The hierarchy of the Catholic Church requires nearly absolute obedience. This makes it difficult to speak up against superiors. And by the same token, superiors too can protect offending priests.
The GOP was once the political home of anti-Catholicism. And the Vatican, it was believed, would use a Catholic president as a way to meddle in US politics.
In countries that identify predominantly as Christian, scripture and its interpretations carry serious sociopolitical weight.
What Pope Francis did in his surprise TED talk was to relate the social message of Catholicism to people’s real lives.
The Pope hasn't actually opened the door for married priests. But in rethinking celibacy, he has shown his mastery of the art of containing people without actually making big changes to the Church.
Pope Francis appears to have defended Native American protests on the North Dakota pipeline issue. Indigenous cultures have a right to defend 'their ancestral relationship to the Earth,' he said.
We are living in a world war fought piecemeal. It is everyone's responsibility to fight for peace.
The pope's action is significant: It encourages priests to be more sensitive to the context of the lives of their laity.
The two church leaders want to promote togetherness between Catholics and Anglicans, but their own churches are bitterly divided.
Islamic State lost ground, Colombia got a chance at lasting peace, and the Pope sounded a liberated note on homosexuality.
A year ago Pope Francis called for better protection for the environment. Now Catholic institutions look poised for widespread divestment from fossil fuels.
Pope Francis' mercy mission to a migrant camp in Lesbos is another effort to rescue the tarnished and failing brand of Catholicism.
As part of a collaboration between The Conversation and PBS's Point Taken, a professor from The Ohio State University examines some common misconceptions about Syrian refugees.
In his new exhortation, Pope Francis issues the Catholic Church and its followers a bold challenge: to live God's mercy more authentically.
The 'apostolic exhortation' calls for greater understanding of divorced couples, but falls short of allowing them a full life within the church.
When Pope Francis issued his unexpected on the Republican frontrunner, he did little to make the choice facing American Catholics any easier.
The Catholic church must recognise its teachings are out of step with reality if ZIka is to be prevented from taking hold in Latin America.
The pope made some waves when he used slang to reach the brothers and sisters, but something was lost in translation.
Pope Francis' new book provides an insight into the theology and life experiences underpinning his unorthodox approach to the papacy. Does his rhetoric conceal Church doctrine as hardline as ever?
Given the conservative stand of the Catholic Church on gays and lesbians, Pope Francis had a wonderful opportunity to extend his message of tolerance to both the religious and social realms.