ANALYSIS: Philadelphia abuse reversal conveys a painful lesson

(RNS) This week’s court decision that freed a senior cleric in Philadelphia who had been jailed for shielding an abusive priest was a symbolic setback for victims’ advocates but one with a substantial, and discouraging, message for their cause: None of the churchmen implicated in cover-ups during the worst decades of abuse will likely ever face charges.

Andrew Abela speaks during the celebration of the founding of the Catholic University of America's school of business and economics. Photo by Ed Pfueller, courtesy of The Catholic University of America

Koch brothers’ donation to Catholic University stirs protests

(RNS) Dozens of Catholic leaders are protesting the decision by Catholic University of America to accept a large donation from the foundation of Charles Koch, a billionaire industrialist who is an influential supporter of libertarian-style policies that critics say run counter to church teaching and to explicit declarations by Pope Francis.

Members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gather for Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption on Nov. 11, 2013, at the start of their annual fall meeting in Baltimore. Photo by Nancy Phelan Wiechec, courtesy Catholic News Servicevice

Catholic bishops challenged to adapt to Pope Francis’ priorities

BALTIMORE (RNS) As they began their annual fall meeting on Monday, the U.S. Catholic bishops heard a pointed challenge from Pope Francis’ personal representative to be pastors and not ideologues — the first step in what could be a laborious process to reshape the hierarchy to meet the pope’s dramatic shift in priorities.

COMMENTARY: Immigrants Are Us

WASHINGTON (RNS) Some have questioned the Catholic bishops’ involvement in the national debate over immigration, perhaps wanting the church to stay neutral. But if they did so, they’d be untrue to their roots.