Britain is now grieving after Stephen Sutton, a brave teenager who used his terminal bowel cancer diagnosis to inspire people from across the world to donate more than $6 million to the local Teenage Cancer Trust, died from his disease Wednesday.
"My heart is bursting with pride but breaking with pain for my courageous, selfless, inspirational son who passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning, Wednesday 14th May," wrote Stephen's mother, Jane, in a message posted on a Facebook page dedicated to Stephen with more than a million fans.
"The ongoing support and outpouring of love for Stephen will help greatly at this difficult time, in the same way as it helped Stephen throughout his journey. We all know he will never be forgotten, his spirit will live on, in all that he achieved and shared with so many," she said. more >>
Pope Francis said that people cannot be Christians without the Church, explaining that Christian identity is rooted in it and that believers cannot stand alone.
"Our Christian identity is belonging to a people: the Church. Without this, we are not Christians. We entered the Church through baptism: there we are Christians," Francis said during Mass on Thursday, Vatican Radio reported.
"A Christian without a church is something purely idealistic, it is not real," the Roman Catholic Church leader argued. more >>
The Russian Orthodox Church and several politicians have strongly condemned last week's Eurovision winner, a bearded Austrian cross-dresser who promotes gay rights, and have suggested that they will create their own pop competition.
"The last Eurovision contest's results exhausted our patience," Communist Party deputy Valery Rashkin said about the winner of Europe's top pop competition, 25-year-old Conchita Wurst.
"We must leave this competition. We cannot tolerate this endless madness." more >>
At least 232 people are dead following a major explosion at a coal mine in western Turkey, with close to 200 people reportedly trapped by fire two-thirds of a mile underground.
"We are heading towards this accident likely being the deadliest ever in Turkey," Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said at the scene in Soma, which is 298 miles southwest of Istanbul, Reuters reported.
According to CNN, the explosion was caused by a transformer which blew up on Tuesday, creating a fire that was still raging on Wednesday, preventing rescue workers from reaching the miners trapped deep underground. more >>
In a recent audition for "Britain's Got Talent," the musical duo Charlie Lenehan, 15, and Leondre Devries, 13, who call themselves Bars & Melody, delivered a performance so moving it forced the notoriously tough show judge Simon Cowell to give them his Golden Buzzer – a decision that sent them straight to the semi-finals regardless of what the other judges think.
The teens combined their rap and singing talent to deliver a powerful anti-bullying message that was inspired in part by personal experience.
"I started rapping because I was having a hard time in primary school. I was getting bullied," Leondre said in a clip of the performance on YouTube that had been viewed more than seven million times as of Wednesday morning. "When I used to be down in the dumps, I used to write my raps. I could express myself through what I was writing down." more >>
Pope Francis spent some time during Mass at the Vatican on Monday talking about alien life forms, and suggested that Martians, should they ever visit Earth, would be welcome to be baptized as well.
"If – for example – tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here ... Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them ... And one says, 'But I want to be baptized!' What would happen?" the Roman Catholic Church leader theorized, as reported by Vatican Radio.
In his speech focused on the question "Who are we to close the doors to the Holy Spirit?" he said that baptism is open to everyone, and reminded the audience of the words of Peter: more >>