Pope Francis spoke out on the Egypt crisis on Sunday, praying for peace but also declaring that violence is incompatible with Christian faith.
"The word of the Gospel does not authorize the use of force to spread the faith. It is 'just the opposite: the true strength of the Christian is the power of truth and love, which leads to the renunciation of all violence. Faith and violence are incompatible," the leader of the Roman Catholic Church said following the Angelus prayer at St. Peter's Square.
Government forces in Egypt are confronting fierce protests from Muslim Brotherhood-backed supporters over the past several weeks, which has led to violence all throughout the North African country and has left hundreds of people dead. more >>
A spokesperson for the Coptic Church in Egypt said recently that the pope has canceled his weekly meetings at the Cairo cathedral due to his concern of increased hostility against Christian congregants.
"We fear that Pope Tawadros II might become a target of Islamist reprisal," Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Coptic Church in Egypt, said in a recent statement. "In recent weeks, after the fall of the Morsi administration, attacks and acts of intimidation against the Christian minority have occurred on a daily basis," Greiche added.
As a precaution, Pope Tawadros II has canceled his weekly events at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, out of concern that his congregation will be attacked by Islamic militants. The pope usually holds a weekly lecture series at the cathedral during which he discusses scripture with congregants, but this will be postponed until further notice. more >>
While Republicans were the butt of most late night comic humor last year, now that President Barack Obama is re-elected, those comics have turned most of their attention to the president. New York mayoral candidate and famed "sexter" Anthony Weiner had the second most late night jokes in the first half of 2013.
Obama was joked about in 288 monologues on late night television, over twice as many as Weiner, who came in second with 120 jokes, according to a Center for Media and Public Affairs study on late night jokes between January 1 and June 30.
Pope Benedict XVI closely followed Weiner with 112 jokes. Vice President Joe Biden was a distant fourth place with 88 jokes. The only Republicans in the top 10 were former President George W. Bush (84 jokes) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (71 jokes) in fifth and sixth place, respectively. more >>
Former Senator and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has said in an interview Wednesday that Pope Francis' recent comments regarding homosexuality, made earlier this week following Brazil's World Youth Day, were taken out of context by mainstream media.
Santorum, a devout Roman Catholic, argues that the Pope's comments regarding homosexuality, made aboard the papal airplane on Monday, were taken out of context, as the pontiff was answering a question regarding an alleged "gay lobby" within the Vatican, and was not speaking directly about homosexuality itself.
"I've read the whole transcript, and what he said early on was that 'I don't know anybody who puts gay on their identification card.' He said it in that context," Santorum told Buzzfeed in an interview on Wednesday evening. more >>
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York recently clarified that Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church still consider homosexuality wrong.
Dolan, who also serves as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told 'CBS This Morning' that the remarks were about accepting homosexuals without accepting homosexual behavior.
"Pope Francis would be the first to say, 'My job isn't to change church teaching. My job is to present it as clearly as possible'," said Dolan on Tuesday. "While certain acts may be wrong...we will always love and respect the person and treat the person with dignity." more >>
After Pope Francis reiterated what the Catholic Church teaches about how gays should be treated, some in the media reported that his words suggested a more liberal direction for the Church.
"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis told reporters in a informal interview.
While that was the most quoted line from the interview, what he said immediately afterward was cited less often: "The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society. The problem isn't this [homosexual] orientation – we must be like brothers and sisters. The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby or a Masonic lobby." more >>