New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that "sinful" clergy behavior is one of the main reasons people are leaving Roman Catholicism but called on believers to hold on to the Church despite its flaws, during a speaking engagement in Milwaukee, Wis., on Thursday.
"It's not a bad idea to fess up to the sinful side of the church," Dolan said, who is currently the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and served as Milwaukee Archbishop's between 2002 and 2009.
"In her human side, the church can be imperfect, sloppy and corrupt. We admit her flaws, but we love her all the more because she is Christ on the cross." more >>
Forty children have been taken from a Christian community in Bavaria in a raid by German police following allegations of child abuse, though the members have said they spank children only to discipline then.
"We have lived now for some time in your vicinity, dear citizens of Wörnitz and neighbors of the Ries valley," the Community of the Twelve Tribes in Klosterzimmern & Wörnitz said in a statement. "We call on you to give your opinion on the allegations – surely you have seen us and our children stroll through the village? What impression do you have of our children and their well-being? Were they happy? Were they respectful?"
Over 100 police officers participated in the operation that seized 40 children children aged seven months to 17 years old from a monastery in Klosterzimmern and from a communal house in the village of Wornitz. The children were then placed in foster families while authorities carry out an investigation into the group, The Guardian reported. The raids were apparently prompted by "fresh evidence indicating significant and ongoing child abuse by the members." more >>
Roma Downey, the Irish-born actress and co-producer of the hit History Channel miniseries "The Bible," along with the Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary general of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), called for religious tolerance and respect between Muslims and Christians in the Middle East at an event hosted by Jordan King Abdullah II in Anman, which ended Wednesday, to discuss the escalating violence against Christians in the region.
Downey, who attended the event with her producer husband Mark Burnett, spoke Tuesday as a representative of the WEA, which represents more than 600 million evangelical Christians worldwide, before an influential group of guests, which included the Jordan King's Chief Advisor for Religious and Cultural Affairs, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad and Vatican representatives.
"I personally experienced firsthand the impact of sectarian violence and religious discrimination," said Downey, who drew a parallel between the religious violence engulfing the Middle East today to the Catholic-Protestant violence that took place in her native Northern Ireland, according to a copy of her speech obtained by The Christian Post. The former "Touched by an Angel" actress noted some of the crackdown efforts done to fellow Catholics in her hometown of Derry, which she described as "a city divided by a river with Catholics living on one side and Protestants on the other." more >>
"The Colbert Report" host Stephen Colbert talked Pope Francis' remarks on homesexuals, as well as atheists and heaven, in an interview with New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Tuesday.
"Look you don't got to Mass to win heaven. You go to ask God for help to get you there. You go to Mass to thank him for being such a great God that he wants you to spend eternity with him. That's why you go to Mass. You don't go to win heaven because you can't earn it – it's a gift. He wants to give it to all of us," Dolan, who is also the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shared with Colbert.
The comedian, a Catholic himself, had brought up Pope Francis' remarks in May, when the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics said that non-Catholics and atheists can do good and that God has redeemed everyone, causing a notable stir in the Catholic community. more >>
The Christian-based organization Salvation Army will soon be sending its troops to an unlikely place: a sexuality expo in South Africa. Members will attend the event next month as a way of being a representative of the "Christian understanding of sexuality," say officials with the group.
Carin Holmes, spokeswoman for the Salvation Army, said in a statement that the Salvation Army's presence is planned to be a show of availability, not one of judgment.
"If Jesus Christ was on earth today, he would be standing beside us at Sexpo," said Holmes, who is part of The Salvation Army's Southern Africa Territory. "We're not going there to condemn anyone. We aren't going to lecture people…We're going there to be available." more >>
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty revealed that on Monday it received more than 1,500 pages of documents confirming that the Department of Defense classified religious groups such as Catholics, Evangelicals, Jews, and Mormons as religious "extremists" similar to Al-Qaeda and the Ku Klux Klan in training materials.
"Men and women of faith who have served the military faithfully for centuries shouldn't be likened to those who have regularly threatened the peace and security of the United States," said Chaplain (Col.) Ron Crews, USAR retired, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.
"The materials we have received verify that the military views the Southern Poverty Law Center as a 'reliable source' for Equal Opportunity briefings even though it has engaged in a pattern of labeling evangelical Christians, Catholics, and other conservative and orthodox faith groups as 'extremists.' The documents demonstrate that the Department of Defense has chosen to rely on these biased SPLC materials to train Equal Opportunity Officers in the military." more >>