Pope Francis delivering his blessing during the Angelus noon prayer, from the chapel of the hotel at the Vatican grounds where he lives on Nov. 26, 2023. Photograph by VATICAN MEDIA / Catholic Press Photo via Reuters.

Hundreds of Catholic institutions around the globe have announced plans to divest their finances of oil, gas, and coal to help fight climate change since Pope Francis published his landmark encyclical on environmental stewardship in 2015 urging a break with fossil fuels.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter dance at the inaugural ball in Washington, D.C., Jan. 1977. Marion S. Trikosko/White House Photo/Library of Congress/Handout via REUTERS

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter, who President Jimmy Carter called “an extension of myself” owing to his wife’s prominent role in his administration even as she tirelessly promoted the cause of mental health, died on Sunday at age 96, the Carter Center said.

Pope Francis wears white robe and stands in an open car surrounded by a crowd.

Pope Francis greets the faithful from his Popemobile ahead of a large mass in Marseille, France, on Sept. 23, 2023. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

The Vatican on Wednesday signed an agreement with German carmaker Volkswagen to replace the city-state’s entire car fleet with electric vehicles by 2030.

Hong Kong's cardinal Stephen Chow holds a Mass in Hong Kong, China November 4, 2023. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

The visit is the first trip by a mainland Chinese bishop since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997 and follows a landmark visit to the Chinese capital by his Hong Kong counterpart in April. For decades mainland Catholics have been split between an official church loyal to Beijing and an underground flock loyal to the Pope and the visit by Bishop Joseph Li will be closely watched given lingering tensions between China and the Vatican.

Argentine Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, who signed the Dicastery of the Doctrine of Faith’s document regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion in marriage and baptism sacraments, poses as he meets with relatives and friends during a courtesy visit following his appointment by the Pope Francis, during a Consistory ceremony for the creation of 21 new cardinals on Sept. 30, 2023 at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. Photo by Eric Vandeville/ABACAPRESS.COM via Reuters.

Transgender people can be godparents at Roman Catholic baptisms, witnesses at religious weddings, and receive baptism themselves, the Vatican’s doctrinal office said on Wednesday, responding to questions from a bishop.

Bekah McNeel 11-08-2023

Supporters react to the passage of Ohio Issue 1, a ballot measure to amend the state constitution and establish a right to abortion, at an election night party hosted by the Hamilton County Democratic Party at Knox Joseph Distillery in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov. 7, 2023. Kareem Elgazzar/USA Today Network via REUTERS.

Voters approved an amendment to add abortion rights to the state constitution by a wide margin (more than 56 percent voted for the ammendment and 43 percent voted against, with 99 percent of the vote counted according to CBS News), ending a tumultuous year of uncertainty over the future of legal abortion in the state.

Catholic and Christian activists call for a cease-fire outside the White House in Washington, D.C., during a “pray-in” on Nov. 2, 2023. Juliann Ventura/Medill News Service for Sojourners

Fifty protesters gathered for a “pray-in” in Lafayette Square on Thursday afternoon, holding signs directly facing the White House that said, “Catholics say ceasefire now.”

Rebecca Randall 11-02-2023

In the early 1970s, Francine Gurtler entered St. Faith’s Home for Unwed Mothers at the age of 14. St. Faith’s was located next door to Christ’s Church San Marco in Tarrytown, N.Y., and operated within the New York Diocese of the Episcopal Church. It transitioned into a children’s home in 1973 and is pictured here in the 1980s. Courtesy the Westchester County Historical Society.

The Episcopal Church’s executive council voted to form a committee to investigate the church’s involvement with forced adoptions that occurred between the 1940s and ’70s.

Elleiana Green 10-26-2023

(L-R) David Curry, president and CEO of Global Christian Relief, Eric Patterson president of Religious Freedom Institute, Meaghan Mobbs senior fellow with Independent Women’s Forum, and Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Commission for Religious Liberty speak before a House committee meeting on Oct. 25, 2023. Courtesy BJC. 

Democratic and Republican lawmakers at a recent House hearing vowed to uphold religious freedom — yet disagreed about the biggest threats and whether that work should start at home or abroad.

Bekah McNeel 10-19-2023

Representative Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) delivers remarks to a World AIDS Day event hosted by the Business Council for International Understanding in Washington, D.C, Dec. 2, 2022. In response to the 2023 threats to the program’s funding, Lee told Sojourners: “PEPFAR is the most successful foreign assistance program in history—failing to renew it would be devastating for millions ... We have a moral imperative to get this done and keep saving lives.” REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Over the past two decades, the United States has saved millions of lives by investing $110 billion in the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which aims to end the AIDS crisis by 2030. More than 25 million lives have been saved since PEPFAR launched in 2003, and 5.5 million babies who would have been born with HIV were born virus-free.

