Underscoring the geographical diversity of his selections, Pope Francis named 15 cardinal electors “from 14 nations of every continent, showing the inseparable link between the church of Rome and the particular churches present in the world.”
The end of one calendar year and the beginning of another is the perfect occasion to reflect on how well people have used the time and gifts God has given them — especially how well people have helped the poor, Pope Francis said.
The story of the Middle East in 2014 is one of war and displacement, broken families and tireless aid workers, and the rise of a new group one scholar referred to as “al-Qaida on steroids.”
Despite the positive experiences many have had with the Affordable Care Act, it has not been without controversy.
The figures vary slightly from one study to another, but it’s clear that millions of Americans who had no health insurance in 2013 now have at least some coverage.
The $1.1 trillion federal spending bill approved by Congress avoided a repeat of last year’s government shutdown and largely kept in place social services spending, especially programs benefiting low-income families.
During the second year of his pontificate, Pope Francis was still feeling the love, and not just from Catholics or those from his homeland of Argentina.
A year ago, fresh off the November general election in which Hispanic voters were widely credited with tipping the vote to President Barack Obama, advocates were abuzz about the prospects for passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the 113th session of Congress.
When a Vatican official suggested that Pope Francis was contemplating an encyclical on the environment a year ago, he signaled that climate change and environmental degradation were such pressing concerns that the pope wanted to address them in a teaching document.
The year 2014 saw the number of U.S. states recognizing same-sex marriages nearly double over the previous year — an expansion so profound it had some clergy wondering if they should perform any civil marriages at all.