal office that be removed as archbishop.
A public interest law firm has filed a federal case on behalf of the archdiocese of Newark challenging a New Jersey law that bars church-run cemeteries from selling headstones.
"This case addresses one of the most important unanswered questions in constitutional law: how far government power can act for primarily private gain," said Jeff Rowe, senior attorney for the Institute of Justice.
The Newark archdiocese, the largest single provider of in-ground burials in New Jersey, must give up a lucrative companion business -- the marketing of headstones and private crypts -- under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Chris Christie.
The measure, which passed both houses of the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, goes into effect in one year, allowing the archdiocese time to wind down without imperiling sales in progress at its Catholic cemeteries.