Rebecca Randall 10-16-2023

A collage of photos made by Tiarra Lucas/Sojourners. In center, Karen Wilson-Buterbaugh with her daughter at the Florence Crittenton Home in Washington, D.C., ten days after she was born on July  22, 1966. Courtesy Karen Wilson-Buterbaugh. Upper- and Bottom-left, photos of several babies in maternity homes (location unknown). Courtesy the Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries. Background image, St. Faith’s House, in New York, in 1983. Courtesy Westchester County Historical Society.

When Francine Gurtler gave birth at age 15, she felt like she lost her voice. Gurtler lived at an Episcopal home for unwed mothers and said the workers of the home coerced her into placing her baby for adoption. “They literally took him from my arms,” she said. The adoption record notes she was “tearful,” but Gurtler said, “I was sobbing, hysterically, uncontrollably, on the ground begging the social worker to let me keep my baby.”

Betsy Shirley 10-11-2023

Palestinians stand on the rubble near a damaged house, following Israeli strikes, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip Oct. 11, 2023. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Christians around the world called attention to the context of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, especially the Gaza Strip, even as they condemned Hamas’ actions and called for ceasefires and a diplomatic resolution.

Mitchell Atencio 10-10-2023

Rev. Mae Elise Cannon. Graphic by Tiarra Lucas. Original photo courtesy Cannon. 

“We had a prayer meeting [Monday] morning with dozens and dozens of people from all different traditions, from bishops to people sitting in the pews,” Cannon told Sojourners. “We’ll have another prayer gathering on Wednesday morning. We’re grieving, we’re lamenting, and we’re also working really hard.”

Pope Francis speaks during the First General Congregation of the Synod at the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Oct. 4, 2023. Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

Pope Francis called for an end to attacks and violence in Israel and Gaza on Sunday, saying terrorism and war would not solve any problems, but only bring further suffering and death to innocent people.

The document, known as an apostolic exhortation, titled "Laudate Deum," written by Pope Francis, is displayed in a bookshop near the Vatican in Rome, Italy, October 4, 2023. REUTERS/Remo Casill

Pope Francis on Wednesday appealed to climate change deniers and foot-dragging politicians to have a change of heart, saying they cannot gloss over its human causes or deride scientific facts while the planet “may be nearing the breaking point.”

Peter Isely, survivor of sexual abuse, and founder of ECA (Ending Clergy Abuse) Tim Law attend a march with survivors of clergy sexual abuse and activists near the Vatican, in Rome, Sept. 27, 2023. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

A group of Catholic Church abuse victims and their advocates on Wednesday called on Pope Francis to enforce “zero tolerance” against clerical sex abuse, after completing a six-day pilgrimage to Rome carrying a large wooden cross.

Pastoral advisor Manfred Becker-Irrnen speaks during his sermon at the “Blessing for All” service at Cologne Cathedral. Several hundred people celebrated a blessing service also for same-sex couples in front of Cologne Cathedral. Sascha Thelen/dpa via Reuters Connect.

Eight Catholic priests held a ceremony blessing same-sex couples in front of the Cologne Cathedral in western Germany on Wednesday evening, in protest against socially conservative Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, the archbishop of Cologne.

Mitchell Atencio 9-21-2023

Outtakes from the photoshoot for Rich Mullins’s debut, eponymous album. Original photos by Mark Tucker, courtesy David McCracken.

As I looked closer, I realized these weren’t just funny stories about the songwriter of “Awesome God.” Mullins wasn’t just witty among friends. He also used his humor as a tool to share his sharp criticisms, deep contemplations, and controversial ideas with largely evangelical audiences that were increasingly looking for Christian music to be a space that confirmed their assumptions.

Bekah McNeel 9-19-2023

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer smiles from behind a mock U.S. Treasury check as he holds a press conference on the expanded Child Tax Credit payments at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

During the pandemic, something peculiar happened: The child poverty rate in the U.S. fell, reaching an historic low of 5.2 percent in 2021. The decline was largely a result of the federal spending in social safety nets like Medicaid, SNAP, and the Child Tax Credit, as well as direct payments to families. Anti-poverty advocates celebrated the win.

Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis arrives to address the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee’s 2023 Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., Sept. 15, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made their cases to evangelical voters who gathered in Washington, D.C., for a pair of events on Friday, seeking an edge with a voting bloc likely to play a pivotal role in selecting a 2024 presidential nominee.