6 things to expect in the pope’s address to Congress

WASHINGTON (RNS) Everyone wants Congress to stop fighting and get working, and that includes Pope Francis, a top adviser said Wednesday (April 29) in a preview of the pope's upcoming U.S. trip.     The Argentine-born pontiff has never been to the U.S., but he will make history in September as the first pope to address a joint meeting of the House and Senate on Capitol Hill.     “The pope will come humbly but will talk clearly,'' Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, a top adviser to Francis, told an audience at Georgetown University.     The 72-year-old cardinal, who leads Francis' nine-member advisory council of cardinals, is spending several days in Washington and offered a look inside the pope's thinking as the nation's capital readies the papal welcome mat.     The papal address to the Republican-controlled Congress is likely to be one of the most closely watched talks during the pope's weeklong visit to Washington, New York and Philadelphia this fall, especially since the presidential campaign season will be growing more intense.

Tuesday’s Religion News Roundup: “Two and a Half Hypocrisy”? Pope Benedict = Marlboro Man? Charity up, abortions down

“Two and a Half Hypocrisy”? Today’s leading religious debate focuses on comments by Angus T. Jones, teen star of the hit comedy “Two and a Half Men,” and a passionate Christian who now denounces the show as “filth” and says people should stop watching. “You cannot be a true God-fearing person and be on a television show like that,” Jones says in a video released by a California church. “I know I can’t. I’m not OK with what I’m learning, what the Bible says, and being on that television show.”

Critics note that Jones will still be making a sweet $340,000 per episode – he says he has no choice, it’s in his contract.

Convicted bishop is Catholic hierarchy’s elephant in the room

(RNS) As the nation's Catholic bishops gather in Baltimore next week, they will be facing questions about how they will cope with the re-election of President Obama. But also looming is the question of how they will deal with Bishop Robert Finn of Missouri, who in September became the first bishop found guilty of covering up for a priest suspected of child abuse. By David Gibson.