Pope Francis arrives Monday evening in Rio de Janeiro for a weeklong visit celebrating World Youth Day. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics have made the pilgrimage to see the Argentine-born pontiff, and he is expected to receive a rapturous welcome.
Still, Pope Francis's visit comes at a delicate time for the church in Brazil. Catholicism — the nation's main religion — is facing a huge challenge from evangelicals.
Two prominent Catholic groups are finding themselves, once again, on opposite sides of a key issue regarding the Affordable Care Act.
Three years ago, the Catholic Health Association, whose members run hospitals and nursing homes across the country, backed passage of the health law. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which represents the hierarchy of the church, opposed it.
Now the groups are divided over the law's requirement for most employer-based health insurance plans to provide women with birth control.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Two of the most beloved popes in recent memory - John Paul II and John XXIII - have been formally approved for sainthood. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports that in his first four months as pope, Francis has shown great personal and spiritual affinity with these two predecessors.