Late Pope Benedict remembered on first anniversary of his death

As an expression of ongoing affection and gratitude for the late Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis led tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square in a round of applause for his predecessor on the first anniversary of his death.

God's Word on Sunday: Things will work out on God’s timeline, not ours

Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (Year B) Dec. 31 (Genesis 15:1-6; 17:3b-5, 15-16; 21:1-7; Psalm 105; Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19; Luke 2:22-40)

Abraham and Sarah had staked their entire lives on God’s promise. They left their native land for a destination unknown. God promised Abraham that in return for his trust and obedience, God would make him the father of a great nation. Having offspring was extremely important in ancient Israel. To die childless was to be snuffed out forever, for one’s name lived on only through descendants.

Vatican to publish 'private' homilies of late Pope Benedict

The Vatican publishing house announced it will release a book of some 130 homilies given by the late Pope Benedict XVI at private Sunday Masses -- 30 given while he was pope and more than 100 given to members of his household once he retired.

Pope Francis' Christmas message: Say 'yes' to the Prince of Peace, 'no' to war

Celebrating the birth of Jesus, the prince of peace, should mean making a commitment to opposing all war, to cherishing human life, feeding the hungry and speaking up for those who have no voice, Pope Francis said.

God's Word on Sunday: In God’s house, loyalty is unwavering

Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B) Dec. 24 (2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-2, 14a, 16; Psalm 69; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38)

Does God need a house? Apparently not, for David’s plan to build one for God was emphatically rejected by God. It was something God neither expected nor requested. Instead, God called to mind the many blessings that had already been given to David — security, defeat of enemies, the throne of Israel, as well as peace and prosperity. God then turned the tables on David, vowing to make him a house in a much broader and deeper sense — an enduring relationship with all of David’s descendants.

Doctrinal dicastery explains how, when gay couples can be blessed

A Catholic priest can bless a gay or other unmarried couple as long as it is not a formal liturgical blessing and does not give the impression that the Catholic Church is blessing the union as if it were a marriage, the Vatican doctrinal office said.

Cardinal Becciu, five others sentenced to prison at Vatican trial

The Vatican City State criminal court sentenced Cardinal Angelo Becciu to five years and six months in prison on two counts of embezzlement and one of aggravated fraud but found him not guilty of abuse of office or witness tampering.

God's Word on Sunday: The good news is meant for all on Earth

Third Sunday of Advent (Year B) Dec. 17 (Isaiah 61:1-3a, 10-11; Luke 1; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28)

What does a message from God sound like? Isaiah sets the tone for the divine revelation and visitation that is repeated by Jesus in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Luke. A message from God is good news and the source of joy. Good news for whom? For those most in need of it — the poor, the broken-hearted, the downtrodden and for those who are oppressed or lacking freedom. Missing from the list are the high and mighty, the arrogant, the violent and those who perpetrate the injustice and oppression present in our world.

Christmas light shines amidst the suffering

Every year, the Church’s celebration of the last Sunday of the liturgical year (the Solemnity of Christ the King) points to the coming of a new liturgical year and a new beginning — the season of Advent.

Pope Francis plans to be buried outside the Vatican, is simplifying papal funeral rites

Pope Francis said he has decided to be buried in Rome's Basilica of St. Mary Major instead of in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican and that he has simplified the rites for a papal funeral.

Synod council to ask Pope Francis to authorize studies on key synod topics

The council of the Synod of Bishops will ask Pope Francis to authorize studies on the need to update canon law, revise the rules for priestly formation, deepen a theological reflection on the diaconate -- including the possibility of ordaining women deacons -- and consider revising a document that provides norms for the relationship of a bishop with members of religious orders in his diocese.