Weekly Roundup: Francis in the White House, ‘Religious Freedom,’ and overexcited nuns


Happy Friday! As always, your weekly roundup:

It's confirmed: President Barack Obama and Pope Francis will meet at the White House this fall. According to a White House statement released Thursday, the two leaders will discuss “their shared values” on issues such as “caring for the marginalized and poor,” the economy, the environment, religious freedom, and immigration.

Documents show that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who is believed to have deliberately crashed a Germanwings jet into the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 on board, had a medical condition he hid from his employer.

The nation's latest legislative battle over religious freedom and gay rights came to a close Thursday when Indiana Gov. Mike Pence privately signed a controversial "religious freedom" bill into law. His action followed two days of intense pressure from opponents who fear the measure could allow discrimination, particularly against gays and lesbians.


Chicago's Archbishop Blase Cupich broke tradition as he became the city's first archbishop to drive his own car. "I felt a little land locked, getting carted around. I'm getting to know the archdiocese better," Cupich told NBC Chicago.

The archbishop of Naples claimed that the dried blood of the city's patron saint began to turn into liquid while Pope Francis was near, Reuters reports. Faithful believe the miracle of St. Gennaro can occur three times a year on certain regular feast days if they pray enough after it is taken out of a vault and put on display.

An English cardinal urged priests to stop debating the upcoming synod on the family in the press after more than 450 priests published a letter calling on the Catholic Church to retain the prohibition on divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Communion.

The Archdiocese of Boston has taken some parishioners to court in an effort to put an end to their 10-year vigil at a closed church. The church was among dozens closed in a 2004 restructuring to address the archdiocese’s debt. A group of parishioners has been holding a nonstop vigil inside the church ever since.


A group of people suffering from homelessness were invited on a private tour of the Sistine Chapel and received a surprise Thursday: Pope Francis himself stopped by to say hello. “Welcome. This is everyone’s house, and your house. The doors are always open for all,” the pope told those gathered.

And now for papal rapid fire roundup

This week, Pope Francis:

About the author

Sarah Butler Schueller

Sarah Butler Schueller is an associate editor at U.S. Catholic.