The U.S. Supreme Court tackled immigration, abortion, the contraceptive mandate and the death penalty, doing so with one less vote following Justice Antonin Scalia's death in February.
New Texas burial laws: Texas Catholic bishops and the state's Catholic cemeteries are working together on efforts to provide a proper burial for children lost to abortion. Effective Dec. 19, new state regulations from the Department of State Health Services require the interment of the remains of all children who are lost through abortion or miscarriage at a health care facility or abortion clinic.
Abortion laws in Ohio: The Ohio Legislature has sent two abortion bills to Gov. John Kasich for his signature. On Dec. 8, lawmakers passed a measure to ban abortions in the state after 20 weeks, or five months of pregnancy. On Dec. 6, they approved legislation that would ban abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is usually at about the sixth week of pregnancy.
Rio Grande Valley Respite Center: Blessing the ground for a new respite center in McAllen is a sign of the Catholic Church's commitment to be available and helpful to immigrant families, who "are enduring many, many tragic situations in their lives," said Brownsville Bishop Daniel E. Flores.
Cardinal-designate Kevin Farrell said he has a hard time understanding why some bishops have reacted negatively to Amoris Laetitia ("The Joy of Love.")
Analysis: The pontiff passed over prelates favored by culture warriors of the right and chose more pastoral bishops. That's a big change.
Three U.S. prelates who will be elevated to the office of cardinal next month each said they were "humbled" by the appointment and asked for prayers.
A federal judge's ruling blocks the implementation of guidance that required school districts to allow transgender students to choose which restroom and locker facilities to use.
The importance of marriage and family is at the core for the future of both the church and society, said Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas.
Houston-area prosecutors dropped charges on Tuesday against two anti-abortion activists indicted for using illegal government identifications to secretly film a Texas Planned Parenthood facility.