Catholic headlines for October 3

During the weekend trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan, Pope Francis said the two main reasons for his trip were to promote Christian unity and to appeal for the countries to live in peace and understanding.

Other highlights from the trip: On the plane back to Rome, the Holy Father said when political choice is difficult, the answer is studying the issues, praying and voting with one’s conscience. He also spoke of what it means to accompany those who identify as homosexual or transgender.

Want to know what the pope is up to this week? Here’s a sneak peek from Rome Reports.

Also, in the case of Father Jacques Hamel, the priest who was murdered in July by Islamic terrorists while celebrating Mass, Pope Francis has waived the customary five-year waiting period to begin the process of beatification.

Is Pope Francis failing? The discussion continues with Leah Libresco and Sam Sawyer, Jr.

At Crisis, Stephen M. Krason reflects on how to curtail judicial activism.

And finally — how cool is this?! — a 101-year-old woman in Brazil receives her first Communion.

Gretchen R. Crowe is editor-in-chief of OSV Newsweekly. Follow her on Twitter @GretchenOSV.