Pope Francis beatified the late Pope Paul VI at the Closing Mass for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family on Sunday, describing him as a "courageous Christian" and a "tireless apostle." Paul VI, who was known for affirming the Roman Catholic Church's stance against contraception, has been credited for a miracle in California where he is said to have helped in the birth of an unborn child.
Catholic News Agency pointed out that the miracle occurred in the 1990s, where a mother asked a nun to pray for her using a photo of Pope Paul VI in response to news that her unborn child posed a danger to her life and his. After the prayers, the baby boy was born healthy.
Another requirement for beautification was fulfilled by the presentation of relics, in the form of two blood stained vests worn by Paul VI when he was attacked by a man with a bayonet in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, in 1970. more >>
Pastor Juan D. McFarland of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, was forced to relinquish his pulpit in shame by a local judge Thursday after delivering an incriminating confession that he has full blown AIDS, slept with female members inside the church, abused drugs and church money while declaring he would not leave the ministry in recent weeks.
After a colorful hearing attended by a majority of his now former congregants, McFarland was ordered by Montgomery Circuit Judge Charles Price, to quit the pulpit, return church property and stay away from the church he led for 24 years in a temporary injunction, according to al.com. Congregants celebrated the ruling with hugs, kisses and prayer. They asked the Lord to bless McFarland.
McFarland reportedly complied with Judge Price's order to return keys, bank accounts, and a Mercedes Benz to officials at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church before a 5 p.m. deadline Thursday according to WSFA. more >>
The Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal groups have expressed concern over Houston officials subpoenaing sermons that may have been critical of an LGBT discrimination city ordinance.
Recently the city subpoenaed various pastors' sermons due to their objection to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, a recently passed law that has strong conservative opposition.
When The Episcopal Church recently released its statistics on membership among its dioceses for 2013, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina was listed along with the others.
There is one problem, however: the South Carolina Diocese's leadership voted to leave the denomination back in 2012, taking most of the members and congregations with them.
Since 2012, the diocese and the denomination have been fighting a legal battle for ownership of the numerous properties presently held by the breakaway leadership. more >>
The story sounds like something you'd read on a crazed e-mail forward — the city of Houston demands to see the contents of pastors' sermons on the topic of homosexuality, gender identity, and . . . restroom access. In fact, when I first heard the story from a parent at my kids' school, I didn't believe it.
But, yes, it's true. In fact, the reality is even worse than the reports. Houston — as part of its litigation strategy opposing a voter lawsuit filed after the city rejected voter petitions to repeal a law that allows members of the opposite sex into bathrooms — has issued subpoenas that don't just demand pastors' sermons on the topics of "equal rights, civil rights, homosexuality, or gender identity," (and, of course, "restroom access"), they also demand all documents including "emails, instant messages, and text messages" on those same topics.
So, if a pastor is engaged in a theological discussion with a fellow pastor on the covered topics, that will have to be produced. If a pastor texts a friend his position on "restroom access," that has to be produced. more >>
A man who bilked congregants of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia out of millions of dollars has plead guilty in federal court.
Ephren Taylor, who reportedly scammed investors via his "Building Wealth Tour," recently made the plea in Atlanta.
U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement published by the Atlanta Daily World on Tuesday that the plea brings "a measure of justice" to Taylor's victims. more >>