Pope says purported visions of Mary can lead people away from God

Purported visions of Mary, if taken in the wrong spirit, can sow confusion and distance people from the Gospel, Pope Francis said. Curiosities distance people "from the Gospel, from the Holy Spirit, from peace and hope, from God's glory and God's beauty," the pope said Nov. 14 during a homily at morning Mass in the Vatican guesthouse, where he lives.

Local Catholics respond to crisis in Philippines in wake of typhoon

Just days after 200-mile-an-hour winds and the enormous storm surge of Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, Catholics in Arizona reached out to offer prayerful and financial support.

Confession renews grace of baptism, pope says at audience

With baptism, Christians are cleansed of sin, but the sacrament doesn't wash away human weakness nor the obligation to ask forgiveness when they make mistakes, Pope Francis said.

Caritas Philippines leader calls typhoon devastation ‘unimaginable’

The devastation brought on by Super Typhoon Haiyan is on a scale so big it is "unimaginable," said Jesuit Father Edwin Gariguez, head of Caritas in the Philippines.

Desperate Filipinos add to challenging logistics of delivering aid

International and local groups were poised to get aid to the worst-hit areas of the typhoon-stricken central Philippines, but the challenges of getting help to communities growing desperate for food and water went beyond just making sure roads were clear.

Archbishop: DOMA ruling, ENDA passage put marriage at ‘critical point’

The Supreme Court's ruling that rendered the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, and the Senate's passage Nov. 7 of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act put the legal defense of marriage "at a critical point in this country," said the archbishop who heads the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

Catholics pray for veterans, true freedom during annual ‘Red, White and Blue’ Mass

Catholics and others with connections to the military did their best to show both their patriotism and their gratitude for the faith and other American freedoms during the third annual Red, White and Blue Mass Nov. 3.

Keeping status quo for undocumented called ‘stain on soul of nation’

Passing comprehensive immigration reform is "a matter of great moral urgency that cannot wait any longer for action," New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan told House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a Nov. 7 letter.

Vatican envoy reminds U.S. bishops: No ruling on Medjugorje apparitions

The Vatican ambassador to the United States has reminded U.S. Catholics that the Vatican has not recognized alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, as authentic.

Panelists recall lessons from last effort to fix immigration problems

The last time Congress attempted a full-blown fix of immigration law in 1986, the major accomplishments were that a few million people won legal status and some employment verification systems were created, but the legislation proved inadequate to repair systemic problems, according to panelists at a migration law and policy conference.