On Monday, the Vatican released an interim report, known as a relatio, which is a non-authoritative document, similar to an advisory, for its synod of bishops to consider when they next discuss issues related to the family, marriage, divorce and sexual orientation.
The media responded, sadly, as it often has, in a frenzy of inferences rather than researching and reporting facts. Reuters proclaimed the Catholic Church has made a "dramatic shift in tone" about same-sex couples— an "earthquake." The New York Times reported the Vatican was calling on the church to "welcome and accept gay people."
The media's ignorance about religious beliefs is well known but the refusal to actually do their job and report facts is astounding. more >>
Recent events have brought the debate on so-called "death with dignity" and assisted suicide into the spotlight again. And yet, the argument is not really a new one. No less a light than William Shakespeare extensively dealt with the subject in his writing.
"Death with dignity" is essentially a code word for suicide, sometimes in the face of a terminal illness. As one humanist put it, he wants to kill himself on his own terms rather than die from some disease. He said it would be like telling God, "You can't fire me---I quit."
In the Netherlands, they accepted the basic concept of doctor-assisted suicide ("death with dignity") many years ago. But they have now reached the point where the level of involuntary deaths has exceeded the number of voluntary deaths. more >>
When you went to bed this past Sunday evening, the Catholic Church taught the following:
Marriage is indissoluble.
Catholics who attempt marriage following a divorce—without a declaration that their first bond wasn't after all a valid marriage—enter a (presumptively) adulterous relationship. So long as they maintain a sexual relationship with their new partner, they cannot judge themselves to be in a state of grace and therefore cannot worthily receive Holy Communion. more >>
In an outrageous act of overreach that the Alliance Defending Freedom rightly branded "an inquisition" and "witch-hunt," the city of Houston has demanded that pastors preaching on themes relating to homosexuality and gender identity turn their sermons over to the government for inspection.
So much for the idea that electing a lesbian activist for mayor would have no negative consequences on the religious freedoms of the people of Houston. So much for gay activist "tolerance."
It was bad enough when Mayor Annise Parker undermined the will of the state by campaigning nationally for the redefinition of marriage when the people of Texas had declared in overwhelming fashion that they did not want marriage redefined. more >>
The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city's first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.
"The city's subpoena of sermons and other pastoral communications is both needless and unprecedented," Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Christina Holcomb said in a statement. "The city council and its attorneys are engaging in an inquisition designed to stifle any critique of its actions."
ADF, a nationally known law firm specializing in religious liberty cases, is representing five Houston pastors. They filed a motion in Harris County court to stop the subpoenas arguing they are "overbroad, unduly burdensome, harassing, and vexatious." more >>
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that it's aiding Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in its treatment and care for 26-year-old ICU nurse Nina Pham of Dallas, who's the first person to contract the deadly Ebola virus in the United States.
Pham, who thanked people for their prayers in a statement released by the hospital, has received a blood transfusion from Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, who has also donated blood to NBC cameraman Ashoka Mukpo.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, said during a Tuesday news conference that nurses from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta are part of a response team that, during the past 48 hours, has been helping the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian who are caring for Pham. more >>