The Roman Catholic Church has responded to a highly critical U.N. report demanding that it stop protecting child abusing clergy, by claiming it is doing more than any other international organization to combat the highly-publicized problem.
"Sexual abuse of a minor is a sin and a crime and no organization can become complacent about addressing it. The Catholic Church has certainly done more than any other international organization to face the problem and it will continue to lead in doing so," said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of Media Relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a post following the publication of a report by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The report, a follow-up to a U.N. panel which in January directly questioned Holy See representatives at a conference in Geneva about the Vatican's record on child sex abuse handling, demands that the Catholic Church "immediately remove all known and suspected child sexual abusers from assignment and refer the matter to the relevant law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution purposes." more >>
A 7-year-old girl has written to the Lego company, requesting the manufacturers make more "lego girl" minifigures that "go on adventures and have fun."
"All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs, but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks," 7-year-old Charlotte Benjamin wrote in a letter that has gone viral on social media. After the girl's father sent it to The Society Pages website, the group shared it on Twitter, where it found 2,542 "retweets" and 1,041 "favorites."
The United Kingdom's Education and Childcare Minister, Elizabeth Truss, warned that toys marketing science and math to boys may be turning girls off of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) at an early age, The Daily Mail reported. Truss called for an end to "segregation in toy departments," in order to broaden girls' horizons. more >>
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Thomas Monson was ordered to appear in a British court next month to answer to a surprising summons which alleges that his church's teachings about mankind is fraudulent.
The formal summons, described as "one of the most unusual documents ever issued by a British Court" in The Telegraph, was signed by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe and threatens to issue a warrant for his arrest if he doesn't appear in court for a March 14 hearing.
Seven teachings of the church headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, are cited in the controversial document as possibly fraudulent, including the claim that "Native Americans are descended from an Israelite family which left Jerusalem in 600 BC." more >>
Scotland's parliament voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to legalize same-sex marriage in the country in a 105 to 18 vote, despite objections from Scotland's main churches and Christian representatives in the government.
Scotland Health Secretary Alex Neil praised the vote and said that it was "right that same-sex couples should be able to freely express their love and commitment to each other through getting married," Reuters reported. "Marriage is about love, and that has always been at the heart of this issue."
Both the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and the Scottish Roman Catholic Church have opposed the legal change of the definition of marriage, according to The Guardian. Over 50 ministers and church officials had written to the government expressing "deep concern" before the vote took place. more >>
Humanitarian groups and bloggers are speaking out against the controversial "Lunacek Report," which was approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday. While supporters say the report creates a "roadmap" for eliminating homophobia and discrimination against LGBT people in Europe, opponents argue that it creates "special rights and privileges" for some rather than equality for all.
"By adopting this report, which advocates legal privileges for homosexuals, and at the same time rejecting an alternative motion that called on the EU and its Member States to ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights by all citizens, the Parliament has put a thick question mark behind its claim to be an institution that protects human rights," wrote J.C. von Krempach for Turtle Bay and Beyond, a blog focused on international law, policy and institutions.
"In other words, the European Parliament has with today's vote rejected the principle of universality of human rights. This is a day of shame." more >>
The World Evangelical Alliance said it is "extremely disappointed" that the major U.N. talks on the Syrian civil war failed to make any significant progress last week, and called on an immediate end to the violence as scores of people continue dying.
"We are extremely disappointed that very little progress was made in the recent peace talks. No one believed it was going to be easy to get agreement. We urge on all sides to return to the table on February 10 with the intention of ending the civil war," Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, CEO and secretary general of the World Evangelical Alliance, shared in an email with The Christian Post on Sunday.
The major Geneva II conference on the Syrian civil war that began on Jan. 22 and lasted for a week was hosted by the U.N., the U.S. and Russia, and sought to bring together representatives from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and some of the opposition forces looking to topple his administration. more >>