Pope Francis has sent out a letter to the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church declaring that sex abusers have no place in the ecclesiastical body.
In the official letter sent out Monday the pontiff mentioned a July meeting he had with individuals who were sexually abused by Catholic priests. "At my meeting in July with persons who had suffered sexual abuse by priests, I was deeply moved by their witness to the depth of their sufferings and the strength of their faith," wrote Francis.
"This experience reaffirmed my conviction that everything possible must be done to rid the Church of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors and to open pathways of reconciliation and healing for those who were abused." more >>
Anglican Archbishop the Most Rev. Justin Welby has said that Christians shouldn't attack atheist actor Stephen Fry, who recently called God "utterly evil" and "monstrous" for designing a world in which children get bone cancer, and suffer other diseases.
"It is as much the right of Stephen Fry to say what he said and not to be abused improperly by Christians who are affronted as it is the right of Christians to proclaim Jesus Christ," Welby said, according to The Telegraph.
"That is his freedom to choose that is given to us in creation." more >>
British members of parliament have voted in favor of a bill that paves the way for the creation of "three-parent" babies with the DNA from two women and one man, aimed at tackling genetic diseases. The approval comes despite concerns from the Church of England.
BBC News reported that 382 MPs in the House of Commons voted in favor of the bill, and 128 were against. While a vote at the House of Lords is also needed to take place before the bill becomes law, proponents said they expect it to pass, with the first babies from this process being born in 2016.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the idea is to allow parents with genetic diseases to give birth to healthy infants. more >>
An elderly British minister was warned by her car insurance company that her auto coverage could be voided because of the Jesus-phrased decals that she put on her vehicle.
The Rev. Wena Parry, a 75-year-old minister of Independent Congregational Church in South Wales who loves to drive around with phrases like "Christ is My Lord," decaled onto her car, told BBC that she was informed in a letter from her insurance provider, Age UK Insurance, that putting such "modifications" on her car violated her auto insurance policy.
"Every opportunity I have I want to tell people about Jesus. I reckon there must at least be a million people who have read the texts on my car and no one has had a problem with it before," Parry said. "But, there might be somebody within that company that hates Christianity." more >>
Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill revealed that over 60 churches were recently damaged by heavy fighting in the Donetsk and Horlivka dioceses in Ukraine. The patriarch called for an end to the bloodshed between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels, which he said has led to suffering and persecution of Christians.
"The whole civilian population of Donbas is suffering from the humanitarian disaster and armed conflict there together with the devout members of our church, whose parishes and cloisters make up a majority of religious communities in the region," Kirill told senior clergy, as translated by Interfax-Religion.
Western leaders have blamed Russia for directly supporting the rebels who've taken over a number of cities in eastern Ukraine, which has lead to the deaths of over 5,000 people. Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, has denied all accusations of involvement in the conflict. more >>
The head of the Roman Catholic Church has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, sharing consideration with a group including an anti-Putin Russian newspaper and a Saudi Arabian blogger.
While the Norwegian Nobel Institute does not publish an official list of nominees, Norwegian experts who can nominee do drop names, according to Alister Doyle of Reuters.
"Pope Francis has been nominated for stressing social justice and care for the environment, and former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked details of U.S. electronic surveillance, for showing how citizens are monitored with few democratic controls," reported Doyle. more >>