Americans’ attitudes toward the lives and choices of gays and lesbians have changed radically since Massachusetts first legalized same-sex marriage a decade ago.
As protests in Venezuela continued, with flare-ups of violence, the country's Catholic leaders urged dialogue and respect for the demonstrators' human rights.
"We have called for the social and political leaders to engage in deep, sincere dialogue" to address the country's serious problems, including high rates of violent crime and economic difficulties that have caused a scarcity of some basic consumer goods, Caracas Auxiliary Bishop Jesus Gonzalez de Zarate, secretary-general of the Venezuelan bishops' conference, told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview.
A year ago Friday, Pope Benedict XVI officially left the Vatican in a helicopter as the first pontiff in 600 years to resign.
Analysis: The prospect of a weakened papacy seemed plausible in the wake of Pope Benedict's announcement, but the world has watched his successor make the office stronger.
Analysis: That the Italian police have charged Msgr. Nunzio Scarano with money laundering is both good and bad news.
On successive days in mid-January, Pope Francis and his top collaborator at the Vatican made public statements that provided a lesson in Franciscan contextualization of highly loaded moral issues.
On Monday, the pope told the Vatican diplomatic corps that he found it "horrifying just to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."
Pope Francis so far has been mostly mum on the topic of abortion, choosing instead to center the issue around the bigger picture of social justice.
One list of those who have a "better chance" of being appointed cardinal based on historical experience contains 23 names. The trouble is there are only 14 vacancies.
Analysis: Pope Francis is generating the kind of Internet buzz brand managers dream of. But is he a victim of his own good press?
Analysis: Next month, Pope Francis will create at least 14 new cardinals. Where will they come from? Latin America? The Curia?