A manager at a Burger King in Bolivia, where Pope Francis changed prior to giving an outdoor mass on Thursday, called the pontiff's brief visit "a blessing," after seeing a boost in sales at the fast-food chain.
Christian Vaca, who's the assistant manager of a Burger King in Bolivia, said Thursday that sales were up after the Argentine-born leader of the Roman Catholic church used their space as a sacristy and a location to store the chair he sat in during the mass, along with other items used during the service.
"Business has been hopping since he was here," Vaca told ABC News. "It's really a blessing." more >>
Pastor Judah Smith, who is known for spiritually mentoring celebrity singer Justin Bieber, explains in a message what it means to not love the world or the things in the world, and how to move away from a life that is characterized by perpetually finding something new to want.
Smith, lead pastor of The City Church in Seattle, Washington, started his sermon last week by reading 1 John 2:15, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
The verse doesn't say love "for" the Father, but "of" the Father, he underlined, and continued to read verses 16 and 17: "For all that is in the world — the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life — is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever." more >>
The New England Conference of United Methodist Churches, a group of 600 churches spanning six states, voted in favor of a resolution Saturday which calls for an end to the war on drugs because it is the Christian thing to do.
"In the love of Christ, who came to save those who are lost and vulnerable, we urge the creation of a genuinely new system for the care and restoration of victims, offenders, criminal justice officials, and the community as a whole," said the resolution, in part, according to a release from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
"Restorative justice grows out of biblical authority, which emphasizes a right relationship with God, self and community. When such relationships are violated or broken through crime, opportunities are created to make things right," it continued. more >>
Pope Francis apologized Thursday for what he called the Roman Catholic Church's complicity in committing "grave sins" against Native Americans "in the name of God" during the oppression of Latin America in the colonial era.
In an address in Bolivia at the Second World Meeting of Popular Movements, a congress of global activists working to mobilize and help the poor, the pope also called for a global social movement to break down the "new colonialism" that has exploited the poor and promoted inequality and materialism, according to a report in The New York Times.
"Some may rightly say, 'When the pope speaks of colonialism, he overlooks certain actions of the church,'" said Francis. "I say this to you with regret: Many grave sins were committed against the native people of America in the name of God." more >>
Pope Francis has called the unfettered pursuit of money "the dung of the devil" in a strongly worded condemnation of the global treatment of poor people. Speaking on Thursday at the World Meeting of Popular Movements in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Francis also told Christians it is their "commandment" to fight for the "just distribution of the fruits of the Earth."
Francis, who is on a tour of several South American countries, told the Bolivian faithful that as the scientific community warns, "irreversible harm" is being done to the ecosystem, which is "brutally punishing" entire populations. He then referred to the "unfettered pursuit of money" as the "dung of the devil," which leaves behind the service of the common good:
"Once capital becomes an idol and guides people's decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home." more >>
Today, South Sudan is celebrating its fourth Independence Day, but almost no one there is celebrating. Instead they are trying to avert a famine.
Last month I was at a nutrition center in the city of Kuajok in South Sudan where I measured the circumference of the upper arm of Riing Ayii, a 15-month-old boy, in order to determine his level of malnutrition.
With skin hanging off his bones the little boy easily fit the U.N. definition of severely malnourished. Riing's upper arm measured no more than the circle you could make with your thumb and index finger. I couldn't help but think of my own healthy 15-month-old grandson toddling around the backyard at twice Riing's size. more >>