Catholic Church

Culture
1:32 pm
Sat October 18, 2014

Vatican Bishops Scrap Opening To Gays, Divorced Members

Pope Francis opens the morning session of a two-week synod on family issues at the Vatican, on Saturday.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 2:49 pm

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

A synod of Catholic bishops gathered at the Vatican has decided to eliminate a landmark opening to gays that had appeared in an interim summary of discussions made public earlier this week that had appeared to signal a possible shift in the tone of the church.

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Culture
5:13 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

In 'Season Of Mercy,' Will Vatican Rethink Communion For Divorcees?

Faithful hold candles during a vigil prayer in preparation for the synod on the family on Oct. 4, at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 8:58 am

Some 200 bishops from around the world are gathered at the Vatican for a two-week assembly to discuss issues related to the family, including artificial contraception, premarital sex and ministering gay unions.

But one of the most controversial is a proposal to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion — taboo in church doctrine for 2,000 years.

In February, Pope Francis tapped one of his favorite theologians, German Cardinal Walter Kasper, to address a meeting of all the cardinals.

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Culture
9:36 am
Sun October 5, 2014

Vatican Synod Tests The Pope's Vision Of A More Merciful Church

Archbisop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan (left) attends the Opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday in Vatican City. The two-week conference will discuss family issues, including controversial topics like divorce and contraception.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 5, 2014 12:51 pm

Pope Francis has summoned bishops from all over the world to Rome to discuss issues concerning families – including hot-button issues like artificial contraception and gay civil unions.

The meeting, called a synod, opened on Sunday and is seen as a test of Francis' vision of a more merciful Church.

Not since the landmark Second Vatican Council half a century ago has a church meeting raised so much hope among progressive Catholics — and so much apprehension among conservatives.

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Education
3:58 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Morals Clauses Prove Controversial For Catholic School Teachers

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 6:28 pm

Catholic schools across the U.S. are requiring teachers to sign morality clauses, which have gotten some educators fired for marrying same-sex partners. It's seen as a pushback among local church dioceses against changing state laws. As Sandhya Dirks of KALW reports, some parents are protesting the new requirements with threats to pull their students out of school.

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Culture
2:38 am
Thu March 13, 2014

One Year Later, 'A Pope For All' Keeps Catholics Guessing

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican last month.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 10:21 am

A year ago today, the world's 1.2 billion Catholics got their first Jesuit pope and the first from the global south. Taking the name Francis, he soon became one of the world's most popular newsmakers.

Following two doctrinally conservative leaders, the Argentine-born pope's pastoral approach has given the Catholic Church a new glow — less judgmental, more merciful.

Like many others in the big Sunday crowd in St. Peter's square, Sally Wilson is not Catholic, but she came all the way from Beaumont, Texas, to see the pope.

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Culture
8:47 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Pope Welcomes New Cardinals, Many From Developing World

Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday. The pope created 19 new cardinals in a ceremony Saturday in St Peter's Basilica.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 2:43 pm

In a solemn ceremony at the Vatican, Pope Francis on Saturday bestowed red hats on his first batch of cardinals.

Ten of the 19 new princes of the church come from outside Europe, including some of the poorest countries in the world.

Their selection is a sign that the reforms Francis is introducing include a restructuring of how the Catholic Church will be governed.

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Culture
4:07 am
Thu January 23, 2014

A Different Kind Of Catholicism Grows In Latino Communities

Worshippers are brought to tears at the Wednesday night Charismatic prayer meetings at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in the Bronx, New York City.
Marlon Bishop Latino USA

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:48 pm

In the Saint Anthony of Padua Church in the Bronx, Wednesday night is prayer meeting night.

Fifty people gather in the spare assembly room for a ceremony that looks very different from a Catholic Sunday Mass.

For one thing, the service is led by a woman rather than a male priest. She preaches excitedly while a rock band of young Salvadoran immigrants backs her up.

Some people in the audience hold up their hands; others are swaying gently. There are tears in the crowd.

Suddenly, the woman stops speaking in Spanish and begins speaking in tongues.

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Culture
8:53 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Vatican Comes Under U.N. Scrutiny Over Priest Abuse Scandal

A light fog engulfs St. Peter's Basilica's dome at the Vatican on Saturday. The Vatican came in for tough public scrutiny over its handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal at a U.N. hearing in Geneva on Thursday.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 12:42 pm

The Vatican came in for tough public scrutiny over its handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal at a United Nations hearing Thursday in Geneva.

The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child took church officials to task during what The Associated Press described as a "grilling" that insisted the Holy See "take all appropriate measures to keep children out of harm."

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Culture
10:52 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Pope Calls Abortion Evidence Of 'The Throwaway Culture'

Pope Francis received applause from hundreds of worldwide ambassadors to the Holy See on Monday as he entered a huge hall in Vatican City.
Osservatore Romano Press Office EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:28 pm

Pope Francis, criticized by some conservative Catholics as not speaking out forcefully against abortion, said Monday that the practice is "horrific" and evidence of "the throwaway culture."

In an annual speech known as the pontiff's "State of the World" address, Francis told diplomats and journalists gathered at the Holy See that it "is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."

Hunger, he said, is a threat to world peace, noting that food, like human life, is being discarded as unnecessary.

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Culture
11:54 am
Sat January 11, 2014

The Church Bathroom That Stood As A Monument To A Segregated Past

The old bathroom building behind Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in rural Vacherie, La. The structure was demolished in October.
Pam Folse Our Lady of Peace

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 11:53 am

The old bathroom building behind Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in rural Vacherie, La., was little more than a shack. Hurricane Rita almost knocked it down in 2005. It finally got bulldozed in October.

Some members of the parish say that was long overdue.

When the bathroom building went up in 1959, one set of doors was painted white; the others were a different color. Ushers would follow black parishioners outside to make sure they entered the correct door.

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