A NCR investigation of websites and online publications found that roughly 52 percent of Latin-rite archdioceses and dioceses have begun to gather information in some capacity.
Everyone wants a spot on Pope Francis' itinerary when he comes to the United States in September 2015.
After all, he's a global rock star of religion. A new Pew Research Center survey released Thursday shows 78 percent of Americans give the pope a favorable rating.
Within weeks, the Vatican said in a statement Thursday, bishops' conferences around the world will be receiving preparatory documents for the 2015 synod.
Distinctly Catholic: With the bishops, politics are submerged, as if it were the height of bad manners to admit what everyone can sense in the room.
Speeches and reports at the meeting touched on a number of issues and themes -- religious freedom, mercy, the "culture of death" -- but were light on plans of action.
Q and A: Archbishop Joseph Kurtz says the synod on the family is starting a process of discernment among the church's prelates.
Senior Catholic leaders have repeatedly stressed that they are not going to alter long-standing doctrines. Does that mean hope for real change is DOA?
Q and A: Archbishop Joseph Kurtz said he hopes the synod can help support marriage and will convey "the beauty of the teachings of Jesus."
Yes, I agree. It is incredible that the competent and capable bishop from Spokane, Wash., diocese was named archbishop-designate of the great Chicago archdiocese. No question about it. Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich is prayerful, intellectually sharp, humble, humorous, balanced, respectful and fearless. Terrific qualities for a bishop and an authentic churchman.
Emphasizing that diversity does not preclude unity, nearly a thousand Christian leaders, politicians and laypeople gathered in Washington to launch a massive effort on behalf of the minority communities of the Middle East.