A strong majority of American Catholics support raising children in non-traditional families, such as single-parent and divorced households, or by same-sex parents, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for Religion & Public Life.
"Nine-in-10 U.S. Catholics say a household headed by a married mother and father is an ideal situation for bringing up children. But the survey shows that large majorities think other kinds of families — those headed by parents who are single, divorced, unmarried or gay — are OK for raising children, too," noted Pew in an analysis released on Wednesday, ahead Pope Francis' first U.S. visit later this month in which he'll encounter a national Catholic population largely supportive of family units not advanced or encouraged by Church teaching.
"This may be in part because Francis' American flock is experiencing life in all its modern complexity. According to the survey, one-in-four Catholics have gone through a divorce. One-in-10 have not only divorced but also remarried. One-in-10 are living with a romantic partner, sans wedding, and more than four-in-10 have done so at some point in their lives." more >>
British scholars from the University of Oxford have said that fragments from the oldest discovered Quran appear to predate the founding of Islam by the Muslim prophet Muhammad, which could put into dispute some of the most central tenets of the religion.
"This gives more ground to what have been peripheral views of the Quran's genesis, like that Muhammad and his early followers used a text that was already in existence and shaped it to fit their own political and theological agenda, rather than Muhammad receiving a revelation from heaven," Keith Small of Oxford's Bodleian Library told the Times of London.
Some of the world's oldest fragments of the Quran were discovered back in July at the University of Birmingham, with radiocarbon dating projecting the manuscript to be at least 1,370 years old. more >>
Famous evangelist Billy Graham is coming out with a new book titled Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond, which his son, Franklin Graham, revealed he had been working on since before his 95th birthday.
"It was great to be able to visit my father this weekend at his home," Franklin wrote in a Facebook message on Sunday.
The message continued: "He said, 'When I die, tell others that I've gone to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ — that's where I am.' Jesus Himself said, 'Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. ... I go to prepare a place for you. ... I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also' (John 14:1–3)." more >>
Ten years after church denominations and emergency agencies were first on the scene in response to the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina, help still trickles in to rebuild communities affected along the Gulf Coast.
On Saturday, church and ministry leaders in the region will be reflecting on the 10-year anniversary of the day when a Category 5 hurricane hit Mississippi and killed over 1,000 people and caused more than $100 billion in property damage in the Gulf states.
Rev. Fred Luter, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, wrote in the Baptist Press that the hurricane "was a test of our faith. It was a test of our belief. It also was a test of our willingness to come back and rebuild." more >>
An Iraqi Archbishop says he argues with God "every day" and is failing to understand "what He is doing" in the face of the extreme suffering of persecuted Christians in the region.
"I don't understand what he is doing when I look at what has happened in the region," Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil told The Criterion, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. "I quarrel with him every day."
Warda said that over 100,000 Christians and other minorities have sought refuge in Erbil over the past year, fleeing the Islamic State terror group. more >>
It was the name of Rob Bell's poorly conceived book about hell and future judgment, and it was the content of President Obama's tweet after the Supreme Court ruled to redefined marriage.
Love wins. more >>