As more Catholic and Jesuit universities in the United States begin offering benefits to the same-sex spouses of their employees, Catholic church leaders are starting to speak out in objection to their local universities starting to provide those benefits to gay and lesbian spouses.
Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska became the latest Jesuit institution to offer the benefits to the same-sex spouses of their employees, as the school announced the change in its policy last week.
Although the state of Nebraska currently has a ban against gay marriage, the president of Creighton University, the Rev. Timothy Lannon, said the decision was made so that those employees who were wed to a member of the same-sex in another state could receive the same treatment all of the other married employees are receiving. more >>
The highest court in the state of New York unanimously voted last week to approve the marriage between a half-uncle and his half niece, ruling that the marriage did not violate the state's statute against incestuous marriages.
The New York Court of Appeals voted, 6-0, last Tuesday to approve of a marriage between a Vietnamese woman and her uncle. In 2000, a 19-year-old immigrant, Huyen Nguyen, married her mother's half brother, 24-year-old uncle Vu Truong, who is an American citizen, in order for her to gain permanent United States citizenship.
After getting married, Nguyen was given temporary citizenship. After six years of marriage, Nguyen applied for her permanent citizenship in 2006. But when the Department of Homeland Security found that that the marriage between Nguyen and Truong was incestuous, the department began the process for Nguyen's deportation. An immigration judge agreed that their marriage in Rochester was invalid due to incest. The New York Appeals court overturned that decision, though, arguing that state's marriage statute did not specify incest to include the union of half-uncles and half-nieces. more >>
Roman Catholic Church bishops from the Province of Acapulco in Mexico are urging families to hold on to hope as authorities continue searching for the 43 students kidnapped by drug cartel gunmen. Many of the students are feared to have been massacred, and even burned alive.
"United in pain and suffering, we greet you so you can feel our comfort and our hope, along with feelings of sympathy for the disappearance and death of your children, on Sept. 26, in the city of Iguala," reads the statement by the bishops from the Archdiocese of Acapulco, published by Fides News Agency on Monday.
"We encourage you to continue to look ahead. You have to keep walking because God always has good things for his children. Have hope because hope pushes to keep fighting, to continue to live with dignity, to continue working for a better world," the statement added. more >>
An Iraqi tribal leader revealed that at least 322 members of a single Sunni tribe have been killed at the hands of terror group ISIS in the western Anbar province. The tribe's senior leader has blamed the government for abandoning the people to the jihadists.
"The government abandoned us and gave us to ISIS on a platter," Sheikh Naeem Al Gaoud of the Albu Nimr tribe told BBC News on Sunday. "We asked them many times for weapons but they gave us only promises."
Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights confirmed that 322 people in total have been killed, following news that ISIS militants shot dead 50 men and women from the tribe on Friday night into Saturday morning. Another 65 people are said to have been kidnapped. more >>
A Christian who was one of the last to flee his village in the Nineveh Province of northern Iraq before Islamic State jihadists captured it in August claims that ISIS militants are setting up explosives inside of homes so that if residents are ever to return to the village, their houses will explode upon entering.
The testimony of a Christian native named Ayad from Tel Keppe, a village just outside of the city of Mosul, was featured in a recent video interview conducted by the World Council of Churches. Ayad's testimony highlighted the timeline and details the of events that took place as the Islamic State militants captured his town on Aug. 6.
Ayad, who claims to be the last capable person to flee the village, said he eventually fled the town with no shoes on his feet, but emphasized that Christians are eager to return to their homes, as day by day, the Kurdish forces tell refugees what villages they have liberated and are safe to return to. more >>
A 25-year-old British mother is believed to have traveled to Syria, along with her 1-year-old baby son, to join Islamic State extremists in their Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, according to her family.
The father of Tareena Shakil, a young British mother who resided in Birmingham and holds a psychology degree, told the British news source The Sun that he's concerned for his baby grandson's safety after he learned that his daughter and her 14-month-old son have entered the Islamic State caliphate in Syria and don't plan on returning home.
After four months of posting extremist messages on a Facebook account Shakil had created under an Islamic pseudonym, Shakil's family said that she lied when she told them that she and her son, Zaheem, were going on a vacation to Spain. They learned that Spain was not her intended destination when Shakil sent messages back home to the family saying that she and Zaheem had instead crossed Turkey's porous border into Syria and that they are now in the ISIS Syrian stronghold of Raqqa. more >>