The Roman Catholic Church is set for an important discussion in October on some of its most central social teachings, such as gay unions, divorce, contraception, cohabitation and others in a meeting of senior Vatican officials called by Pope Francis.
The LA Times described the upcoming assembly as "an urgent meeting of senior clerics this fall to reexamine church teachings that touch the most intimate aspects of people's lives," and said that the meeting could potentially pave the way for a new direction by the church on these issues.
The report further said that the run-up to the synod is a departure from usual practice, and highlights Francis' commitment to take a new approach when it comes to dealing with church matters. The initiative is part of the pope's instructions last year to diocese leaders around the world to survey local attitudes on social issues. The results have not yet been released, but reportedly are being analyzed by the Vatican behind closed doors. more >>
A coalition of religious groups have sent letters to the National Rifle Association and Sarah Palin in response to the former Alaska governor calling waterboarding the way she would "baptize terrorists."
The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) sent letters to Palin and the NRA Wednesday calling Palin's words "unacceptable."
"Ms. Palin's words are an unacceptable conflation of church and state that represents the worst of what is possible when political conflicts are expressed in theological terms," reads the letter sent to the NRA. more >>
A mainline Protestant denomination whose governing documents declare homosexuality incompatible with Christianity will soon offer benefits to same-sex couples.
The United Methodist Church's General Council on Finance and Administration will provide benefits to agency employees with same-gender spouses. While the UMC GCFA decision derived from a vote taken last year, it was not until last week that the highest court in the denomination ruled that it was acceptable.
During its April session in Little Rock, Arkansas, the United Methodist Judicial Council ruled in Decision No. 1264 that the GCFA's benefits expansion did not contradict the guidelines of the Book of Discipline. more >>
Leaders from the Catholic and Episcopal churches have condemned a law passed earlier this year that allows licensed gun owners in Georgia to arm themselves in schools, restaurants, government buildings and churches.
Despite the new law, which Governor Nathan Deal signed on April 24, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta said he intends to keep congregants from bringing firearms into the church.
"Churches and other places of worship are intended to be sanctuaries, holy sites where people come to pray and to worship God," Gregory wrote in the May 1 issue of the Georgia Bulletin, a newspaper of the Atlanta archdiocese. more >>
A conservative Roman Catholic group has accused the University of Notre Dame of repression after police reportedly shut down a pro-traditional marriage table they held on campus.
TFP Student Action twice had their display on the Catholic academic institute's campus removed at the behest of police last week.
John Ritchie, spokesman for TFP Student Action, told The Christian Post the display was part of "a seven-day tour for marriage in three states: Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania." more >>
Acts 29, an international organization of church planters, has expanded its resources to urban leaders who seek to start a church within their communities, said president and pastor Matt Chandler during the Exponential East conference Thursday.
Church planters generally become a part of the organization's residency program where they are prepared to plant a gospel-centered, church planting church. However, the program for urban leaders differs in that they receive theological and character development training as well as functional tools to begin their own churches.
"What we've really invested in is our Thriving Residencies for urban planters, specifically African American and Latinos. We just spotted this reality that these guys oftentimes come to Anglo suburban churches for their residencies but then they're completely out of the context in which they'll actually minister," Chandler said during the conference's live webcast. more >>