Reports from bishops' conferences in Germany and Switzerland show a divergence between what the church teaches on marriage, sexuality and family life and what Catholics personally believe.
Here's a rundown of the most-read stories on NCRonline.org for the month of January. The list is compiled with the help of Google Analytics. Miss any of these stories? Now's the time to get caught up.
5. "New cardinals to be appointed may include next pope" by Thomas Reese, posted Jan. 6. In this analysis, Reese explored what Pope Francis might be looking for in new cardinals. Less than a week later, Francis announced his picks for the red hats. (See No. 3.)
The Francis Chronicles: The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith should also look at ways to collaborate with a new papal advisory commission on abuse, the pope said.
All Things Catholic: When Pope Francis says he wants a greater role for women, his ideas seem to have little to do with office-holding of any sort.
John Allen in Rome: Pope Francis has replaced a cardinal who headed the financial watchdog agency launched under Benedict XVI with a bishop associated with reform.
As the Legionaries of Christ continue trying to chart a new course, there are signs the order is far from unanimous about what that course should look like.
We say: The Legion of Christ has been an agency of almost unimaginable fraud, and that should be reason enough for civil authorities to pursue a criminal investigation.
American conductor Sir Gilbert Levine will conduct an orchestra and two choirs in a May 5 concert in Washington to celebrate the canonizations of two popes, Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II.
Levine is often called "the pope's maestro" because of his nearly two-decade friendship with Blessed John Paul.
Titled "Peace through Music 'In Our Age,' " the concert at Constitution Hall will be presented on PBS and televised throughout the world. It will be offered a week after Pope Francis canonizes the former popes during an April 27 Mass at the Vatican.
All Things Catholic: Geneva was the setting for a riveting bit of theater as two Vatican heavyweights sat before a panel to field questions about the sex abuse scandals.
Pope Francis replaced four cardinals serving on a five-person commission overseeing the Vatican bank.