Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled Wednesday that he wants to establish closer ties with North Korea in hopes of improving regional security. Leader Kim Jong Un, meanwhile, is facing a new U.N. resolution accusing his administration of crimes against humanity.
"We maintain friendly relations with one of our neighbors, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," Putin said in welcoming North Korea's new ambassador to Russia, Reuters reported.
"A further deepening of political ties and trade and economic cooperation is definitely in the interests of the peoples of both countries and ensuring regional stability and security," Putin added. more >>
Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore and megachurch pastor Rick Warren, both speaking at a Vatican conference Tuesday, warned that Christians should not succumb to the current sexual revolution or waver on the Biblical truth about sexuality and marriage.
"Western culture now celebrates casual sexuality, cohabitation, no-fault divorce, family redefinition, and abortion rights as parts of a sexual revolution that can tear down old patriarchal systems," said Moore in a prepared statement given during the "Complementarity of Man and Woman" colloquium convened by Pope Francis.
"The Sexual Revolution is not liberation at all, but simply the imposition of a different sort of patriarchy," he continued. "The Sexual Revolution empowers men to pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha-male, rooted in the values of power, prestige, and personal pleasure … We see the wreckage of sexuality as self-expression all around us, and we will see more yet. And the stakes are not merely social or cultural but profoundly spiritual." more >>
The head of the Roman Catholic Church declared during a conference on Monday that marriage is by definition a union of man and woman, defying past claims by some that the Church was considering a change in its views on same-sex unions and sexuality.
Pope Francis remarks came during an address before a Church group known as a Colloquium in which he spoke about the need for strong families and to recognize "man and woman" as the "root of marriage and family."
"It is fitting that you have gathered here in this international colloquium to explore the complementarity of man and woman," stated the pontiff. "This complementarity is at the root of marriage and family, which is the first school where we learn to appreciate our own and others' gifts, and where we begin to acquire the arts of living together." more >>
Pope Francis plans to make his first visit to the United States next September, and his itinerary will include traveling to Philadelphia for the upcoming World Meeting of Families congress. The discussion topics for the meeting are set to focus on contentious issues such as premarital sex, homosexuality, infertility and celibacy, according to the congress' meeting notes.
"I would like to confirm that, God willing, in September 2015 I will go to Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families," the pope said during his opening speech at the interreligious conference on traditional marriage at the Vatican.
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput told Catholic News Service that he was surprised at the early announcement. "You know usually they don't make these announcements. Four months out is the typical and here we are 10 months away, and the Holy Father said he is coming to Philadelphia," Chaput said. more >>
Janina Kolkiewicz stunned doctors by waking up in the morgue 11 hours after she was declared dead on Nov. 6 in Poland.
The 91-year-old woman was reported dead by Wieslawa Czyz, a physician who examined her after receiving a call from her family. She reported finding "no basic life functions" during the examination, which included checking for a pulse and checking Kolkiewicz's pupils for dilation, but the patient showed no signs of vitality.
"If I had had doubts, I would have called the ambulance, done an electrocardiogram, but I was sure that the patient is dead," Czyz told the Associated Press. more >>
Euthanasia does not reflect dignity but is, in fact, a sin against God and creation and a "false sense of compassion," Pope Francis said Saturday, denouncing the right-to-die movement. The pontiff also rejected abortion, in vitro fertilization and embryonic stem cell research.
"We're are living in a time of experimentation with life. But a bad experiment… (we're) playing with life," he said, addressing about 4,000 doctors from the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors in the Vatican, according to Catholic News Agency.
"Be careful, because this is a sin against the Creator: against God the Creator," the pope said, adding that the assisted suicide movement can be attributed to a "throw-away culture" that sees the sick and elderly as a burden on society. more >>