The conclave to elect the next pope will begin on Tuesday, March 12. Half of the cardinal electors gathering at the Vatican are European (52%), while 17% come from Latin America. Latin America has the largest share of the world's Catholic population (39%), while 24% of Catholics live in Europe.
U.S. Catholics see the scandal over sex abuse by clergy as the most important problem facing the church today and charitable efforts to aid the poor, feed the hungry and heal the sick as the church's most important contribution.
When Benedict XVI was elected pope in 2005, religious observance among Europeans had been in decline for decades, and he set out to stem the tide of secularization. How successful was he? Pew Research polls indicate that during his papacy, religious observance among Catholics in France, Germany, Spain and Italy remained low but fairly stable.
The Obama administration has submitted a “friend-of-the-court” brief on the legal challenge to California’s gay marriage ban, which will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26.
As the pontificate of Benedict XVI winds down, three-quarters of American Catholics express a favorable view of the pontiff. Meanwhile, most U.S. Catholics say it would be good if the next pope allows priests to marry. And fully six-in-ten say it would be good if the next pope hails from a developing region like South America, Asia or Africa.
Three-quarters express a favorable view of Pope Benedict XVI Washington, D.C. — As the pontificate of Benedict XVI winds down, many American Catholics express a desire for change, according to a new survey report by the Pew Research Center. For example, most Catholics say it would be good if the next pope allows priests to […]
Updated Feb. 15, 2013 On Feb. 14, the Illinois Senate, as expected, approved a measure that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state. The bill will move next to the Illinois House of Representatives, which is more divided on the issue. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn favors the legislation and has said he will sign it […]
Over the past century, the number of Catholics worldwide has more than tripled. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly from 1910 to 2010. As a result, Catholics have made up a remarkably stable share of all people on Earth, though their geographic distribution has changed substantially.
On Feb. 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released new rules for how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate applies to religious nonprofits, including houses of worship, schools and hospitals. Church-state law scholars Ira C. Lupu and Robert Tuttle explain the new rules and the legal arguments that religious groups might make.
The public is split on whether abortion is a critical or important issue or whether it is not that important an issue. But this masks stark differences in opinion between regular churchgoers and those who attend religious services less often.