Calling it the "most significant change" in foreign policy affecting U.S.-Cuba relations in more than five decades, President Barack Obama announced the beginning of an effort to "normalize relations" between the two countries Thursday and praised Pope Francis for his role in facilitating the release of U.S. citizen Alan Gross, who had been imprisoned in Cuba for five years.
"Today the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba. In the most significant change in our policy in more than 50 years we will end an outdated approach which for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries," said Obama in a televised address to the nation.
Before getting into the specifics of the policy changes, however, Obama took time to praise Pope Francis for his role in the safe return of Gross to the U.S., which he said had been a "major obstacle" in the normalizing of U.S.-Cuba relations. Gross is a sub-contractor for USAID. more >>
WASHINGTON — Leaders from most of the world's major religious groups who gathered at the Vatican last month for a conference on marriage left optimistic that they can win their fight against the forces of the sexual revolution emanating from the West, Dr. Russell Moore said.
"One of the most important things that came out of the colloquium is a sense of optimism from the people there," explained Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, in a Monday interview at his Washington, D.C., office. "Being in dialogue with people from all around the world, in almost every [religious] tradition, people who have almost nothing else in common, I think we all walked away with a sense that concern about marriage is much bigger and broader than what we would have previously assumed."
The purpose of the Humanum conference, also called The Complementarity of Man and Woman: An International Colloquium and held at the Vatican Nov. 17-19, was to bring representatives from the major religious groups around the world to discuss how proper understanding the complementarity of the male/female relationship can invigorate efforts to promote the social goods provided my marriage. more >>
Pope Francis expressed in a message at the major U.N. climate change summit in Peru this week that the consequences of environmental change represent a "serious ethical and moral responsibility," and warned that the time for action is running out.
Francis warned Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of the Environment of Peru and President-Designate of the conference, that neglect and inaction on the issue could have very serious consequences for the planet and humanity.
The Roman Catholic Church leader said that "we can find solutions only if we act together and agree." He urged a collective response that is free from political or economic influences, one that overcomes mistrust and promotes a culture of solidarity and dialogue. more >>
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Monday on behalf of the Little Sisters of the Poor who've challenged the Department of Health and Human Services' mandate that they cover birth control and abortifacients for their employees.
After arguments were heard by the Denver, Colorado-based 10th Circuit on Monday, Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire, Mother Provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor, said she and her order "are not seeking special privileges."
"The government exempts huge corporations, small businesses, and other religious ministries from what they are imposing on us — we are simply asking to carry on our mission to serve the elderly poor as we have always done for 175 years," Maguire said in a statement shared with The Christian Post. more >>
Pope Francis revealed in an interview that the topic of same-sex marriage was not brought up at the Vatican's two-week Synod on the Family in October. He said that what was discussed was how the Church can reach out to parents with gay children, a situation he has faced numerous times.
Francis spoke on a number of topics in his interview with Argentinean paper La Nacion on Sunday, and revealed that despite much media attention, the Roman Catholic Church's doctrine on marriage was not addressed – except when it comes to divorced Catholics who have been remarried.
The pontiff addressed reports of Catholic conservatives expressing concern at the synod discussing "positive nuances" of gay couples living together, and clarified that the focus of the conversation was reaching out to families with gay children. more >>
Holy Family Parish of Inverness in Chicago is facing a lawsuit filed by a gay choir director it fired after he became engaged to his partner.
Colin Collette filed suit against the parish on Thursday, arguing that since the state recognizes gay marriages the church should too.