Croatians voted against same-sex marriage in a national referendum Sunday, breaking the recent trend of European countries moving away from traditional marriage, and going against the views of their president and prime minister.
"Marriage is the only union enabling procreation. This is the key difference between a marriage and other unions," proclaimed Croatian Cardinal Josip Bozanic in a message to followers, according to the Associated Press.
Sixty-five percent of those who participated in the electoral commission voted "yes" on the referendum question "Do you agree that marriage is matrimony between a man and a woman?" while 34 percent said "no." As a result, Croatia's constitution will be amended to specifically ban gay marriage. It was the country's first citizen-initiated referendum since it gained independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. more >>
A mother is currently fighting for custody of her daughter who was forcibly taken from her via cesarean section after the High Court ordered it done. The High Court ordered the procedure for the Italian woman who was visiting Britain on a work trip because she suffered a mental breakdown.
The woman reportedly suffered from bipolar disorder and had not been taking her medication at the time of the meltdown. She called police to help her locate her missing passports, and the police, upon learning of her alleged bipolar disorder, took the woman to the hospital for evaluation. Instead of a traditional hospital, though, the police took her to a psychiatric hospital, where she was held under the Mental Health Act.
Mr. Justice Mostyn gave the order "for the birth to be enforced by way of cesarean section," and then the baby girl was taken into the custody of Essex social workers. Now a family is close to adopting the 15-month-old girl, and her biological mother is protesting and asking for her to be returned to her family. more >>
The Church of England said it would "repent" for its previous homophobia in a major new report on human sexuality, but rejected the idea that traditional teachings on marriage should be seen as homophobic.
The Anglican Communion also rejected notions that the report, which recommends that clergy be allowed to "accommodate" same-sex relationships, contradicts traditional teachings, as some news headlines have suggested that clergy can start "blessing" gay marriage.
"The recommendations do not propose any change in the church's teaching on sexual conduct. They do propose that clergy, with the agreement of their Church Council, should be able to offer appropriate services to mark a faithful same sex relationship," a statement on the Church of England's website explains. more >>
A British man who has been accused of keeping three women as slaves, reportedly claimed he was Jesus to his followers.
The headquarters of sect-leader Aravindan Balakrishnan, 73, and his wife, Chanda, was raided last week by London police, who have accused the couple of holding an Irish woman, 57, a Malaysian, 69 and a Brit, 30, against their will.
Balakrishan, believed to have immigrated to the U.K. from Malaysia with his wife in the 1960's, was the head of the Workers' Institute of Marxism Leninism Tse-tung Thought, a school that allegedly tried to "bring about world domination for China." more >>
Christian persecution and the cultural fear of public expressions of faith are signs of the end times, Pope Francis declared in a homily on Thursday.
"You must obey the orders which come from worldly powers – You can do many things, beautiful things, but not adore God. Worship is prohibited – this is at the center of the end of time," Pope Francis said in his daily homily in the chapel of the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse. Once we "reach the fullness of this pagan attitude…truly the Son of Man will come in a cloud with great power and glory," Francis declared, according to the Albany Tribune.
The pope preached on Jesus' speech in Luke 21 about the end times. In that passage, Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem, and trials and tribulations that precede the end times. more >>
Results of a sweeping, once-a-decade poll of 15,000 Britons, show that adults aged 16-44 were having sex less than five times a month, and the authors of the study believe the pressures of modern life may be affecting how frequently people have sex.
"People are worried about their jobs, worried about money. They are not in the mood for sex," said one of the authors of the study published in The Lancet, Dr. Cath Mercer of the University College London, in a BBC report.
"But we also think modern technologies are behind the trend too. People have tablets and smartphones and they are taking them into the bedroom, using Twitter and Facebook, answering emails." more >>