Nicole Winfield - Associated PressSamya Kullab, Associated Press
The Vatican on Monday released the itinerary of Francis’ March 5-8 visit to Iraq, his first foreign trip since being grounded for 16 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, right, and Gov. Gavin Newsom tour the mass Covid-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Jan. 15. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool, File)
Politics & SocietyDispatches
Jim McDermott
Age-based, “first come, first serve” strategies appear impartial, but statistics indicate that everyone is not the same.
Tom Tracy - Catholic News Service
U.S. dioceses are crying foul over an investigative report on coronavirus relief funding they say grossly mischaracterized the Catholic Church’s finances and unrestricted cash flows, leaving the crass impression the church used the 2020 CARES Act to hoard cash.
Carol Zimmermann - Catholic News Service
Catholic school enrollment figures for the current school year—significantly impacted by the pandemic—dropped 6.4% or more than 111,000 students from the previous school year, which is the largest single year decline in almost 50 years.
Junno Arocho Esteves - Catholic News Service
“2021 is a time that must not be wasted,” Pope Francis said during his annual meeting with diplomats accredited to the Holy See. “I am convinced that fraternity is the true cure for the pandemic and the many evils that have affected us.”
FaithVatican Dispatch
Gerard O’Connell
Pope Francis today expressed his “live concern” at the recent developments in Myanmar where the military has seized power, overthrowing the results of the recent election.
FaithVatican Dispatch
Gerard O’Connell
Breaking with tradition and opening a new door in the synodal process, Pope Francis has appointed a woman, Sister Nathalie Becquart, as one of two new undersecretaries of the synod of bishops.
Arts & CultureFilm
Joseph McAuley
“The Scarlet and The Black,” available on Amazon Prime, tells the story of an Irish priest, Msgr. Hugh O’Flaherty, who was in the Vatican diplomatic service in World War II.
Politics & SocietyDispatches
Molly Cahill
Virginia is on its way to becoming the 23rd state to abolish the death penalty and, significantly, the first formerly Confederate state to achieve abolition.
Politics & SocietyShort Take
Zac Davis
And in the midst of the pandemic chaos, we have become fixated on figuring out who are the deserving.
Arts & CultureFilm
John Anderson
“Saint Maud” is the latest entrant in the religious-obsessives-are-the-craziest-people movie catalogue.
Arts & CultureFilm
Ryan Di Corpo
“News of the World” succeeds in marrying the classic action-adventure conventions of the American Western with a deeper, human story about the ties that bind us, even in the midst of persistent unrest.
FaithCatholic News Quiz
America Staff
How closely did you follow the news this week? Take our Catholic news quiz and find out.
James T. Keane
No matter how many times you hear it described thus—jokingly or not—an annulment is not just “Catholic divorce.” Church teaching is not that the marriage in question failed, but that the marriage never existed in a sacramental sense.
America Video

Prayer may seem complicated or frightening, but anyone can pray! James Martin, SJ, shares some useful definitions of what prayer is and what we can learn from each of them.

Politics & SocietyEditorials
The Editors
Joe Biden has signed eight executive orders related to immigration in his first two weeks in office. These measures are important first steps, but immigration reform must move beyond executive orders.
Politics & SocietyNews
Rhina Guidos - Catholic News Service
In November, incoming U.S. President Joe Biden said at a Jesuit Refugee Service event that he would be heading in a dramatically different direction than the previous administration on refugee admissions.
FaithShort Take
Thomas J. Reese
While it is true that conflict exists between the U.S. bishops and the Biden administration, ignoring the areas of agreement is ignoring the facts. It is bad for the administration, bad for the bishops and bad for the country.
Whether you are an agnostic seeker who’s curious about the whole “prayer” thing or a seasoned Catholic looking to deepen your relationship with God, James Martin, S.J., has a book for you—and everyone else.
FaithVatican Dispatch
Gerard O’Connell
The head of the Catholic Church and the head of Al-Azhar gave the world yet another powerful witness of their friendship and commitment to work together for peace among the nations.