A California Roman Catholic diocese that owns the property that once was the Crystal Cathedral has received a $20 million donation for its renovation work.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange announced that an anonymous donor gave $20 million to aid the estimated $113 million renovation of the former Crystal Cathedral.
Pope Francis and several of the world's leading religious leaders joined together in a pledge to end human slavery by 2020, focusing on the tens of millions of people "in chains" due to human trafficking and forced labor.
"The physical, economic, sexual and psychological exploitation of men and women, boys and girls, is chaining tens of millions of persons to inhumanity and humiliation," the pope said and signed the pledge to do "all in our power, within our faith communities and beyond" to end modern slavery by 2020.
The signatories of the declaration included Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury; Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee; Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi, an influential Shiite scholar; Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, as well as representatives for Ahmad el-Tayeb, a grand imam from Egypt. more >>
As Pope Francis visits Turkey on Friday for a weekend trip, Muslim religious figures have expressed hopes that the occasion can serve to restore Islam's image of peace and repair some of the negativity that has been associated with the religion.
Imam Ishak Kizilaslan of Istanbul's Sultan Ahmed Mosque said that he welcomes the pope's scheduled visit to the mosque, and said that he hopes Francis will see from the worshippers inside that Islam is a religion of peace.
"I will tell him ... that Islam is peace, the word means peace and submission," Kizilaslan said of what he plans to relay to Pope Francis during the pontiff's private stop on Saturday. more >>
Pope Francis has said that he would "never close the door" on dialogue with terror group ISIS if there is any way it could end the suffering in the region. The pontiff was speaking to reporters on Tuesday following a speech at the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, and added that states striking back against terrorism can lead to loss of innocent life as well.
"I never count anything as lost. Never. Never close the door. It's difficult, you could say almost impossible, but the door is always open," Francis said about talks with ISIS, responding to a specific question of dialogue with the jihadists.
"This Marriage is not ours to alter. It is ours, however, to encourage and celebrate…this we affirm." These were the final words recited from a new affirmation on marriage at the conclusion of the three-day conference of international religious leaders at the Vatican on the complementarity of man and woman. The atmosphere was almost euphoric as the attendees from six of the world's seven continents broke from the historic gathering to return to their respective nations renewed in their stand for marriage.
As I shared with reporters earlier in the day, anyone who cares about the well-being of children, the well-being of men and women, and the well-being of society as a whole cannot help but be encouraged by what happened in Rome this week. Stepping away from the U.S. media's incessant spin that the redefinition of marriage is inevitable and corporate America's capitulation to cultural extortionists was refreshing. more >>
Pope Francis plans to hold a raffle for all the gifts he has received since becoming the Bishop of Rome over the past year with proceeds going to charity.
The Vatican has already begun advertising for the raffle, with posters put up around the city state pricing the tickets at 10 euros, which is the equivalent of $13.
Items up for grabs on the raffle range from various housewares to a Fiat 4x4 automobile. more >>