Former Anglican Archbishop Dr. Rowan Williams has responded to atheist actor Stephen Fry's recent criticism of God by saying that only a "stupid and insensitive person" would never protest suffering in the world. At the same time, Williams said that he hopes Fry would actually wait for God's reply, if he got a chance to speak with Him.
"It's interesting that already in the Psalms and the book of Job, you're beginning to have that kind of protest voice within religious communities," Williams, who led the Church of England for 10 years, said on BBC's Newsnight.
The former Archbishop was responding to Fry's controversial comments earlier this month, when the actor called God "utterly evil" and "monstrous" for designing a world which includes bone cancer in children, and other such diseases. more >>
Germany's controversial "bishop of bling" Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst has reportedly been handed a new job at the Vatican, where he will advise the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation on catechesis. The bishop, who spent $42 million on a luxury residence and caused an uproar for the Roman Catholic Church, was suspended by Pope Francis back in October 2013.
The National Catholic Register reported on Monday that the former bishop of Limburg is expected to begin his appointment in March. Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, had apparently informed Tebartz van Elst of the development back in December.
The bishop prompted outrage in Germany in 2013 when it was discovered that he spent over $42 million on a remodeling and building project in Limburg, including a free-standing bath, conference table and private chapel all worth millions. more >>
A program aired on the British Broadcasting Corporation recently held a discussion as to whether or not major religious figures like Jesus Christ and the Buddha were from other planets.
In a religion-focused series titled "The Big Questions", host Nicky Campbell oversaw a discussion asking the query, "Have beings from other planets guided our religions?"
A New Zealand father whose Armenian wife reportedly left him because he refused to abandon their newborn diagnosed with Down syndrome, has received nearly $500,000 in support from around the world to help him care for the boy. His former wife, however, is disputing his story.
The father, Samuel Forrest, told ABC News that when little Leo was diagnosed with Down syndrome shortly after his birth in Armenia on Jan. 21 his wife, Ruzan Badalyan, gave him an ultimatum.
"This pediatrician walks out of the room with a little bundle — that was Leo," said Forrest. "She had his face covered up and hospital authorities wouldn't let me see him or my wife. When the doctor came out, he said 'there's a real problem with your son.'" more >>
A number of members from the Vatican commission against sex abuse have reportedly spoken out against Pope Francis' recent comments saying that it's OK to spank children for discipline, and called on the pontiff to revise his comments.
"It might start off as a light tap, but actually the whole idea about hitting children is about inflicting pain," commission member Peter Saunders said at a press conference, The Independent reported on Sunday.
"That's what it's about and there is no place in this day and age for having physical punishment, for inflicting pain, in terms of how you discipline your children." more >>
Pope Francis has sent out a letter to the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church declaring that sex abusers have no place in the ecclesiastical body.
In the official letter sent out Monday the pontiff mentioned a July meeting he had with individuals who were sexually abused by Catholic priests. "At my meeting in July with persons who had suffered sexual abuse by priests, I was deeply moved by their witness to the depth of their sufferings and the strength of their faith," wrote Francis.
"This experience reaffirmed my conviction that everything possible must be done to rid the Church of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors and to open pathways of reconciliation and healing for those who were abused." more >>