British musician Sir Elton John has said in an interview that he believes Jesus Christ would approve of gay marriages, and shared his admiration for the work Pope Francis has done so far, calling him "wonderful."
John's comments come days after the Vatican released a major new document speaking out against unjust discrimination against gay people but affirming traditional teachings on marriage, a viewpoint that Francis has supported.
"These are old and stupid things. If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen," John told Sky News on Sunday, speaking out against Church of England rules banning gay clergy from getting married. more >>
A major document by the Vatican has said that unjust discrimination against gay people needs to be avoided and that children of same-sex unions must be cared for as any other, but it still maintains opposition to same-sex couples adopting children and has affirmed traditional teachings on marriage.
The Instrumentum Laboris is a result of Pope Francis' call in October 2013 for Roman Catholic bishops around the world to convene and discuss matters of family and the Christian faith.
"On unions of persons of the same sex, the responses of the bishops' conferences refer to Church teaching. 'There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. [...] Nonetheless, according to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies 'must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided,'" the lengthy document reads. more >>
A "Jesus on the cross" scarecrow used for a musicals-themed scarecrow festival in Cambridgeshire in the U.K. has been removed after online users argued it was offensive.
Radka Shaw said that she and her children, a Christian family, made the figure, which was set up on a lamppost next to a cemetery, to represent the "Jesus Christ Superstar" musical.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue has claimed in a 16-page report that controversial news headlines of a "mass grave" uncovered in Tuam, Ireland of 800 infants from unmarried mothers that died at "mother and baby" homes run by the Roman Catholic Church are a "hoax" and causing "mass hysteria."
"To say that the headline
s of stories about the 'mass graves' are incendiary would be a colossal understatement," the report states, and points out titles such as "Ireland's Holocaust: Special Report on the Tuam Killing Field" (Sundayworld. com, 6/9/14); "Catholic Church Tossed 800 Irish Orphans into Septic Tank Grave" (washingtontimes.com, 6/3/14); "An Irish Catholic Orphanage Hid the Bodies of 800 Children " (salon.com, 6/4/14) and others. more >>
Britain's largest Muslim organization has condemned female genital mutilation as "un-Islamic."
The Muslim Council of Britain has announced a public campaign to speak against FGM and encourage local mosques to do the same by arguing that one of the "basic principles" of Islam is that adherents do not harm one another or themselves. To that end, MCB will send flyers to the 500 mosques which are members of MCB and other community centers warning of the 14 years in prison that those who perform the operation may face.
According to the World Health Organization, FGM "comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons." more >>
A project named "The House of One," looking to create the world's first ever church, mosque and synagogue in Berlin, Germany, where people of different faiths can worship under one roof, is currently raising donations.
"Under one roof: one synagogue, one mosque, one church. We want to use these rooms for our own traditions and prayers. And together we want to use the room in the middle for dialogue and discussion and also for people without faith," explained Pastor Gregor Hohberg, a Protestant parish priest, according to a BBC News report.
"Berlin is a city where people come together from all over the world and we want to give a good example of togetherness." more >>