Megachurch leader Ulf Ekman of the Word of Life ministry in Sweden has announced that he and his wife Birgitta have converted to Roman Catholicism. The announcement, according to reports, has left some in his congregation "partially stunned."
In his explanation onhis website, Ekman says the conversations he and Birgitta had with Catholics challenged their "protestant prejudices" and led them to the realization that they "in many cases did not have any basis for our criticism of them."
"We needed to know the Catholic faith better. This led us to … realize that it was actually Jesus Christ who led us to unite with the Catholic Church," the pastor stated. more >>
Lawmakers in Crimea sent Ukraine and the international community into a tizzy Thursday when they voted in favor of leaving Ukraine for Russia and will put the decision to a vote in 10 days. Ukraine, however, has declared that will not happen.
"Crimea was, is and will be an integral part of Ukraine," said Ukrainian Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in a CNN report Thursday after calling the referendum "an illegitimate decision."
In a statement on the crisis Thursday, President Barack Obama said Russia's actions in Ukraine was a "violation of international law" and "the resolve of the United States and our allies and the international community will remain firm." more >>
WASHINGTON – Experts denounced the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child's recent report in which it suggested the Catholic Church alter its positions on fornication, contraception, homosexuality, and abortion. The report, they said, is an attack on the Catholic Church and an overreach of U.N. power.
While the committee's report emphasized the Catholic Church's clerical sexual abuse scandals, it also called on the Vatican state to alter its positions on other, unconnected moral issues. The Geneva report criticized the Vatican's opposition to contraception, homosexuality, and abortion in cases of child rape and incest.
Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), called the panel's report "a dagger to the heart of motherhood," and denounced it as an overreach of U.N. power. "A treaty-monitoring organization has told a religion to change its teaching on fundamental issues," Ruse declared at a Family Research Council panel on Wednesday. more >>
While affirming traditional marriage, Pope Francis said the Roman Catholic Church may be open to supporting certain cases of civil unions, particularly when it involves benefits such as healthcare. He made the comments in an extensive new interview with an Italian newspaper on Wednesday.
"Matrimony is between a man and a woman," the pope said in an article by the Corriere della Sera, translated by Catholic News Service, but added that "diverse situations of cohabitation [are] driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care."
"It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety," the Vatican leader added. more >>
A once outspoken Christian athlete now says he finds himself happier without his faith.
Former British Track and Field athlete Jonathan Edwards, who famously drew attention to his religious convictions when he refused to compete in a World Championship qualifying event in 1991 because it was on a Sunday, told the Daily Mirror last week that life without God was fine.
"I am happy," Edwards said. "And actually it's fine. I don't miss my faith. In many ways I feel more settled and happier in myself without it. I don't know if that is related to losing my faith or would have been the case anyway, but it's a non-issue as far as I am concerned." more >>
Say it ain't so, Pope Francis!
While delivering his weekly Sunday homily, the leader of the Roman Catholic accidentally uttered the Italian equivalent of the F-word.
The Pope inadvertently confused the Italian word "caso," which can mean a case or example, with the swear word "cazzo," though he hardly let it rattle him as he made his way through his sermon. more >>