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 >>
Pope Francis recently called for a "legitimate redistribution" of wealth when meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying governments should work to end the "economy of exclusion" that plagues the poor and the middle class from rising up the economic ladder.
The pope made his comments while meeting with Ban Ki-moon and other United Nations agency heads meeting in Rome this week. He encouraged the United Nations to help the poor around the world by mobilizing a culture of generosity.
"I do not hesitate to state, as did my predecessors, that equitable economic and social progress can only be attained by joining scientific and technical abilities with an unfailing commitment to solidarity accompanied by a generous and disinterested spirit of gratuitousness at every level," Francis said. more >>
As Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Crimea for the first time since it was annexed from Ukraine amid military parades and celebrations, fears are growing that other Ukraine territories might also break away.
"I do believe that the danger of territories breaking away is very real," said Dustin Mullenix, who serves with Christian Missionary Fellowship International in Lviv, Ukraine, in an email to The Christian Post on Friday. "If they hold the referendum on Sunday as planned, and if the vote, whether legitimate or not, is for secession, then I think that it will be very difficult for Kiev to maintain … the breakaway territories."
Mullenix said he was not surprised that Putin showed up in Crimea. He called the visit "unfortunate," though, "as it adds somewhat of an external legitimacy to Russia's annexation of Crimea." more >>
A Vatican official revealed during a U.N. Committee hearing on Tuesday that the Roman Catholic Church defrocked 848 priests who raped or molested children and sanctioned another 2,572 others since 2004. Figures show that it has also paid $ 2.5 billion in compensation to victims in the U.S. alone.
"While the Holy See does not have the competency or the ability to initiate criminal proceedings against crimes that are committed in territories outside Vatican City State, it makes every effort to conduct ecclesiastical proceedings against clerics against whom credible accusations of sexual abuse of minors have been presented," the Holy See representative to Geneva, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, told Vatican Radio following the hearing.
"This is done without substitution for or prejudices of other processes that are to be applied by the competent judiciary system in the state in which the accused person resides. Civil law regarding the reporting of the crime to the authorities should always be followed." more >>
A Christian Zionist organization has raised enough money over six weeks to bring 100 Ukrainian Jews to Israel.
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, an organization which describes its mission as a "global ministry of Christians" who "share a love and concern for Israel and who seek to repair the historic breach between the Church and the Jewish people," has resettled more than 115,000 Jews from other countries in the Middle Eastern nation.
Most recently, the ICEJ welcomed 19 Ukrainian Jews on Sunday, its first group of Jewish immigrants since Russian military forces appeared in Crimea in February. According to the Jewish Agency for Israel, the country as a whole welcomed 375 new Ukrainian immigrants from January to March, compared to 221 in the same period in 2013. more >>
A council election candidate has resigned from Britain's ruling Conservative Party with immediate effect, apologizing for posting anti-Islamic and anti-gay comments on Twitter.
"I have let myself and my party down," David Bishop, a candidate in Brentwood South in Essex, said in a statement Sunday. "In order to avoid any further embarrassment, I have taken the decision to resign from the Conservative party with immediate effect. I will not be asking anyone to vote for me on 22 May."
Last month, Bishop, who is also a local DJ, tweeted, "#Islam 'the religion of peace' & rape," referring to the arrest of four Muslim men for the rape of a 14-year-old girl in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. more >>