It was a week of prayers and pleas for peace and gestures of reconciliation to all sides in the Holy Land.
After a week in Cameroon and Angola the pope said he was moved by Africa's "powerful sense of the sacred."
The Holy See has played an active global role for centuries. It has permanent observer status at the United Nations and has all the rights of full UN membership except voting.
Catholic leaders have often expressed their opposition to certain uses of science, such as anything that threatens human life. But the Church has no objection to basic scientific research itself — from it. That work is honored as trying to understand what God created — in the case of an observatory in Arizona, the entire visible universe. More
RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY profiles Peter Steinfels — Catholic, THE NEW YORK TIMES religion columnist, and author of the book A PEOPLE ADRIFT. Steinfels discusses the challenges facing the U.S. Catholic Church, from the sex abuse scandal to ordination of women, which he fears may send the church into an “irreversible decline” if they are not acted upon. More
Twelve U.S. cardinals and two bishops joined Pope John Paul II and other Vatican officials for two days of discussions about the sexual abuse crisis in the American Catholic church and possible solutions. John Paul told the group there is no place in the priesthood for those who harm the young. More