Analysis: As Francis often does, he is shifting the focus from the "rules" to the principle behind the rules.
Analysis: When you consider the list of the 17 people who died in Paris, you realize it reflects French diversity. But that appears to be the point.
Amid the sweeping tributes for former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo following his death on Jan. 1 at 82, some of the loudest praise is coming from liberal Catholics for the brand of moral and political seriousness that Cuomo brought to public life. The reaction was understandable: Cuomo, whose son Andrew was sworn in for his second term as the state's governor the same day as his father's death, was the Democratic Party's most engaging defender of classic liberal policies and an eloquent promoter of Catholic social justice teachings.
Analysis: Climate change has raised environmental activism from the category of "nice" things to do to that of "must do" for the sake of life itself.
Analysis: Rome hasn't yet revealed the names of the new cardinals, but could an American be among them? There are a number of factors that will govern the choices.
Analysis: Church leaders lament the loss in numbers in Latin America. However, many missionaries would see this as a wake-up call.
The absence of a more frank discussion about America's poverty problem remains a mystery in our national political discourse. Who are "the poor"? Who represents them?
Analysis: Since the end of the synod, news outlets have portrayed the outcome as a "setback" or "loss" for Pope Francis -- even a "rebuke" to him.
Analysis: The Vatican summit on the challenges of family life wrapped without reaching a consensus on hot-button topics. Where does that leave Francis' papacy and the church?
A midpoint report from this month's Synod of Bishops reveals that Catholic leaders are considering more conciliatory language toward gays and lesbians, divorced and remarried Catholics, and couples who live together before getting married.
Meeting with nearly 200 senior prelates and several dozen lay experts and observers at the Vatican, Pope Francis has deliberately engineered a lively discussion of issues concerning marriage and family life. This assembly, and a follow-up summit in 2015, will help shape the pontiff's legacy.