In the long run, the church will not be able to avoid issues such as women's ordination and who can take over the leadership of priestless communities, Schüller said.
A new study from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate shows that growth of the Catholic population has been uneven around the world.
Although no date has been set, church leaders in Poland hope Pope Francis will visit the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz during a July 2016 visit to Poland for World Youth Day.
"We hope Pope Francis will come to Auschwitz and deliver a warning to the world by again demonstrating the horrors of war and the camps, so they'll never recur," Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow told the Polish Catholic news agency KAI.
Cardinal Charles Bo has asked the government of Myanmar to squelch hate speech and do more to help Rohingya refugees, many of whom have fled the country and are trapped at sea as countries refuse them entry.
"An immense tragedy is taking place on the seas of Southeast Asia. A new wave of boat people is adrift in the seas, forced to flee poverty and conflicts in Burma and Bangladesh," the Yangon cardinal said in a statement in late May.
Academics, social activists and political leaders blame Hindu radicals for persecution against Christians and Muslims, India's other minority population.
DignityUSA today issued a statement drawing attention to the conflicting responses coming out of the Catholic hierarchy following the Irish vote in favor of same-sex marriage. Ireland this week became the first nation in history to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.
"Religion plays a less important role in American life." Or maybe, "Religion declines as powerful source of American public authority."
I doubt those headlines would have garnered the attention the Pew Research Center recently received with its subtitle "Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population."
Francis wants to retool the hierarchy so it not only defines and enforces church teachings, but also listens and responds to how laypeople understand God's will, he said.
Catholic Ireland has become the first country to introduce gay marriage by popular vote, with 62 percent voting "Yes" in a referendum on Friday.
On Saturday, the Catholic church beatified Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, who was assassinated in 1980 while celebrating Mass.