Retired Pope Benedict XVI greets Pope Francis at the conclusion of a consistory at which Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 22. Pope Benedict's presence at the ceremony marked the first time he had joined Pope Francis for a public liturgy. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

ANALYSIS: The surprising afterlife of Pope Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY (RNS) When Pope Benedict XVI officially left the Vatican in a helicopter a year ago this week (Feb. 28), becoming the first pontiff in 600 years to resign, many in his conservative fan base were aghast, even angry. He has betrayed us, said those who thought Benedict’s papacy would be the final triumph of old-school Catholicism. He has undermined the papacy itself, they worried. Lightning even struck the cupola of St.

Workers at Southwest Creations Collaborative in Albuquerque, N.M., learn delicate sewing skills, financial literacy and English, which is partially funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development The women-owned company charges 25 cents an hour for child care. RNS file photo by Ken Touchton.

Donations recover at controversial Catholic charity

(RNS) Fundraising for the flagship anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic bishops, which has come under intense fire from conservatives and anti-abortion groups, is slowly recovering and even growing slightly after being battered by the recession and sharp attacks on its mission.

Pope Francis waves to the crowd in St. Peter's Square on Tuesday (March 19) at the Vatican. RNS photo by Andrea Sabbadini

ANALYSIS: How long will the pope’s honeymoon last?

(RNS) Since the moment of his election on March 13, Pope Francis has been warmly embraced by his own flock and even the media. But some constituencies in the church are decidedly cautious or even unhappy with Francis, and their grumbling may portend future troubles for the pope.

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Am I a “liberal?” On the responsible use of labels

Call me postmodern, but I am no fan of labels. I accept that they are often unavoidable, helpful, sometimes even necessary. Labels are printed on our food packages and sewn onto the necks of our t-shirts. They are displayed on the front of our businesses and, in some professions, attached to the end of our names like a caboose. I can’t imagine anyone would argue for getting rid of such labels.