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.
The crying of Baby Jesus is not the only cry people should hear on Christmas; many children around the world are crying because of war, maltreatment and abuse, Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis’ Christmas greeting to the Vatican bureaucracy this year was an extended warning against a host of spiritual ills to which he said Vatican officials are prone, including “spiritual Alzheimer’s,” “existential schizophrenia,” publicity-seeking, the “terrorism of gossip” and even a poor sense of humor.
The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace said acts of torture outlined in a Senate Intelligence Committee report “violated the God-given human dignity inherent in all people and were unequivocally wrong.”