Pope Francis, the leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics around the world, said that non-Catholics and atheists can do good and that God has redeemed everyone, in a recent speech that is making waves.
"The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! 'Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace.
"If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. 'But I don't believe, Father, I am an atheist!' But do good: we will meet one another there," the pope said during Mass on Wednesday at the Domus Santae Martae in the Vatican. more >>
In case you missed it, May is National Masturbation Month.
Yes, there is such a thing.
Founded by Good Vibrations, a sex shop in San Francisco, May was chosen as National Masturbation Month in 1995 to protest against the firing of the Surgeon General, Joycelyn Elders, who suggested that young people should be taught masturbation in their sex education classes. Since 1995, many events have been created to celebrate what Good Vibrations said in its annual press release is a "necessary reminder that self-satisfaction is a healthy, accessible form of pleasure engaged by almost everyone." more >>
The head of the Episcopal Church has garnered outrage from some in the Anglican Communion over her claim that St. Paul of Tarsus' curing of a demon-possessed slave girl as described in the Bible was wrong.
In a sermon delivered before the Diocese of Venezuela on the island nation of Curaçao, Presiding Bishop The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori said that by driving the demon out of her Paul was "depriving her of her gift of spiritual awareness."
"Paul is annoyed, perhaps for being put in his place, and he responds by depriving her of her gift of spiritual awareness," said Jefferts Schori. more >>
After some harsh online criticism, Christian author and college chancellor John Piper deleted two tweets quoting scripture from the Book of Job in the Bible posted late Monday evening, the same day that a devastating tornado flattened an Oklahoma City suburb, resulting in at least 24 deaths.
"The reason I pulled my tweets from Job is that it became clear that what I feel as comfort was not affecting others the same," Piper was quoted as saying to members of Desiring God, a ministry he founded. His explanation was posted in a blog by Desiring God content strategist Tony Reinke.
"When tragedy strikes my life, I find it stabilizing and hope-giving to see the stories of the sheer factuality of other's losses, especially when they endured them the way Job did. Job really grieved. He really agonized. He collapsed to the ground. He wept. He shaved his head. This was, in my mind, a pattern of what must surely happen in Oklahoma. I thought it would help. But when I saw how so many were not experiencing it that way, I took them down," said Piper, who recently retired as lead pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn. more >>
Is Robert Downey Jr.'s mention of Bible prophecy teacher Chuck Missler during an appearance on Jon Stewart's Daily Show a sign that the "Iron Man" actor is tracking with the latest End Times conversation? Prophecy News Watch took the opportunity to post a short video clip of Downey's Missler reference on the show and write about current events in the Middle East.
Downey's own faith or religious beliefs are not highly publicized, but his mention of Missler, which included him saying "love Chuck Missler," has come at a critical time when "people are looking for answers to help understand many of the current events happening around us," said Prophecy News Watch Director Kade Hawkins.
"To those who teach Bible Prophecy such as Chuck Missler, the events in Syria, Iran, Israel and throughout the Middle East are considered a foreshadowing of bigger events yet to happen – events that were prophesized thousands of years ago but possibly may now be just around the corner," stated PNW. more >>
Hundreds of Islamic leaders have turned out in the United Kingdom to protest a bill proposed by Prime Minister David Cameron to legalize same-sex marriage.
According to John Bingham of the Telegraph, over 500 imams representing tens of thousands of British Muslims signed a letter of protest against the gay marriage proposal. Bingham deemed the action an "unprecedented intervention from the British Muslim community."
"Marriage is a sacred contract between a man and a woman that cannot be redefined. We believe that marriage between a man and a woman is the cornerstone of family life and the only institution within which to raise children," reads the letter, sent to the Sunday Telegraph. more >>