Following Francis: UPDATED Oct. 2. NCR is covering the conclusion of Pope Francis' U.S. trip and providing initial analysis of the trip's impact.
NCR Today: Pope Francis has again forcefully rejected the possibility of female priests in the Catholic church, citing that Pope John Paul II decided "that cannot be done."
Making a Difference: During his six-day U.S. tour, the pope tirelessly proclaimed Gospel precepts of forgiveness, social justice, care for the poor, protection of the earth and love for all.
In recent decades, those looking into the Catholic world have been conditioned to think that the only really important papal statements are those having to do with sexual ethics. All other teachings came wrapped in endless possibilities for "prudential judgment," an inflated way of saying that other matters -- war, poverty, exploitation of the poor and of the Earth -- were of secondary importance and easily negotiated away.
On his way back to Rome from the U.S., Pope Francis spoke strongly against sexual abuse by priests, calling it a "sacrilege." He also spoke of conscientious objection, US sisters.
NCR Today: The Vatican has released the official text of the pope's greeting to organizers of the World Meeting of Families.
NCR Today: The Vatican has released the official text of the pope's homily for the closing Mass.
NCR Today: The Vatican has released the official text of the pope's speech to detainees at the correctional facility.
NCR Today: The Vatican has released the official text of the pope's speech to bishops in Philadelphia.
Pope Francis has met with survivors of clergy sexual abuse this morning. He said "God weeps" for their pain.