As speculation mounted about Western air strikes on Syria, Catholic leaders in Europe warned intervention could lead to an escalation of hostilities.
"The church teaches that unjustified killing is wrong in all circumstances. That includes the death penalty," said Archbishop Timothy Broglio.
A key U.S. bishop is calling on the United States to aim for a cease-fire in Syria, echoing sentiments expressed by Pope Francis.
The international group that styles itself as the global Catholic peace movement called Thursday for dialogue, not military intervention, on the situation in Syria, saying it "pleads with the nations of the world to recognize the responsibility and authority" of the United Nations in the matter.
Members of Congress are out of town and immigration reform legislation may be stuck until this fall, but the recess has given Catholic activists time to rally their forces.
The setting was the same, but in many respects, the 50th anniversary observance of the 1963 March on Washington showed the nation's progress.
"We have been too silent and too complacent" regarding the issues of racism, the executive director of Pax Christi USA said.
An influx of human trafficking victims seeking assistance is leading Catholic Charities agencies nationwide to develop a wider range of specialized service to enable victims to rebuild their lives.
From life skills and parenting classes to helping victims adjust to a life free of coercion and mistreatment, the agencies are adapting operations so those who have escaped a trafficking situation are not victimized again by unscrupulous traders in human lives.
Fifty years ago, on the morning of the March on Washington, he major news outlets were predicting the march would be a bust.
Since the creation under President George W. Bush of what is now known as the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the formal collaboration of government and religious institutions has steadily expanded, though not without growing pains.