The Washington Post editorial board has criticized President Obama for inviting transgender activists, an openly gay bishop and supporters of abortion to an event to welcome Pope Francis on Wednesday, saying the White House is more considerate of dictators and oppressors, such as the Chinese president, who is arriving in the U.S. next week, than the pope.
The editorial board says they are struck by "the contrast between the administration's apparent decision to risk a bit of rudeness in the case of the pope and its overwhelming deference to foreign dictators when similar issues arise."
Those invited to the event at the White House's South Lawn to welcome the pope on his first full day in the U.S. on Wednesday include Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a "Catholic social justice lobby" which allegedly supports abortion and euthanasia; Bishop Gene Robinson, former Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire who is the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in the country; Mateo Williamson, a former co-head of the transgender caucus of Dignity USA; and also activists from the LGBT group GLAAD. more >>
On September 23, 24, and 25, Pope Francis will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House, speak to a joint session of Congress, and address the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. A major thrust of his message will be to urge action to reduce manmade global warming — something to which President Obama is already committed.
We offer a dissenting opinion.
This is a huge and incredibly complex topic that we can only begin to unpack here. We and other scholars have discussed it at length in five major papers by the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, the latest of which is A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor 2014: The Case against Harmful Climate Policies Gets Stronger (all at http://www.cornwallalliance.org/landmark-documents/), which provide more details, plus documentation for many of the facts we state here. more >>
Pope Francis has admitted that he's "a bit feminist," praising the important role of women in religious life for standing on the "front lines" of the church's "motherly love" and outreach to people who need it most.
Catholic News Service reported on Thursday that Francis was speaking to an audience of young consecrated women and men from around the world, and talked about how evangelism helps 'warm other people's lives with Christ.'
"Here I would like to — forgive me if I'm a bit feminist — give thanks to the witness of consecrated women. Not all of them though, some are a bit frantic!" the Roman Catholic Church leader said to laughter and applause. more >>
Comedian Stephen Colbert, the new host of CBS' "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," interviewed Vice President Joe Biden Thursday night and the two men bonded over their faith in God and loss of loved ones. Colbert, despite poking fun at the Church occasionally, has always been open about his belief in God and Christian duty to serve others.
Colbert and Biden discussed various issues — the vice president could potentially run for president, but he's unsure if he's invested in the idea — but then they spoke about the death of his son, Maj. Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in May. Colbert asked him if his Roman Catholic faith helped him get through the painful loss.
The vice president said he gets "an enormous sense of solace" from his belief in God. more >>
Pope Francis has urged every Catholic parish and religious community in Europe to take in at least one refugee family and help Europe with its migrant crisis, noting that the Vatican would take two families itself. With hundreds of thousands of refugees making their way toward Western Europe, countries such as Germany and Austria are said to be near the "tipping point" of how much they can help.
"May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family" Francis told the crowds at St. Peter's Square on Sunday. ￼ "Before the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing death in conflict and hunger and are on a journey of hope, the Gospel calls us to be close to the smallest and to those who have been abandoned," he added, according to Vatican Radio.
Pope Francis has brought in historic reforms to rules concerning marriage annulment and remarriage within the Roman Catholic Church as part of his "Year of Mercy" initiative.
Although Catholics do not recognize divorce, marriages can still be ended through an annulment process that states they were flawed from the beginning. Annulment is of central importance to Catholics, since those who divorce and marry again are considered adulterers and not allowed to receive communion.