WASHINGTON — In a YouTube video greeting to all of the millennials gathered at the National Mall for Together 2016 on Saturday, Pope Francis spoke about the "restlessness in their hearts," and encouraged them to channel that energy to pursue Jesus.
Even though theological differences abound among the Christian denominations that came together for Together 2016, at the heart of the millennial-focused prayer and worship gathering was one common theme: Jesus changes everything, and only He can reset our differences.
Speaking in Spanish, his native language, the pontiff said in his message: "I know there is something in your heart that moves you, and that makes you restless, because a young person who is not restless is an old person. And you have youthfulness and youthfulness breeds restlessness." more >>
Christian leaders around the world have been condemning the terror attack in Nice, where at least 84 were killed and scores more injured, with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby bemoaning that "human evil kills the innocent cruelly," and Patriarch Kirill wondering what is happening to the human race.
The massacre in the southern French city was carried out by a 31-year-old Tunisian-born Frenchman, Reuters reported, who drove a heavy truck into large crowds watching the fireworks on Bastille Day. The driver opened fire on civilians before he was shot dead by police officers, at the end killing 84 people and injuring many others.
As world leaders have sent their condolences to French President Francois Hollande, who called the attack a terrorist act, Church leaders have also been quick to condemn the latest massacre to strike France, following the terror attacks in Paris in November 2015. more >>
Catholic League President Bill Donohue said it is he who deserves an apology from the LGBT community following remarks by Pope Francis that called on Christians to apologize to gay people and others they have offended.
CNN's Chris Cuomo spoke with Donohue in an interview on Tuesday, where the latter was asked whether he feels like apologizing to the gay community.
"No," responded Donohue. "As a matter of fact, I want an apology from gays! I've been assaulted by gays. I've never assaulted a gay person in my entire life," he said, referring to an incident at a gay pride parade where he recalled being "assaulted by lesbians." more >>
Christians must ask for forgiveness from people they have mistreated in the past, including gay people, the poor, and exploited women, Pope Francis said Sunday on a flight from Armenia to Rome.
"I think the Church not only must say it is sorry to the gay person it has offended, but also to the poor, to exploited women" and anyone whom the Church did not defend when it could, Francis told reporters on Sunday, according to the Catholic News Service.
When asked about the terror attack at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where Islamic State supporter Omar Mateen killed 49 people on June 12, the pontiff said, "The Church must say it is sorry for not having behaved as it should many times, many times — when I say the 'Church,' I mean we Christians because the Church is holy; we are the sinners. We Christians must say we are sorry." more >>
Many Christians no longer view marriage as a lifelong commitment, says Mary Hasson, director of the Catholic Women's Forum at the Ethics & Public Policy Center in Washington D.C., who agrees with Pope Francis' assertion that couples often fail to understand the sacred vows they are making to each other.
"It's individual consumerism applied to sexuality — what I want, when I want it, and only for as long as I want it," said Hasson, who has over a decade of experience in marriage preparation work for the Catholic Church, to The Christian Post. "It's meaningful only from a 'what's in it for me' perspective. Relationships often take on the same quality — they are vehicles for personal fulfillment (however defined) and, like an old car, they can be traded or dumped when the repair costs get too high or a new model appears on the scene."
The majority of couples she meets who are preparing for marriage frequently tell her that they want to commit for life, she said, "but they often have their own personal asterisks — the unspoken 'exceptions' that they believe will justify divorce and remarriage later on." more >>
Pope Francis has warned that a global emptiness and insecurity is gripping the world, saying people need Jesus Christ more than ever before.
"The world needs Christ more than ever, needs His salvation and His merciful love," Francis said on Sunday.