The feminist group FEMEN crashed a Christmas service at the High Cathedral of St. Peter in Cologne, Germany, with a topless activist getting up on the altar exposing herself to the congregation with the words "I am God" written on her body.
The activist group, which says that it is based on "sextremism, atheism and feminism," was apparently trying to protest against patriarchy and the Vatican's pro-life views. According to EuroNews.com, the woman was identified as 20-year-old philosophy student Josephine Witt.
The incident, which has been captured on video, shows her running onto the altar in front of the large congregation, but clerics quickly surround her, cover her up and take her away. more >>
In his Angelus address on the Feast of St. Stephen, Pope Francis on Thursday focused on persecuted Christians around the world.
"We are close to those brothers and sisters who, like St. Stephen, are unjustly accused and subjected to violence of various kinds," Francis said on Thursday. "This happens especially where religious freedom is still not guaranteed or not fully realized."
The remarks came just a day after a Christian neighborhood market and Catholic church were bombed in Baghdad, Iraq, leaving 38 people dead. There have been growing concerns for the safety of Christians especially in the Middle East region. Notable world figures, including Britain's Prince Charles, have recently said that followers of Christ in the region are in danger of disappearing from Christianity's birth place. more >>
Liverpool will go on the road to the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Dec. 26 to face a Manchester City side keen on taking over the top spot in the English Premier League, in one of the biggest EPL clashes on Boxing Day 2013.
Liverpool find themselves atop the Premier League thanks to the brilliant play of forward Luis Suarez who has found the back of the net 19 times in the 12 league matches that he has played in. The Uruguayan also has the most goals since September of any player in England and his 10 goals in his last four matches is more than any player over the same stretch since 2001.
Reds manager Brendan Rogers is also singing his forward's praises in light of his unselfishness that saw him turn away an opportunity for another hat-trick to provide and assist Rahim Sterling to score during the sides 3-1 win over Cardiff City. more >>
The London School of Economics apologized Friday for previously censoring t-shirts worn by atheist students featuring cartoons of the prophet Muhammad and Jesus.
The school's director, Professor Craig Calhoun, said in a statement Friday that the school "got judgment wrong" when it told two student members of the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society to cover up their cartooned t-shirts at an October welcome fair for freshmen, saying that the t-shirts showing Muhammad and Jesus violated the school's rules on harassment of a religious group.
In a generous act of kindness, Pope Francis gave 2,000 unsuspecting immigrants, who stay at a shelter within close proximity to the Vatican, practical Christmas gift packages that included a signed card, postal stamps, a pre-paid international calling card, and a free day-pass for Rome's metro.
The immigrants stay at the Dono di Maria home that was founded by Mother Teresa 25 years ago under Pope John Paul II's blessing. Many of them arrived in Rome with little to no means, after fleeing from regions in Africa afflicted by armed conflict or from poverty and human trafficking in Asia and Eastern Europe.
"The Pope is very familiar with our work here and understands the realities that people face ... the guests were very happy," said Sister Michelle, the superior of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in Rome, according to Catholic News Agency. more >>
Spain's prime minister agreed to tighter restrictions on abortion Friday, limiting the procedure to only exceptional cases, such as rape, or if the health of the mother is in danger.
The country's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said at a press conference in Brussels on Friday that the government chose to roll back its legislation regarding abortion in order to fulfill an electoral promise. The country's new draft legislation now reflects the abortion regulations set in 1985. Previously, the country allowed abortion before 14 weeks of pregnancy. Now, abortion is only legal in exceptional cases, such as rape, and protecting the health of the mother or fetus.
Rajoy's conservative Popular Party holds the majority in parliament, and the conservative political party has long sided with the Roman Catholic Church on moral and social issues. According to the Associated Press, the Popular Party promised to tighten restrictions on abortion during its election campaign in 2011. more >>