After two blockbuster terms in which it saved President Barack Obama's health care law and advanced the cause of same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court appears poised to tack to the right in its upcoming term on a range of social issues, from abortion and contraception to race and prayer.
Pope Francis rocked the Catholic world last month when he gave a wide-ranging interview in which he declared that the church had become "obsessed" with a few moral issues and needed to find a "new balance."
Now a new poll indicates that American Catholics think he's right, and by a wide margin.
The survey, released Friday by Quinnipiac University shows that two in three (68 percent) adult Catholics questioned said they agreed with the pontiff's observation that the church has become too focused on issues such as homosexuality, abortion and contraception.
While the event was light on specifics, there was no shortage of Francis factors keeping the conversation lively among the panel of Catholic insiders.
Anticipating the worst, religious leaders gathered the day before the federal government shut down to denounce what they called "political brinkmanship."
Foes of media consolidation, which include the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, seem to have a friend now in the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC on Thursday took the first step in a process that could limit the number of TV stations one company can own, by treating TV stations equally.
The current ownership limit is not a number, but a percentage. One ownership group can own stations covering 39 percent of the U.S. population, but no more.
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop John Kinney of St. Cloud, Minn., and named Bishop Donald Kettler of Fairbanks, Alaska, to succeed him.
Kinney, who has headed the St. Cloud diocese since 1995, is 76. Canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation at age 75. Kettler, 69, has been the bishop of Fairbanks since 2002.
The changes were announced Friday in Washington by in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
A bill introduced in the U.S. House to keep the federal government from discriminating against churches, religious groups and businesses that uphold marriage as being between one man and one woman is "of fundamental importance," two U.S. Catholic bishops said Friday.
A day earlier, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, introduced the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, known as H.R. 3133.
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Sam Jacobs of Houma-Thibodaux, La., and appointed as his successor Auxiliary Bishop Shelton Fabre of New Orleans.
Jacobs, who has headed the diocese since 2003, is 75, the age at which bishops are required by canon law to submit their resignations to the pope. Fabre, 49, has been a New Orleans auxiliary since 2006.
The changes were announced Monday in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Tom Leopold has been funny longer than he has been a Catholic. But being a Catholic doesn't stop him from being funny.
The number of Americans living in poverty last year stayed stuck at 46.5 million people, as did the national poverty rate of 15 percent, according to Census Bureau statistics.