A Massachusetts woman who nearly lost her faith over the sudden death of her 25-year-old son received a surprise phone message last week from a Vatican representative, which she believes to be Pope Francis, offering her a big "hug and blessing" in her difficult time.
FoxNews.com reported that the woman, Stephany Nicolo, received the message on her cellphone on Friday from a man who identified himself as a representative from the Vatican, who said that the Roman Catholic Church leader sends her a "big hug and a blessing" and will try to talk to her again.
Nicolo lost her son Eric on May 14 from an epileptic seizure, which left her devastated. The 58-year-old woman, a Roman Catholic, called the Vatican days following her loss. more >>
A Baptist congregation in Kentucky has garnered national headlines for its intention to hold a gay wedding at its facility, despite most of their fellow Baptist churches' disapproval.
Highland Baptist Church of Louisville recently announced their intention to hold a same-sex wedding for David Bannister Jr., 29, and Steven Carr, 25. It is scheduled for next May.
Joseph Phelps, pastor at Highland Baptist, told The Christian Post that the gay couple "have been active and faithful members of the congregation for over five years." more >>
Young, modern churches are much like independent coffee shops in that they tend to forget who they are serving and lack the humility of traditional establishments that came before them, says Christian author and spoken-word artist Jefferson Bethke.
While the comparison between churches and coffee shops is unconventional, Bethke argues that the similarities between the two are based on creating a culture of exclusivism. more >>
A Catholic church in St. Paul, Minnesota, that closed last year has reopened its doors as a mosque.
The 127-year-old Church of St. John closed in 2013 when it merged with another church due to declining membership. Last Friday the building reopened as Darul-Uloom Islamic Center.
"There are a lot of East Africans in the area, and we want to give them a place to worship, a place to be educated, a community space," center spokesman Feisal M. Elmi told The Associated Press. more >>
While the biggest news to come out of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s 221st General Assembly in Detroit last week was the decision to allow clergy to officiate same-sex weddings in states where gay marriage is legal, pro-life groups are calling out the denomination for its weak stance on protecting babies who survive botched abortions.
By a wide margin last Thursday, the PCUSA's General Assembly voted 465 to 133 against a measure asking its members to reflect, for two years, on the plight of unwanted children, both the born and preborn.
The measure, brought before the members by the Presbytery of South Alabama, was spurred by the murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, as well as abortion clinic employees going public about unsafe and allegedly illegal practices that led to the temporary closure of a Delaware Planned Parenthood facility, among others. more >>
A decision by a United Methodist Church appeals committee that reinstated a pastor defrocked for officiating a same-sex wedding might be appealed.
Rev. Frank Schaefer, a pastor from Pennsylvania who had his clergy credentials recently restored by the Northeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals, might lose them once more. The Rev. Christopher Fisher, who served as prosecutor on behalf of the UMC, has until Thursday, August 21 to file an appeal of the decision.
The appeal deadline marks 60 days before the annual meeting of the United Methodist Judicial Council, the highest court in the Protestant denomination. more >>