WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner -- two high-profile Catholic politicians -- the visual of Pope Francis' Sept. 24 address to Congress will signal an evolving narrative.
The improbability of a pope standing before a joint meeting of Congress comes in an era of wider acceptance of the Catholic faith as it intersects with public life and U.S. politics, and indicates a comfort level between the two that wouldn't have been imaginable several decades ago, observers said.
VATICAN CITY -- Leading prayers for the safeguarding of creation, Pope Francis prayed that people would learn to contemplate God in the beauty of the universe, give thanks and protect all life.
At an evening celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the pope prayed that God would "enlighten the lords of power and money so they would not fall into indifference, but would love the common good, encourage the weak and care for the world in which we live."
VATICAN CITY -- In an extraordinary gesture for the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has extended to priests worldwide the authority to absolve women for the sin of abortion and has decreed the full validity during the year of the sacrament of confession celebrated by priests of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X.
CHICAGO -- When Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago received the pallium on his shoulders Aug. 23, he did so in a demonstration of unity that he said extended from the people in the pews to the bishops who joined him in the sanctuary to Pope Francis.
He was invested with the pallium by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, after receiving it from Pope Francis in the Vatican on June 29.
WASHINGTON -- The Gospel of St. Matthew records Christ telling His disciples that whatever they do for "the least of these," they do for Him.
One way Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington is serving Christ is by providing hot meals to homeless and other disadvantaged people every Wednesday evening outside the agency's headquarters in downtown Washington, adjacent to St. Patrick in the City Catholic Church.
The St. Maria's Meals program serves between 300 and 500 individuals, with the line beginning around 4 p.m. and wrapping around the building.