Church observers say they will be watching to see if any of the votes or liturgical decisions reflect a change in tone within the USCCB.
In a U.S. visit, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told officials at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops not to lose sight "that the voice of the Catholic church must be heard in the public square."
"Otherwise we risk that our democracies are reduced to a vocabulary of truth, which is exclusively pragmatic and positivist," he said Tuesday at the USCCB headquarters in Washington.
About the time in June that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency introduced a plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, Martha Huckabay and her neighbors in St. Rose, La., began to smell a foul odor from a chemical storage facility near their home.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a Texas law that had meant all but seven of the state's abortion clinics were closed because they failed to meet new standards.
The block will remain in effect while the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers a legal challenge to the law itself. It will allow at least 12 clinics that were closed to reopen.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Wednesday urged the federal government "to reconsider" its new rules to allow religious institutions -- and potentially some for-profit companies -- to opt out of the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act.
On Aug. 22, the Obama administration issued rules it described as a "work around" to offer religious employers who are not exempt from the mandate a new way to opt out of coverage they find morally objectionable.
The rules also provide some for-profit companies a way to opt out.
After the Supreme Court on Monday declined to review rulings overturning five states' bans on same-sex marriage, several U.S. bishops criticized the court's inaction and reiterated that according to church teaching, traditional marriage is a union between one man and one woman.
Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley said the court's failure to review the Circuit Court decisions was "deeply disappointing."
The Supreme Court refused to get involved in the national debate over same-sex marriage on Monday, leaving intact lower court rulings that will legalize the practice in 11 additional states.
The unexpected decision by the justices, announced without further explanation, immediately affects five states in which federal appeals courts had struck down bans against gay marriage: Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Utah.
Community organizers in cities with a history of confrontations between African-Americans and police aren't sure if outrage over Ferguson will translate into votes.
For the first time, federal funding will help pay for unaccompanied minor immigrants to get legal assistance, including through Catholic agencies that will receive a little more than half of $4.2 million in grants for this fiscal year.
An additional $4.8 million will be allocated for the legal program for the 2015 fiscal year.
If you are of the mind that it is better to give than to receive, then this story is for you.
It has to do with Mark Landis. He has spent much of his adult life as an art forger. And he was a good one, as he bounced around easily among different periods and styles in his forgeries.
One thing that was different about Landis was that he gave away his forgeries. That would have put the recipients of his generosity in a pickle, thinking they owned the genuine article only to be rudely surprised should they try to cash in on their good, er, fortune.