As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the legality of Proposition 8 on Tuesday, large scale rallies were held outside their pillared structure for and against the measure.
While the pro-traditional marriage marchers had based their operations at the National Mall, the pro-gay marriage supporters were using the United Methodist Building, an edifice constructed next to the Supreme Court back in the 1920s.
The United Methodist Building's allowance of usage by groups supportive of gay rights in general and gay marriage in particular may be in violation of its denomination's rules. more >>
Survivors of child sexual abuse who have been urging the Roman Catholic Church to start taking real steps to tackle the problem believe that newly elected Pope Francis provides "a glimmer of hope" that things can change for the better.
"Certainly, Francis is a man who loved to teach and was meek and understanding of the plight of the downtrodden and the marginalized in our society," said Mark Crawford, a member of SNAP, a network for survivors of clergy abuse, according to ABC News. "That's why I have this one glimmer of hopeful expectation. But he has to be assertive and aggressive."
But Crawford, 51, remains cautious, knowing any change would not come easy. more >>
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) congratulated Pope Francis for being elected the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church and said it hopes to continue positive dialogue together.
The Rev. Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary general of WEA, which represents more than 600 million evangelical Christians, extended his "warmest congratulations" to the newly elected Pope and affirmed his prayers for the new leader, who will head the Catholic Church "at a time filled with great challenges but also a time of great possibilities...," in a statement released Thursday.
"We look forward to building on some of the good work we have done together in the past, such as the collaboration for the document Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct," said Tunnicliffe. more >>
The Roman Catholic Church may be open to discussing its long held requirement for priests to lead a celibate life as it prepares for a new chapter with the coming election of Pope Benedict XVI's successor, some church leaders have said.
"It startles me sometimes [when people] say why doesn't the church talk about married priests," New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan told CNN. "I think we talk about it; I can't get my hair cut without my barber asking me about it. [But] I don't think there would be that kind of change."
Many church leaders are wondering what changes, if any, will unfold when the new pope comes to power. more >>
A group of survivors of sexual abuse by clergy have identified 12 cardinals who are currently a candidate for pope in the Roman Catholic Church that have the worst history when it comes to responding to child sex abuse claims.
SNAP, the Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests, told media on Wednesday that it was basing its list on news reports, legal filings and victims' statements.
"The single quickest and most effective step would be for the next pope to clearly discipline, demote, denounce and even defrock cardinals and bishops who are concealing child sex crimes. We think that's the missing piece," said SNAP Executive Director David Clohessy. more >>
Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom and the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, who has spoken out about his lack of belief in God, said he will send his 11-year-old son to a Catholic school.
"In response to media inquiries, Nick and Miriam can confirm that they have decided to send their oldest son, Antonio, from September onwards to the London Oratory School, a state Catholic secondary school," said a spokesman for the deputy prime minister, according to The Telegraph.
"He is currently a pupil at a state Catholic primary school, Our Lady of the Victories in Putney, where he has been going for the last six years. Now that their decision has been made public, they hope that the privacy of their son will be respected." more >>