Those looking for clues of what to expect from Pope Francis when he visits Cuba and the United States at the end of September should study his trip to Latin America.
House members voted Tuesday to limit the number of people allowed in the House Chamber on Sept. 24 when Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of Congress.
Two concepts deeply embedded in Catholic social teaching -- solidarity and subsidiarity -- are often viewed as separate strains of the tradition and even in opposition to one another when applied in the context of today's polarized politics.
Solidarity is seen as the portion of teaching with a communitarian emphasis and inclination toward large, society-wide solutions. Subsidiarity, on the other hand, is popularly understood as inclining toward the individualist, let-the-locals-take-care-of-things end of the scale.
Cardinal William Baum, the archbishop of Washington from 1973 to 1980, died Thursday at the age of 88 after a long illness. He was a cardinal for 39 years -- the longest such tenure in U.S. church history.
Baum witnessed history from the Second Vatican Council through the election of the first Latin American pope, and he made history himself.
The Catholic faith tradition "offers a unique perspective on crime and punishment, one grounded in mercy and healing, not punishment for its own sake," two bishops said in a statement renewing the U.S. Catholic church's push to end the death penalty.
"No matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so. Today, we have this capability," wrote Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami.
This fall, the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services plans to hold its first discernment gathering for Catholic priests to encourage them to consider becoming military chaplains.
The archdiocese regularly holds several retreats a year for young men who are thinking about the priesthood and the chaplaincy, but this will be the first event of its kind for ordained priests, because there is a critical shortage of military chaplains.
Pope Francis' address to a joint meeting of Congress Sept. 24 will be broadcast live to members of the public on the West Front of the Capitol, House Speaker John Boehner announced Wednesday.
"The visit of Pope Francis to the U.S. Capitol is a historic moment for the country," he said in a statement, adding that "the unprecedented nature of his visit" prompted the decision to broadcast his address.
Religious freedom is "the human right that guarantees all other rights," Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said Saturday in his homily at the closing Mass of the U.S. bishops' fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom.
That right "has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person," he said at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. "Peace and creative living together will only be possible if freedom of religion is fully respected."
Noting the pope's "immense popularity," Cardindal Donald Wuerl called the Washington visit "an exciting time for this archdiocese, the church in the United States and this city."
The Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the United States on Friday in a closely divided ruling.