With months to go before October's synod on the family, bishops from around the world are already discussing some of the main topics.
An hourlong meeting Saturday between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro marked the first such personal encounter between the leaders of the two neighboring countries since 1958.
The session held during the Summit on the Americas, in which Cuba participated for the first time, was the most visible step toward ending a half century of strained relations dating back to the Cuban revolution.
Pope Francis is expected to arrive July 6 in Ecuador, starting a three-country tour of his home continent, The Associated Press reported from Quito.
The trip, the pope's second to South America since being elected in March 2013, also would include stops in Bolivia and Paraguay, two fast-growing countries in recent years, but still among the poorest on the continent.
The adoption of a framework related to Iran's nuclear program by the United States and other countries is an important step in "advancing a peaceful resolution" to the questions surrounding the program, the chairman of the U.S. bishop's Committee on International Justice and Peace.
Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, N.M., said April 8 in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Monday in letters to every member of Congress that the framework was a milestone in the long-standing negotiations to curb the "unacceptable prospect of Iran developing nuclear weapons."
Though the United States may have taken the lead in the international diplomatic initiative against Iran's nuclear program, the Obama administration has also taken the lead in undermining the United Nations' efforts to promote nuclear arms control and disarmament elsewhere.
Pope Francis said atrocities from the past have to be recognized for true reconciliation and healing to come to the world.
The World Bank and global faith leaders are joining together to end extreme poverty around the world by 2030.
The effort brings together the influential faith community with a major U.S.-based institution that has committed billions of dollars to development work and can leverage billions more from private sector sources to continue a 25-year trend of declining poverty in the world's poorest nations.
The brutal kidnappings and killings in Congo must stop, and the church can help by reaching out to the "perpetrators and accomplices" of the violence, said members of several religious congregations working in Congo.
Hundreds of innocent children and adults have been kidnapped and "butchered" in nighttime raids by armed men in the northeastern area of Beni, said a written statement by members of the general councils of 10 religious orders and congregations that are present in the diocese of Butembo-Beni.
Perspective: For the first time since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, U.S.-Israeli relations are undergoing a real earthquake.
Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, cardinal of the people, died Wednesday in Montreal's Marie-Clarac Hospital.
The 78-year-old cardinal, who served as Montreal's archbishop for 22 years, was diabetic, and his health had been in decline for several months. He was moved to palliative care March 24.
Turcotte was remembered as a populist, a down-to-earth cleric with a common touch who once supported an ad campaign that urged Montreal residents to pray for his beloved Canadiens to make the National Hockey League playoffs.