The Rev. Fernando Sebastián, a Spanish cardinal newly appointed by Pope Francis, has called homosexuality a "defect" from which people can recover, and further clarified the pope's view on the controversial subject.
"Homosexuality is a defective manner of expressing sexuality, because this (sex) has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation," said 85-year-old Sebastián, who is set to take up office at the Vatican in February, according to local Spanish newspaper Diario Sur.
"A homosexual who can't achieve this (procreation) is failing." more >>
Restrictions on abortion access in France may loosen should the nation's legislature pass a recently introduced bill.
The French parliament began a debate Monday evening over a bill that if enacted will remove the requirement that a woman seeking an abortion must prove she is in serious distress.
Russian authorities have announced they are currently hunting as many as four female terrorists known as "black widows" who are possibly plotting to attack the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in early February.
Last week, police in Sochi dispersed "Wanted" flyers warning local hotels of one of the women, 22-year-old Ruzana Ibragimova, the wife of an Islamic militant killed by Russian security forces in 2013. The young widow reportedly left her home in Dagestan, located in the volatile Caucasus area, sometime last month and authorities have received information that she has been dispatched by a terrorist group to carry out an attack in Sochi.
The "Wanted" posters describe Ibragimova, who also goes by the name Salima, as having a 4-inch long scar across her left cheek, a limp in her right leg and a left arm that does not bend at the elbow. The flier adds that the woman may be part of "a terrorist act within the 2014 Olympic region." more >>
Christians in the United Kingdom challenged the idea that homosexuality is innate and immutable, opposing a ban on all Sexual Orientation Change Efforts – referred to by detractors as "gay-to-straight therapy." They organized a conference this week to discuss the issue and allowed the author of the SOCE ban bill to speak.
"Gay conversion therapy [starts with the idea] that being gay or lesbian is some sort of illness or moral disorder that requires treatment or correction – that isn't a sensible premise in my view," declared Geraint Davies, Labour MP for Swansea West and proponent of the bill to regulate psychotherapy and ban SOCE.
Mike Davidson, director of the Christian charity CORE Issues Trust, disagreed with his view and called for open debate on gay therapy. more >>
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that gay people can "feel safe and free" in Russia during the Winter Olympics, which are three weeks away, but warned them to "leave our children in peace."
"We don't outlaw anything and don't nab anyone," Putin said during a visit in Sochi, according to Itar-Tass news agency. "Our law prescribes no responsibility for these kinds of relationships unlike laws in some other countries do."
He added that gay people can "feel safe and free here but please leave our children in peace." more >>
The Vatican promised to make changes to the way it handles child abuse cases after a U.N. panel in Geneva on Thursday questioned why the Roman Catholic Church refuses to release more information about such incidents, and what it is doing to prevent future abuse.
"We will very gladly take this occasion as a constructive moment, an important occasion, to reaffirm the value and the procedures of the convention and to accept any good advice that is given for that can be helpful in the protection of children," said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the U.N. in Geneva.
The Roman Catholic Church was asked if it believes "that pedophilia is something that can be successfully overcome." The Convention on the Rights of the Child pointed to child sexual abuse cases concerning clergy who were moved instead of defrocked. more >>