Pope Francis' first official visit to a Pentecostal church in Italy was praised by some evangelical leaders, who thanked the pope for asking for forgiveness for Roman Catholic persecution of Pentecostals in the past. The Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance, Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, in turn apologized for evangelical discrimination against Catholics.
"It is biblical and it reflects the message of Jesus…..so my hope is that this act of Pope Francis will send a strong message around the world, particularly to those countries where there are significant tensions between Catholics and Evangelicals," Tunnicliffe said regarding the pontiff's plea for forgiveness, Vatican Radio reported on Wednesday.
"But I also need to say this: I recognize that in history there have been situations where Protestants, including Evangelicals, have discriminated against Catholic Christians and I am really sorry for these kinds of actions, because while we can disagree theologically, this should never lead to discrimination or persecution of the other. more >>
The Episcopal Church celebrated the 40th anniversary of the denomination's ordination of the first women as priests Tuesday. In 1974, 11 women were ordained at the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Celebrations for the occasion included a service held last Saturday at the Church of the Advocate and hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.
A congregation in Alabama has recently hosted a "Spa Day" for the homeless men in their neighborhood.
Government Street Baptist Church of Mobile held a luncheon for the men that included special treatment such as haircuts and showers last Saturday. The Inaugural Spa Day was organized by the Men's Ministry at Government Street Baptist and garnered local media attention.
"We want to let them know that we love them and that God loves them, and our city is a city that wants to care for people like this," said Government Street Baptist Senior Pastor Charles Brown. more >>
Pope Francis became the first pope to make an official visit to a Pentecostal church, after he flew on Monday to speak at the Evangelical Church of Reconciliation in the southern city of Caserta, Italy. The pontiff apologized for persecution of Pentecostals the Roman Catholic Church was involved with in the past, and reached out with friendship to evangelicals.
"Among those who persecuted and denounced Pentecostals, almost as if they were crazy people trying to ruin the race, there were also Catholics," Francis said, according to The Associated Press, referring to Italy's fascist regime when the Pentecostal practice was forbidden.
"I am the pastor of Catholics, and I ask your forgiveness for those Catholic brothers and sisters who didn't know and were tempted by the devil." more >>
An appeals court has ruled in favor of a small diocese in Illinois that broke away from The Episcopal Church over theological differences, including the denomination's appointment of openly gay Gene Robinson as bishop.
In a ruling handed down Thursday, the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court sided with the Anglican Diocese of Quincy over the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.
The ruling upheld a lower court decision that ruled the Quincy Diocese's property and funds to be the possession of the Anglican Church North America, the more theologically conservative group that the diocese presently affiliates with. more >>
An African-American church in Washington, D.C. that has been in operation for over 100 years will soon be closing down because the property has been sold.
Leadership at the Alexander Memorial Baptist Church of the Georgetown neighborhood recently agreed to a sale of their church property.
"All that remains in wealthy Georgetown are four black churches. Soon, there will be only three," reported Sam Ford of WJLA-TV. "… [T]he pastor and trustees of the 106 year old Alexander Memorial Baptist Church are about to sell the church — set to be turned into condominiums or townhouses — for $6.5 million." more >>