Pope Francis again denounced clericalism among Catholic priests, and reaffirmed the right of laypeople to make decisions in their lives.
The advocacy group's petition alleges that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops hasn't honored its zero tolerance policy toward abusive priests and deacons.
A Roman Observer: Pope Francis' decision to call an extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy looks more and more urgent with each passing day.
Among the nonvoting members of 38 observers and 16 experts appointed by the pope, the majority are laymen and laywomen, including 14 married couples.
Pope Francis reconfirmed most members of the Congregation for Clergy and named three new members Monday, including a U.S.-born archbishop from Lithuania.
Pope Francis confirmed the head of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and named among its new members Australian Cardinal George Pell, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, and Archbishop Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis.
The Vatican announced Saturday that the pope confirmed Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz as prefect of the congregation, the Vatican office that oversees the world's religious orders.
Pope Francis confirmed the top leadership of the Congregation for Eastern Churches and named among its new members Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Byzantine Archbishop William Skurla of Pittsburgh.
The Vatican announced Wednesday that the pope confirmed Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as prefect and Archbishop Cyril Vasil as secretary of the congregation, which assists the Eastern Catholic churches throughout the world and the Latin-rite Catholic dioceses of the Middle East.
John Allen in Rome: Pope Francis on Monday named new members of the Congregation for Bishops, and one American name was notably absent.