Pope Francis said June 16 the validity of marriage implies that a couple understands that sacramental marriage is a bond binding them to another for their entire lives.
Catch up on recent coverage and analysis by National Catholic Reporter on women deacons and women's ordination.
"Some people will be disappointed because he won't change church teachings. Nonetheless, Francis has left the door ajar," said Curran in a recent speech.
Grace on the Margins: The pope's meeting with Bishop Fellay shows us who among "dissenting" Catholics is worthy to encounter Francis, and who is not.
A Roman Observer: In year four of this pontificate many hope that Pope Francis starts making some substantial structural changes that are unassailable.
A small c catholic: Family is not the most important or even primary mechanism God uses to bring people into God's larger family. That's a role for the church.
NCR Today: After 40 years of fruitless battles, Planned Parenthood and Catholic church leaders need to pledge to do at least one common project that puts women and babies first.
In a beautiful homily by Pope Francis to the assembled cardinals and bishops, the need for reform was made clear once again.
George Conger writes a somewhat critical piece about Pope Francis' interviews since his election.
The number of Catholics in the world and the number of priests, permanent deacons and religious men all increased in 2012, while the number of women in religious orders continued to decline, according to Vatican statistics.
The number of candidates for the priesthood also showed its first global downturn in recent years.
The statistics come from a recently published Statistical Yearbook of the Church, which reported worldwide church figures as of Dec. 31, 2012.