In the past year, many have noticed a "Francis effect" taking place around the world as throngs of disaffected Catholics have given the church a second look. Yet we may rightly wonder whether this is actually a double effect -- for not only are lay Catholics returning to the pews, but some clergy are feeling empowered to reach toward the ambiguous margins of modern belief.
Faith and Justice: The first synod I covered as a journalist was the 1980 Synod of Bishops on the family, which proved to be a month of fun and frustration.
Parish Diary: What does our parish do about contraception? We teach as the church teaches. Are we having any significant impact? No.
The document says the faithful's struggles in following Catholic teachings stem mainly from ineffective education and the pervasive effect of the culture.
Pope Francis signed a decree Friday recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of Pope Paul VI and authorized publication of the Oct. 19 beatification date.
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.
NCR Today: A recent poll shows that 79 percent of the world's Catholics favor contraception. What can Pope Francis do about it?