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Mark Seitz of El Paso is the first bishop from a state along the Mexico border to head the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ migration committee in at least 20 years. With a migrant shelter literally in his backyard, and his diocese smack in the middle of the current humanitarian border crisis, Seitz hopes his experience will bring “new energy” to this church ministry. 

Many of the conservative prelates who dominate the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops were appointed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. His recent death deprives them of a symbolic figurehead but is unlikely to weaken their collective power or end the culture wars that have divided the group, experts say.

The Vatican has detailed rituals and procedures to follow when a pope dies, but it has not published such rules for a pope emeritus. As a result, official word Wednesday that the health of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had worsened prompted questions about what happens if and when he dies.

Friction has long-simmered within the global Anglican Communion over its 42 provinces’ sharp differences on whether to recognize same-sex marriage and ordain LGBTQ clergy. The divisions widened this year.

Surrounded by vineyards and filled with atmospheric wine gardens, small, tourist-friendly Würzburg (just 70 minutes by train from Frankfurt) is easy to navigate by foot or streetcar. Today, one in five of its 130,000 residents are students – making the town feel young and very alive.

With my best friend riding shotgun and my two dogs in the back seat of my Buick Encore, I made the road trip from Washington, D.C., to Chicago last month for the ordination and consecration of Paula E. Clark, the first female bishop, and first Black bishop, of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. She’s also my mom.

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Some bishops hope the new policy will be a rebuke for politicians who support abortion rights but continue to receive Communion. Here's a look at what has happened and what lies ahead.

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