The age-old practice of priestly celibacy is now under fire, with the suggestion that the rules should be relaxed.
Anthony Hopkins (left) as Benedict and Jonathan Pryce as Francis in The Two Popes (2019).
The new Netflix film Two Popes focuses on the different outlooks of Popes Benedict and Francis.
Pope Francis conducts the Maundy Thursday service at Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City in April 2017.
Pope Francis is gradually moving the Catholic Church away from the traditional idea of bread and wine turning into flash and blood.
Activists hold demonstrating against the church’s sacking of priests over alleged homosexuality.
Pope Francis has discouraged homosexual men from entering priesthood. Prior to the 12th century, even celebrated priests could write about same-sex desires and the church paid little attention.
Former DRC President Joseph Kabila congratulates President Felix Tshisekedi at his inauguration.
EPA-EFE/Hugh Kinsella Cunningham
The Democratic Republic of Congo's new leader Felix Tshisekedi is being undermined by the outgoing regime of Joseph Kabila.
Cardinal Pell is the most senior Catholic cleric to be charged with child sex abuse.
AP Photo/Andy Brownbill
While Pope Francis has publicly acknowledged sexual abuse by clergy, the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church still makes it difficult to report and address cases of abuse.
Metropolitan Epiphanius, head of the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which is newly independent of the Russian Orthodox Church.
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
Ukraine's Orthodox Church recently broke off from Russia. This dispute has a history that goes back to medieval Christianity, and continues to shape modern-day politics.
Catholic pronouncements about LGBTQ people can be summarized as, “It’s OK to be gay - Just don’t act on it,” a position some Catholics reject.
Using Catholic doctrine to fire LGBTQ teachers and discriminate against queer students in Catholic schools violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Elizabeth Ann Seton shrine.
Elizabeth Seton was canonized in 1975 as a saint. Charities founded by her continue her work with poor immigrants.
A woman holds up a quilt with photos of people who say they were abused as children by priests, in San Diego, 2007.
AP Photo/Denis Poroy
There is rich Catholic heritage of resistance. Catholic protesters have used powerful religious symbols, including vials of their own blood, as an extension of Christ's blood, to demand change.
A colorful Martin Luther figure, part of an exhibition in Germany, in 2017.
AP Photo/Jens Meyer
On Oct. 31, 1517, a German monk, Martin Luther, started the Protestant Reformation. Its impact went far beyond the split in the Church that most people are familiar with.
Member of the Coalition of Catholics and Survivors hold a protesting outside the Boston archbishop’s residence in 2003.
While the problem of priestly abuse might be centuries old, its modern paper trail began after World War II, when 'treatment centers' appeared for rehabilitating priests. Many were send to New Mexico.
A 2013 photo that shows people holding a quilt for victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The Second Vatican Council made many doctrinal changes possible in the Catholic Church. An expert argues why the church needs another such council.
Pennsylvania grand jury accused Cardinal Wuerl of helping to protect abusive priests when he was Pittsburgh’s bishop.
AP Photo/Kevin Wolf
While many American Catholics believe demons and exorcism to be part of a distant past, an expert explains how beliefs that sexual desires could be part of demonic temptation still persist.
Victims or their family members react to a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that identified more than 1,000 child victims of clergy sexual abuse.
In the wake of new revelations about clergy sex abuse and cover-up in Pennsylvania, civil lawsuits brought by abuse victims may be the only effective way to hold Catholic church officials accountable.
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.
Pope Francis marks the end of the Jubilee of Mercy by closing the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.
Tiziana Fabi/pool photo via AP
The pope's action is significant: It encourages priests to be more sensitive to the context of the lives of their laity.
Satirical, absurdist playwright Dario Fo dead aged 90.
Daniel Dal Zennaro/EPA
Over a lifetime's work, Dario Fo stood tall and would not bow to either artistic or political compromise.
Mother Theresa in 1991.
Mother Teresa will become a saint on Sunday, on the basis of two miracles of healing. But let's not remove our thinking caps and go all medieval: we should be wary of uncritical endorsement of claims to the miraculous.
Called a saint in her lifetime, it has not been a straightforward process to canonise Mother Teresa.