Analysis: In the 1980s, then-Pope John Paul II said discoveries in the natural sciences needed to be imaginatively confronted. Twenty-five years later, LCWR is striving to do just that.
The issues dividing Christian communities have changed over the past 50 years, but a Philadelphia archdiocesan priest working in ecumenical dialogue at the Vatican is confident that Christian unity is possible.
"We are people of hope. We trust we have the same Scriptures, the same belief in Christ," said Msgr. Gregory Fairbanks, an official at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Cardinal Walter Kasper said fresh Vatican criticism of American nuns was typical of the "narrower" view that officials of the Roman Curia tend to take.
The Vatican has effectively addressed the "worldwide scourge" of clerical sexual abuse over the past decade, a United Nations panel heard Tuesday.
Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, the LCWR overseer, said the April 30 meeting with Cardinal Gerhard Müller was "frank and open" and "a very helpful meeting."
Cardinal Gerhard Müller accused the leaders of LCWR of not abiding by a reform agenda the Vatican imposed on their leadership organization following a doctrinal assessment of the group.
A U.N. committee on torture repeatedly asked Vatican officials about efforts to investigate allegations of clerical sex abuse, to punish offenders and to cooperate with civil authorities.
What was it like to be in that crowd during the canonizations, ministering to the people, especially those who were farthest away?
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.
As Vatican representatives prepare to testify before a United Nations inquiry into torture next week, a senior official warned investigators that it would be "deceptive" to link torture with the pedophilia scandals that have swept the Catholic church.
The Vatican's chief spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, said Friday that the Convention Against Torture, endorsed by the Vatican in 2002, was one of the most important in the U.N.'s ambit.