A Catholic leader in the Central African Republic said Christian-Muslim ties were affected positively by Pope Francis' Nov. 29-30 visit and his simple message of living peacefully.
Preview: Pope Francis' call -- to "express the Gospel in concrete terms" by each taking in at least one family -- appeared to endorse what many were already doing.
Congo's Catholic bishops criticized the failure of Western governments to stop the abuse of the continent's natural resources and urged church groups to follow the pope's call to mobilize.
"It is our profound conviction that exploiting these resources can contribute to improving our population's conditions of life," the bishops' commission for natural resources said in a statement in late September.
Catholic aid agencies have urged Europeans not to turn against migrants seeking refuge other countries, in what reports are calling Europe's greatest refugee movement since World War II.
Bishops urged their governments to settle a growing refugee crisis around the port of Calais, where migrants have died attempting illegal crossings of the Channel Tunnel.
A Belgian bishop said the president of the bishops' conference urged Catholics to respect a court judgment against him for failing to act on allegations of abuse.
However, Auxiliary Bishop Jean Kockerols of Mechelen-Brussels also said the ruling provoked concern that it could spur more claims for damages, and he said it would take a while for the church to regain credibility.
"The great ideas which once inspired Europe seem to have lost their attraction, only to be replaced by the bureaucratic technicalities of its institutions."
When Francis arrives at the European Parliament, he'll be entering a place where the hopes and fears of a whole continent are played out.
King Juan Carlos of Spain received a tribute from the country's bishops after he announced his decision to abdicate in favor of his son.
The executive committee of the Span's bishops' conference described the work of the outgoing 76-year-old king as having "extraordinary value" because of his work on behalf of democracy during his 39 years on the throne.
A Ukrainian Catholic priest in Crimea said church members are alarmed and frightened by the Russian military occupation and fear their communities might be outlawed again if Russian rule becomes permanent.
Fr. Mykhailo Milchakovskyi, a pastor in Kerch, Ukraine, described the atmosphere as tense because many residents of the town located in the eastern part of Crimea were unsure of their future.
"No one knows what will happen. Many people are trying to sell their homes and move to other parts of Ukraine," Milchakovskyi told Catholic News Service on Wednesday.