Irish bishops have come in for sharp criticism after deciding they will not publish the results of the Vatican survey on the family.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Sunday that Pope Francis is asking the Catholic church to look at the possibility of recognizing civil unions for gay couples, although the archbishop of New York said he would be "uncomfortable" if the church embraced that position.
"His constant outreach to the alienated, his emphasis on mercy and his sheer humanity have served as an inspiration," the USCCB said.
It was inevitable, and the time has come. I need to write my first critical blog post on Pope Francis. It turns out that the Vatican guesthouse, Domus Sanctae Marthae, does not appear to be far enough away from the apostolic palace. Francis is unfortunately starting to sound too much like a pope. The powers that be may be getting to him even at his current residence.
When Pope Francis encourages compassion for those judged and excluded by the church, I can't really include myself among those alienated masses. I'm not gay. I'm not a woman. I'm not divorced.
But he speaks to me as a lifelong Catholic estranged from a hierarchy too often in conflict with what seem to me to be basic Christian values.
True, Francis has not changed the policies that perpetuate the discrimination I find so objectionable.
A team of religious, civic and business leaders will travel to Rome to plan for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next year.
Pope Francis criticized those who practice fasting as a mere ritual, rather than as a sacrifice representative of a religion of love.
The pope made his remarks March 7, the first Friday of Lent, in his homily at morning Mass in the Vatican guesthouse, where he lives.
"These hypocritical people are good persons," he said, referring to the Pharisees who criticized Jesus and his followers for not fasting as required by Jewish law. "They do all they should do. They seem good. But they are ethicists without goodness because they have lost the sense of belonging to a people."
NCR editors call on Pope Francis to meet victims of sexual abuse by priests and act to bring them healing.
Pope Francis' comments about clerical sex abuse make it clear that he is using the same tired and irrelevant playbook bishops have worn out over the past few years.
Faith and Justice: Pope Francis is the most talked about person in the world. But what impact is he actually having on the life of the church?