Roman Catholic Bishops are said to be debating how to include gay couples living together without being married as part of the Catholic Church community, as the major Synod on the family gathering at the Vatican reached its half-way point. The bishops have reportedly ruled out changes to the traditional definition of marriage, but are working with the concept that gay people have "gifts and qualities" to offer the church.
"Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions, it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners," the bishops said, according to The Associated Press.
A document summarizing the closed-door debate reportedly noted that the bishops are looking into the "gifts and qualities" gay people can offer to the church. The bishops also asked if the Church is ready to offer gay people a welcoming place, "accepting and valuing their sexual orientation without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony." more >>
Atheist intellectual and author Richard Dawkins is defending his controversial remarks on Twitter saying that 17-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai might leave her religion as she gets older.
Dawkins defended his words in a series of tweets on the social media website days after remarking that Malala Yousafzai "is religious now but give her time."
A Roman Catholic Archbishop in Ukraine has said that the nation "cannot be killed, not even with Russian tanks," referring to the ongoing war, while speaking at the Synod of Bishops on the family taking place at the Vatican. Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk also discussed the crucial role of the Catholic family in protecting human rights.
"The new Ukraine that is being born amid suffering is a new society" yearning for full freedom and full democracy, bringing together people from every religion and ethnic group, Shevchuk said, according to Catholic News Service.
"This new Ukraine that is being born cannot be killed, not even with Russian tanks." more >>
Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the life of British aid worker Alan Henning in a multi-faith ceremony in Manchester on Sunday. Henning, who was beheaded by terror group ISIS earlier in October, was remembered as a "hero" who "put the needs of others before his own."
"We are here to remember a hero," said Dr Usman Chaudhary at the opening of the service, according to The Guardian. "A hero who left the comforts of his own home for no other reason than to help the destitute and needy refugees of Syria."
Henning, who lost his life at the hands of Islamic militants, was kidnapped in December of 2013 after crossing into Syria on a humanitarian aid mission. The 47-year-old Briton is one of several westerners in recent weeks to be beheaded on video by ISIS as a message to western powers to stay out of Iraq and Syria. more >>
The following letter obtained by The Christian Post is from Patriarch Filaret of Kiev, Ukraine. It was recently sent to the White House addressed to President Obama.more >>
Pope Francis and the Synod of Bishops on the family heard from a married couple who asked Catholic parishes to welcome same-sex couples as a model of evangelization, and at the same time uphold traditional church teachings on marriage.
"The church constantly faces the tension of upholding the truth while expressing compassion and mercy. Families face this tension all the time," Ron and Mavis Pirola of Sydney told the synod on Monday, Catholic News Service reported.
"Take homosexuality as an example. Friends of ours were planning their Christmas family gathering when their gay son said he wanted to bring his partner home too. They fully believed in the church's teachings and they knew their grandchildren would see them welcome the son and his partner into the family. Their response could be summed up in three (sic) words, 'He is our son.'" more >>