Pope Francis appears more popular than ever among U.S. Catholics. One researcher may have found some signs, albeit tentative, of an incipient "Francis effect."
Faith & Parish
The Newark archdiocese, the largest single provider of in-ground burials in New Jersey, must give up a lucrative companion business -- the marketing of headstones and private crypts -- under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Chris Christie.
The measure, which passed both houses of the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, goes into effect in one year, allowing the archdiocese time to wind down without imperiling sales in progress at its Catholic cemeteries.
If Francis is interested in casting a light on American poverty, he'd do well to take a trip to the Philadelphia suburbs.
The "turmoil resulting from the archbishop's proposed changes to the [faculty] handbook" has led to "many of our colleagues ... considering other career options."
The number of Catholics in the world and the number of priests and permanent deacons rose slightly in 2013 while the number of men and women in religious orders declined, according to Vatican statistics.
For the second year in a row, the number of candidates for the priesthood also decreased.
The numbers come from the Statistical Yearbook of the Church, which was completed in February and published in March. The yearbook reported worldwide church figures as of Dec. 31, 2013.
The number of Catholic marriages in the United States is at its lowest point since 1965.
"This has been remarkable. I have never felt better about how a Chapter 11 went from start to finish than this one," one lawyer said of the settlement.
"The system in the first place required a permit and may violate San Francisco water-use laws, and the work to remove this system has already started."
To Roman Catholic officialdom, it's unclear whether the Virgin Mary appeared to Ivan Dragicevic and five others 34 years ago in a Bosnian village.
What is clear is that Dragicevic won't be appearing Wednesday to speak in St. Charles, as some had hoped.
Earlier this month, Archbishop Robert Carlson addressed a memo to priests and deacons in the archdiocese:
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the announcement that Pope Francis would visit the United Nations the morning of Sept. 25 to address the U.N. General Assembly.
In a statement Wednesday, the United Nations also said the pope would meet separately with the secretary-general and with the president of the General Assembly and would participate in a town hall gathering with U.N. staff.