A number of Roman Catholic bishops in Latin America, where the dangerous Zika virus is spreading, have said that despite health warnings, Catholics should refuse to use contraceptives.
"Contraceptives are not a solution," said Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, an auxiliary bishop in Brazil, according to Gospel Herald. "There is not a single change in the Church's position."
Organizations such as the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control have said that contraceptives need to be used by infected patients in order to prevent the spread of Zika, which might be linked to hundreds of babies being born with deformed brains in Brazil and neighboring countries. more >>
During his visit to Mexico, Pope Francis condemned the country's drug trade and government corruption that has led to hundreds of thousands of murders and missing persons cases.
The pope made his comments on Saturday while speaking to the country's bishops at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City, urging religious leaders to take a more pro-active stance in fighting the drug trade and warning of "the temptation of aloofness and clericalism."
The country's Catholic Church has also received criticism in the past for turning a blind eye to government corruption and drug-related violence. more >>
A bishop in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo has said that the historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, the first one between the heads of the two churches following their split over a millennium ago, provides comfort and hope to suffering Christians.
"The meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill is perceived by Christians as the fruit of the cross they are experiencing. The suffering of all Christians in the Middle East bears the fruit of unity. This for us is a great consolation and helps us to move forward, even if we still have to suffer," said Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo for the Catholics of the Latin rite, according to Fides News Agency.
The meeting took place on Friday in Cuba, and was the first of its kind since the Russian Orthodox Church, the largest of the Eastern Christianity branches, split from the Roman Catholic Church over 1,000 years ago. more >>
Catholic Bishops have no legal obligation to report sex abuse allegations to law enforcement, a recent Vatican document states.
Monsignor Tony Anatrella, who belongs to the Church's Pontifical Council for the Family, stated in a Vatican document — as well as during a training session for newly-ordained bishops — that Church leaders have no legal obligation to report sex abuse allegations to local authorities.
The Catholic news agency Crux Now first reported on comments made by Anatrella during the annual training session held for bishops in Paris, France, last fall, where the mosignor focused on a variety of issues, including "sanctifying, teaching and governing," as well handling sex abuse claims. more >>
President Barack Obama claimed in a wide-ranging interview that he has met most hopes and expectations people had of his presidency, and also singled out Pope Francis' visit to the White House as a stand-out moment.
"I've done a lot of them and I've made progress on almost all of them," Obama told "CBS This Morning" about voters' expectations in an interview that was posted on Tuesday.
"I feel pretty good about being able to match up what I said I would accomplish with what has been accomplished. I mentioned in the State of the Union that one of the things I regret though is that I haven't been able to drain some of the rancor that exists here in Washington," he continued. more >>
Ahead of his trip to Mexico, Pope Francis prayed that the international community would aid Syrian refugees seeking asylum in the West.
The pontiff made his comments during his weekly Angelus Address from St. Peter's Square, calling on the "generous solidarity" of the world to help those suffering in the war-torn Middle East.
Francis told the audience gathered at the Vatican that he was concerned by "the dramatic fate of civilian populations involved in heavy fighting in Syria [who] are forced to leave everything behind to escape the horrors of war." more >>