Fr. Dale Wulderlich surveyed the damage from a deliberately set fire 10 hours prior -- the seventh such arson at a St. Louis area church in two weeks.
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis wrote a "pastoral statement on immigration and mercy," and the statement was released on Oct. 12, the national Columbus Day holiday.
Several critics have called the Missouri attorney general's new report on Planned Parenthood in St. Louis incomplete, saying it raises questions about how state law holds the abortion provider accountable for its handling of human remains from abortions.
Attorney General Chris Koster said the organization is complying with Missouri law in how it disposes of human tissue from abortions.
A Roman Catholic priest whose charges of sexual abuse of a boy were dropped this month has filed a federal lawsuit claiming he was unfairly targeted by police, the city and advocates for sexual abuse victims.
Fr. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang claims in the suit filed Thursday in St. Louis that false abuse accusations were the result of religious and ethnic discrimination. The suit says he was denied due process under the Constitution and defamed by a group that seeks justice for victims of abuse by priests.
The 12 general points touched on a desire for clearer communication from pastors on the meaning of marriage, among other topics.
A robust discussion broke out as U.S. bishops wrestled with how their priorities going forward might reflect those set forth by Pope Francis.
"We as a church are not appropriately meeting the needs of couples in their marital journey, particularly in light of the serious challenges facing couples and families in today's culture."
The U.S. bishops gathered in St. Louis for their spring general assembly heard presentations on the pope's upcoming encyclical on the environment, the U.S. church's ongoing work in promoting traditional marriage and the need to remain vigilant in protecting children from abuse.
On the first day of their meeting Wednesday, there also were reports on the bishops' efforts to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform and their help in rebuilding work in Haiti, which is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake.
Bishop Jaime Soto called the bulk of those crossing the U.S.-Mexico border "asylum-seekers" and said their jailing "is a violation of international law."
As the institution of marriage faces unprecedented challenges, the Catholic church continues to promote and defend marriage as being between one man and one woman, said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco.
As chairman of the bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Cordileone gave bishops at their spring general assembly in St. Louis an update on the U.S. Supreme Court's impending decision whether same-sex marriage should be made legal nationwide as well as related public policy and the church's catechetical efforts.