Pope Francis began meeting this morning with cardinals from around the world, launching a series of discussions that could lead to changes in the church's pastoral practices on family life.
Pope Francis confirmed the top leadership of the Congregation for Eastern Churches and named among its new members Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Byzantine Archbishop William Skurla of Pittsburgh.
The Vatican announced Wednesday that the pope confirmed Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as prefect and Archbishop Cyril Vasil as secretary of the congregation, which assists the Eastern Catholic churches throughout the world and the Latin-rite Catholic dioceses of the Middle East.
The Council of Cardinals have made a set of recommendations to Pope Francis on restructuring the Vatican's financial operations and the bank.
No one knows exactly what the Council of Cardinals say to each other when they get together, but we know their talks involve financial reform, laity and family life.
Retired German Cardinal Walter Kasper, a theologian who has been searching for a new pastoral approach to divorced and remarried Catholics for more than 20 years, was scheduled to address the Feb. 20-21 meeting of the College of Cardinals in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on the family.
Pope Francis has said that the situation of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics will be one of the key topics of discussion at the extraordinary synod he has scheduled for Oct. 5-19.
Pope Francis began meeting Monday for the third time with the Council of Cardinals, but it remains unclear just what reforms are in the offing.
Opinion: Fr. Isaac McDaniel imagines a conversation between two cardinals who aren't quite pleased with the way Pope Francis is running the church.
Faith and Justice: The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been publicly criticized as of late, something unthinkable under the last two papacies.
Going to Mass and receiving the Eucharist should make a difference in the way Catholics live, Pope Francis said; they should be more accepting of others and more aware of their sinfulness.
"If we don't feel in need of God's mercy and don't think we are sinners, it's better not to go to Mass," Pope Francis said Wednesday at his weekly general audience. The Eucharist is a celebration of Christ's gift of himself for the salvation of sinners, which is why the Mass begins with people confessing they are sinners and begging for the Lord's mercy.
In the wake of last week’s critical U.N. report on Vatican child protection efforts has come more criticism, though much of it is directed not toward the church but the international body.