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 >>
"Duck Dynasty" star Sadie Robertson said recently that she feels "honored" to be launching her very own rain boot line with Roma, a Dallas-based "socially conscious 'buy one give one' boot company that combines fashion with philanthropy to to help impoverished children around the world."
The 18-year-old reality TV star, who launched her line of "Live Original" prom dresses with fashion designer Sherri Hill back in 2014, is dabbling in fashion again but this time she's putting her name on a line of rain boots that will be available for purchase in the fall. And for every pair of rain boots sold, a new pair will be donated to a child in need, the company's website states.
"Can't wait for my new rain boot line with Roma to hit stores this fall! For each pair bought a child in poverty will get a pair. We are going to give poverty the boot. So honored to be apart of a great way to give back. #givepovertytheboot," Robertson wrote in an Instagram post shared with her 2 million followers last week. more >>
Pope Francis started his nine-day tour of Latin America, his first as pontiff, on Sunday, arriving in Quito, Ecuador, where he said, "No one, save Jesus Christ, possesses his or her own light." During his trip, Francis is likely to focus on poverty and inequality as well as reiterate his concern for the environment.
"I have come as a witness of God's mercy and of faith in Jesus Christ," Francis said in his prepared remarks at the welcome ceremony Sunday in Quito.
Children in traditional dress greeted the pope at the Mariscal Sucre airport, and shook hands with many of them. more >>
A church in Indiana has joined several charity organizations to raise money to purchase a "Homeless Jesus" statue for the state capital.
Roberts Park United Methodist Church has partnered with Wheeler Mission, Outreach Inc., and the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic to get a "Homeless Jesus" statue for Indianapolis. The Rev. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes, senior pastor at Roberts Park UMC, told The Christian Post that this was the "problem of homelessness in Indianapolis."
"Roberts Park UMC, as a large downtown church, has for the last 20 years, been actively serving this sector of the community through its Soup's On feeding program and now regularly serves an average of 250 meals every Sunday lunchtime to the homeless and food impoverished," said the Rev. Scanlan-Holmes. more >>
As part of an interactive project, seven pianos were set up in various parts of the city of Sarasota in Florida. Signs were placed next to the pianos encouraging anyone who walked by to sit down and play. That's when this homeless man took a seat and amazed everyone.
One of the city's most frequent performers is Donald Gould. He is homeless, but it doesn't stop him from drawing crowds of people to watch him. Donald is a former Marine who ended up living on the streets after battling a drug addiction. He plans to one day turn his life around and music is a major part of his recovery. After one of Donald's performances was captured and put online, his popularity grew immensely.
If you haven't heard him before, you definitely have to hear him now. Many people from his hometown of Sarasota are hoping Donald one day is on the big stage! more >>