The Vatican reaffirmed its commitment to dialogue with Jews on Monday after the head of a traditionalist breakaway group called them "enemies of the Church."
Meeting the approval of the wider public "is not the criterion to which (bishops) submit," Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday at his Epiphany Mass. "Our criterion is the Lord himself."
It took more than seven years, but Pope Benedict XVI has hosted the formal visits of bishops from every country in the world and will begin the cycle all over again by meeting the heads of Italy's 227 dioceses in 2013.
The Code of Canon Law calls for the heads of every diocese in the world to make their formal visit ad limina apostolorum ("to the threshold of the apostles") every five years, but there are now almost 2,900 dioceses in the world and the 85-year-old pope also has other obligations as well.
Sisters and priests are reacting to a climate of fear fostered by bishops and cardinals never investigated for roles in the abuse crisis.
The mothers of priests and seminarians deserve the thanks of the whole church for raising their sons in the faith and supporting them in their vocations, said Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.
Writing on the feast of Mary, Mother of God, on Tuesday, the cardinal said having a priest-son requires a new form of motherhood, one that involves a "discreet, but very effective and invaluably precious accompaniment in prayer."
Piacenza's letter was posted, in Italian, on the website of the clergy congregation.
Over New Year's, 45,000 people -- mostly young adults -- in the Taize ecumenical community made a pilgrimage to Rome for prayer and reflections on scripture.
Welcoming in the new year, Pope Benedict XVI said that despite the injustice and violence in the world, every human being yearns for and is made for peace.
Pope Benedict XVI's calendar for 2013 is already filling up. Here are 10 things to watch for in the new year.
Pope Benedict XVI has named a canon lawyer from the Archdiocese of Boston to be the new promoter of justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"A fundamental problem of honesty" plagues the discussions between the Vatican and LCWR leaders, sisters say.