- June 27, 2016
Despite having been carjacked twice and caught up in a gun battle over the last two years alone, Brazilian Cardinal Orani João Tempesta decided to spend his birthday on June 22 with the homeless of Rio de Janeiro, offering clothes, blankets, milk and coffee.
While Pope Francis' recent statement that the Church should apologize to gays who have been offended is a good step, that rhetoric needs to be followed with substantive change, and for many gays that still seems a distant hope.
Amid contrasting interpretations of what Pope Francis said recently about making an apology to gays, what he seems to be advocating is not questioning doctrine, but rather encountering people in a more understandable and welcoming way.
In his last audience before a reduced summer schedule, Pope Francis insisted that mercy is not an abstract concept but a way of life, one that demands Christians to ask if they place the needs of others before their own, including the hungry, the sick, prisoners and the unemployed.
Eastern and Western Christianity have been divided for a millennium, and although in recent decades both Catholic and Orthodox leaders have made closer ties a priority, some serious issues still remain — including, in the first place, the role and the authority of the pope.
Although Pope Francis has had plenty to say about the Holocaust over the years, when he visits Auschwitz in late July, he says “I would like to go to that place of horror without speeches, without crowds … and may the Lord give me the grace to cry.”
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the shooting death of a priest of the Coptic Church, a branch of Orthodoxy that’s the largest Christian community in Egypt, claiming that the 46-year-old cleric was guilty of “combating Islam,” and in separate incident a bombing attack left a policeman dead.
Catholic leaders in California say a new bill that would bar colleges receiving state funding from making employment, student housing, admission and other decisions on the basis of gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation, amounts to a restriction of religious freedom.
New Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis Bernard Hebda, who took over amid a sexual abuse scandal, said the experience of being in Rome with Pope Francis for the June 29 Pallium Mass provided “reassurance” in dealing with anxiety about the assignment.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s first abortion ruling in almost a decade, pro-lifers say the setback illustrates that the battle must be fought not only at the level of litigation and legislation, but also changing hearts and minds to build a “culture of life.”
Martyred while saying Mass in 1980 and politically controversial in his day, Blessed Oscar Romero is one of 14 “witnesses to freedom” in the U.S. bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom” campaign this year, and his relics will be on display July 1 in Los Angeles.
Pope Francis aspires to be the “chairman of the board” for religious moderates around the world, and two recent bits of blowback from hardliners within both Hinduism and Islam could be taken to suggest that he’s getting through.READ MORE
A group of priests made up of clergy who work in the “villas miserias,” or “villas of misery,” in the Argentine capital, have issued a petition defending Pope Francis against what it terms a “brutal campaign against him with attacks of every kind.”READ MORE
Although Pope Francis has had plenty to say about the Holocaust over the years, when he visits Auschwitz in late July, he says “I would like to go to that place of horror without speeches, without crowds … and may the Lord give me the grace to cry.”READ MORE
The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to take up the case of a Washington state pharmacy required to stock emergency contraception such as Plan B despite the objections of the owners and pharmacists is, as Justice Samuel Alito put it, an “ominous sign” about religious freedom.READ MORE
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the shooting death of a priest of the Coptic Church, a branch of Orthodoxy that’s the largest Christian community in Egypt, claiming that the 46-year-old cleric was guilty of “combating Islam,” and in separate incident a bombing attack left a policeman dead.READ MORE
Cultural critic Mary Eberstadt says, “The kind of ridicule we see aimed at Christianity today, especially in popular entertainment, is nothing new. There’s a pretty straight line from Voltaire’s Candide, say, to The Book of Mormon and other modern fare that exploits religious faith for laughs.”READ MORE