Pope Francis' announcement that priests worldwide can absolve women for the sin of abortion will have little effect in the U.S. and Canada, where most priests already have such authority.
Archbishop William Lori reminded those gathered for Mass Sunday at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore that when it comes to religious freedom, American Catholics and Christians worldwide are in the same "boat."
In the day's Gospel reading, from Chapter 4 of St. Mark's Gospel, Jesus calmed the storm threatening the boat carrying him and the apostles on the Sea of Galilee. That boat symbolizes the church through history, Lori said in his homily.
The annual Cosmos & Creation Conference has developed into a much-anticipated gathering of men and women of science who are, for lack of a better word, believers.
Prayer provides the strength and patience needed to love neighbors and will help Baltimoreans as they addresses the injustices that led to a night of rioting and looting, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore said.
"Given my occupation, I think it's important to start every occasion this way," Lori said in response to a reporter's question Sunday, which was designated by Maryland Gov. Lawrence Hogan Jr. as a day of prayer and peace for Baltimore's healing.
"You know the stuff about the 1 percent vs. the 99 percent? Well, when you get here ... It's particularly vicious."
The 18 U.S. bishops who conducted a 12-day prayer pilgrimage for peace in the Holy Land in September came away with new perspectives on the ongoing tensions in the Middle East, according to Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, N.M.
He was one of the bishops who visited many of the sacred sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam during the trip.
Though there were no actions on the U.S. bishops' agenda in Baltimore dealing with immigration, poverty and other public policy issues, the president of their conference said Tuesday he hopes to meet with President Barack Obama and the leaders of the House and Senate soon on several topics.
A proposed 3 percent hike in diocesan assessments for 2016 to fund the U.S. bishops' national operations fell three votes short of approval in electronic balloting Tuesday during the second day of the bishops' annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.
Under the electronic balloting system, votes are kept secret, but the system knows which bishops vote, so the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will send mail ballots to complete the vote.
"The priority ... has to be to proclaim the joy, the mercy and the love of Jesus Christ at all times and in all places and to all people."
The church needs to do a better job of encouraging Latino families and underserved populations to send their children to Catholic schools, the bishops were told Monday during their annual fall assembly in Baltimore.
"If efforts are not made to reach out to them, they won't think it's a viable option," said Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.