Pope Francis' first official visit to a Pentecostal church in Italy was praised by some evangelical leaders, who thanked the pope for asking for forgiveness for Roman Catholic persecution of Pentecostals in the past. The Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance, Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, in turn apologized for evangelical discrimination against Catholics.
"It is biblical and it reflects the message of Jesus…..so my hope is that this act of Pope Francis will send a strong message around the world, particularly to those countries where there are significant tensions between Catholics and Evangelicals," Tunnicliffe said regarding the pontiff's plea for forgiveness, Vatican Radio reported on Wednesday.
"But I also need to say this: I recognize that in history there have been situations where Protestants, including Evangelicals, have discriminated against Catholic Christians and I am really sorry for these kinds of actions, because while we can disagree theologically, this should never lead to discrimination or persecution of the other. more >>
Pope Francis has shared his top 10 secrets to a happy life in an interview with an Argentinean newspaper, and advised people to slow down and enjoy a "healthy sense of leisure," to take care of nature, and to respect other people's beliefs, among others.
Catholic News Service posted Pope Francis' list on Tuesday, published in part in the Argentine weekly "Viva."
The list goes as follows: more >>
Pope Francis became the first pope to make an official visit to a Pentecostal church, after he flew on Monday to speak at the Evangelical Church of Reconciliation in the southern city of Caserta, Italy. The pontiff apologized for persecution of Pentecostals the Roman Catholic Church was involved with in the past, and reached out with friendship to evangelicals.
"Among those who persecuted and denounced Pentecostals, almost as if they were crazy people trying to ruin the race, there were also Catholics," Francis said, according to The Associated Press, referring to Italy's fascist regime when the Pentecostal practice was forbidden.
"I am the pastor of Catholics, and I ask your forgiveness for those Catholic brothers and sisters who didn't know and were tempted by the devil." more >>
The recent downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine could be classified as a "war crime" due to the 298 civilians deaths of those on board the flight, a United Nations spokeswoman announced this week.
Navi Pillay, the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement from Geneva on Monday that the downing of MH17 would be investigated as a possible war crime. "This violation of international law, given the prevailing circumstances, may amount to a war crime," Pillay said.
"Every effort will be made to ensure that anyone committing serious violations of international law including war crimes will be brought to justice, no matter who they are," the commissioner added. more >>
U.S. President Barack Obama has been declared persona non grata in the small Russian republic of Chechnya.
The country's president, Ramzan Kadyrov revealed via his Instagram account that he was banning Obama from Chechnya as a result of what he calls "state terrorism" by the U.S. and EU in Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan according to The Guardian.
The list of banned officials also includes European Union officials José Manuel Barroso, Herman van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton. more >>
Thousands of people gathered in two different cities in France this past week to offer their support and opposition to Israel in its continued conflict with Hamas and the Gaza Strip.
Those supporting Israel's efforts to defend itself from Hamas rockets gathered in Marseille, located in the south of France to march on Sunday. Nearly 2,000 pro-Israel demonstrators reportedly gathered in the streets to offer their support to the Middle Eastern country; they were shielded by riot police from nearby pro-Palestine protesters.
"We are here to show our solidarity with Israel, which has been attacked and has a right to defend itself," William Labi, who leads the governing body of Marseille's Jewish congregations, told Reuters. more >>