Vinicio Riva, the disfigured man being hugged by Pope Francis in the recently-viral photo, has spoken about his experience with the Pontiff, saying when the Catholic leader hugged him he felt "only love."
"I tried to speak, to tell him something, but I couldn't: The emotion was too strong. It all lasted not more than a minute, but it seemed an eternity," Riva, who lives in the Vicenza region of Northern Italy, told the Italian magazine Panorama in a recent interview.
"But what most astonished me is that he didn't think twice on embracing me," Riva continued. "I'm not contagious, but he didn't know. He just did it; he caressed all my face, and while he was doing that, I felt only love." more >>
Pope Francis warned against the "spirit of curiosity" when attempting to find God and religious messages in outside forces, or trying to predict when Jesus Christ will return, reminding believers that the "The Kingdom of God is among you."
"When we want to be the masters of the projects of God, of the future, of things, to know everything, to have everything in hand … the Pharisees asked Jesus, 'When will the Kingdom of God come?' Curious! They wanted to know the date, the day… The spirit of curiosity distances us from the Spirit of wisdom because all that interests us is the details, the news, the little stories of the day," Francis said in his Thursday homily during Mass at Casa Santa Marta.
Such a spirit, he warned, brings about dispersion and distances people from God. The Vatican leader further noted that Jesus himself warned against a worldly spirit of curiosity, as it causes confusion and impels people to want to feel that God is "here or there." more >>
Television personality and real estate mogul Donald Trump said in a recent interview that his views on gay marriage are evolving as society's opinion on the issue continues to change, but the business magnate was quick to note that he continues to support the traditional definition of marriage.
"I think really what you have is a very changing stance, and you see it changing very rapidly. If you go back 10 years ago it's very different [...] I think I'm evolving, and I think I'm a very fair person, but I have been for traditional marriage. I am for traditional marriage, I am for a marriage between a man and a woman," Trump told MSNBC's Thomas Roberts this past weekend while the two were in Moscow, Russia for the Miss Universe pageant. Trump and NBC co-own the Miss Universe pageant, and Roberts served as a host for the competition alongside R&B artist Mel B.
Roberts also asked Trump what he thought of the controversy over having the Miss Universe pageant in Russia after the country recently passed a ban on spreading "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors." The country has also received criticism from athletes planning on participating in the Winter Olympic Games this upcoming February over the ban, passed in June. more >>
Doctors in Hungary are amazed that an infant born in July has beaten all odds and is thriving after the baby's mother was put on life support at only 15 weeks gestation. The mother was pronounced brain dead by medical staff, but doctors kept her on life support for 12 weeks so that the baby could grow and be safely delivered; it is only one of three cases known like this in the world.
Doctors have not revealed any information about the mother or child's identity out of respect for the family but spoke about the miracle that took place over the three months the woman was kept on life support. The 31-year-old suffered a stroke and was declared brain dead; doctors performed an ultrasound and discovered that the 15-week-old fetus was still moving.
"In the first two days we struggled to save the mother's life and it was proven… that circulation and functions stopped. On the second day when [other] examinations were carried out, we found the baby was alive and kicking well in its mother's body," Dr. Bela Fulesdi told Daily Mail. more >>
A U.K. man has recently completed his three-year mission of tweeting the entire bible, chapter by chapter. Since its beginning, the man has seen his small project blossom into an international viral phenomenon on social media.
Chris Juby, the 30-year-old worship director at Kings Church in Durham, U.K., decided in 2010 that he would summarize each chapter of the bible in a tweet. Since taking on this daunting task, Juby hasn't missed a single day of tweeting the 1,189 chapter summaries, and successfully completed his deadline of three and a half years with a final summary of Revelations 22 posted on Nov. 8: "Rev22: The river of life flows from the throne of God. 'Behold, I am coming soon. I am the beginning and the end.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!"
Juby, who has reportedly read the bible three times in its entirety in his life, wrote on the website for his Twitter mission, Bible Summary, that he does not plan to tweet any more using the Bible Summary handle now that he has completed his task. Since he first started his Bible Summary project on Twitter three and a half years ago, the Twitter account has gained the attention of nearly 30,000 followers. more >>
Pope Francis tackled a number of big theological issues in a sermon on Sunday at the Vatican, including the denial of the resurrection, and the question of whether people will be married in heaven.
Speaking about the Sadducees, a Jewish sect from the time of Jesus, Pope Francis noted that they attempted to ridicule the belief in resurrection when they asked Jesus who will a woman be married to in heaven if she has had seven husbands on earth who died one after the other.
"Jesus explains that life after death has different parameters from our life on earth: eternal life is a different life, in a different dimension where, among other things, matrimony will no longer exist," the Roman Catholic Church leader said, according to Vatican Radio. "The risen, Jesus says, will be like angels, and they will live in a different state of being, which we cannot achieve or even imagine right now." more >>