George Conger writes a somewhat critical piece about Pope Francis' interviews since his election.
The number of Catholics in the world and the number of priests, permanent deacons and religious men all increased in 2012, while the number of women in religious orders continued to decline, according to Vatican statistics.
The number of candidates for the priesthood also showed its first global downturn in recent years.
The statistics come from a recently published Statistical Yearbook of the Church, which reported worldwide church figures as of Dec. 31, 2012.
A handful of U.S. bishops have released some results of public responses to a survey for the Vatican.
Citing the words of Pope Francis, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver told the Diocese of Pueblo's newly ordained Bishop Stephen J. Berg that bishops and priests are shepherds who "should take on the smell of the sheep."
The archbishop also called on Berg during his episcopal ordination Feb. 27 as the fifth bishop of Pueblo to help the faithful accept the teachings of Jesus in a time when people readily turn away from God.
What is a pope to do? That's the question raised by a story Monday in The Washington Post that highlighted a worldwide poll of Catholics. It shows that the faithful around the world (in general -- not everywhere on all issues) are much more progressive than the Vatican on selected issues.
We say: A shift in demographics, including drops in the number of priests, is changing the face of U.S. Catholicism.
All Things Catholic: After you’ve been in the Vaticanology business for a while, it’s hard to be surprised by the occasionally tone-deaf questions people ask.
Amid the scramble to gather new data ahead of next October's synod on the family, a question arises: Will the Vatican take into account outside research?