Pope Francis has acknowledged that celibacy is one of the challenges of the Catholic Church in the 21st century.
Pope Francis recently acknowledged that the Catholic Church is struggling to recruit new priests, endangering its very future. Why don't people want to join the clergy?
Archbishop Philip Wilson leaves Newcastle Local Court after being found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse.
The finding in the Newcastle Local Court will have huge implications for the Catholic church and other institutions worldwide.
The abyss of hell.
The meaning of hell might have changed over the centuries, but for devout Christians it remains a core part of their faith.
Pope Francis will not ordain women to priesthood.
L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo Via AP
The Catholic Church has historically been unwilling to extend full priesthood to women. However, Pope Francis could take the lead in ordaining women to become deacons, a scholar says.
Practices for a redress scheme should follow what the royal commission did when working with survivors.
There are considerable political and policy hurdles ahead if Australia is to move toward a national redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse.
Cardinal Bernard Law in Rome in 2011.
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
The passing of Cardinal Bernard Law is another moment to revisit the issue of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and why it remains a challenge.
The royal commission has presented a socially and historically contextualised understanding of child sexual abuse.
By placing institutional abuse within its larger context, the royal commission has made the prevention and identification of child sex offending a collective responsibility.
In light of the church’s catastrophic failures of care, documented in this report, its survival as a public institution is dependent on responding adequately to this historic commission.
The commission's final report revealed the staggering scale and nature of abuse uncovered in Catholic institutions.
Immaculate Heart College Art Department c. 1955.
Photograph by Fred Swartz. Image courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles.
In the '60s, a Roman Catholic religious order, the Immaculate Heart Sisters, created a new vision of a religious community. Meghan Markle, engaged to Prince Harry, attended the high school founded by the nuns.
Detail of figures from the Dance Macabre, Meslay-le-Grenet, from late 15th-century France.
For medieval cultures, the dying process and death itself was a 'transition,' not a rupture.
Halloween parade in New York.
AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
Everything you need to know about the history of Halloween.
Luther’s 95 Theses.
Ferdinand Pauwels, via Wikimedia Commons
On the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, two scholars explain how Luther's personal and spiritual life contributed to his success.
The world's major religions are concerned about moral behavior. What is the relationship between religious commitment and morality?
Religious organisations have freedom under Australian law to practise their own doctrines and marriage rituals.
Even if secular law changes to allow same-sex couples to marry, churches are protected by religious freedom to choose who they will - or will not - marry.
As the marriage equality debate heats up, some Christian groups are depicting themselves as potential victims of discrimination.
In the marriage equality debate, those who once fought against protections for religious freedom are suddenly all for it.
Pope Francis at the end of a canonization ceremony for Mother Teresa.
A scholar explains the long process to sainthood and what Pope Francis' recent order might change.
A worshipper receives Communion.
Amr Nabil/AP Photo
The Catholic Church prohibits the use of gluten-free bread for Communion. The reasons lie in the challenges faced by the Catholic Church in the past.
Archbishop of Granada Francisco Javier Martinez and priests prostrate in front of the altar to seek pardon for sexual abuse in the Church at the cathedral in Granada, southern Spain, Nov. 23, 2014.
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.
Anthony Foster famously took on Cardinal George Pell on a number of occasions.
Anthony Foster's attention to detail and his clarity about the evil perpetrated in the systematic institutional abuse of children was often the object of media analysis.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu has been criticised for turning the country into a dictatorship.
The world's media, which has in the past found Zambia uninteresting, are suddenly paying more attention to the impoverished nation, for all the wrong reasons.