Religion

IRELAND: Gay PM To Raise LGBT Rights With Pope

Irish Central reports: Irish leader Leo Varadkar will bring up same sex marriage to Pope Francis when he meets him in Ireland on August 25th saying that such marriages are the same as any conventional marriage and should be treated as such by the church. Varadkar is Ireland’s first gay leader. Questioned on what he would say to the Pope ...

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Pope Shifts Church Policy: Death Penalty Is Inadmissible

USA Today reports: Pope Francis has changed church teaching about the death penalty, saying in a new policy published Thursday that it is always “inadmissible” because it “attacks” the inherent dignity of all humans. The Vatican said Francis had approved a change to the Catechism of the Catholic Church – the compilation of official Catholic Church teaching. Previously, the catechism ...

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ARKANSAS: Satanic Temple To Deliver Own Statue At Rally Against Capitol’s Ten Commandments Monument

Via press release from the Satanic Temple: The Satanic Temple’s infamous Baphomet statue will make an appearance at the Arkansas state Capitol on August 16th from 1-3pm during “The Satanic Temple’s Rally for the First Amendment.” The rally is intended to bring together religious leaders of different faiths to discuss the importance of the First Amendment and its protection for ...

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Pope Francis Accepts Resignation Of Accused Cardinal

The New York Times reports: The pope has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington and a prominent diplomat who has been at the center of a mushrooming scandal after several men came forward with allegations of decades-old sexual abuse, the Vatican announced on Saturday. In a statement, the Vatican said: “Yesterday evening the ...

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Mike Pompeo To Host Religious Freedom “Ministerial”

“There are many countries in which religious freedom is not available. And we believe that by gathering citizens from around the world – we’ll have over 80 delegations from different countries, 40 plus of my counterparts at the foreign minister level will be in attendance, and religious leaders like yourself – all brought together to highlight the central nature of ...

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INDONESIA: Gay Couple Publicly Flogged 80+ Times

Agence France-Presse reports: A gay couple was publicly whipped in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province on Friday (July 13), despite an earlier pledge by officials to stop the punishment after it drew international criticism. The two men were flogged more than 80 times each for having gay sex, which is outlawed under local Islamic law, as a jeering crowd hurled abuse ...

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PHILIPPINES: Catholic Church Calls For Three Days Of Fasting In Repentance For President’s “Blasphemy”

The South China Post reports: Philippine Catholic bishops on Monday called for fasting and prayers after President Rodrigo Duterte called God “stupid” and questioned God’s existence in profane remarks that set him on a collision course with Asia’s largest Catholic Church. Archbishop Romulo Valles and the association of bishops that he heads called for a day of prayers on July ...

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NEW YORK CITY: Baptist Pastor Convicted In Massive Insider Trading Hacking Scheme, Faces 20 Yr Sentence

Reuters reports: A federal jury in Brooklyn, New York today convicted two men for their roles in an international scheme to make millions of dollars by illegally trading on corporate press releases that were stolen by computer hackers before they became public. Vitaly Korchevsky, a Pennsylvania pastor and former Morgan Stanley (MS.N) vice president, and co-defendant Vladislav Khalupsky were each ...

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Jimmy Carter: Jesus Would Approve Of Gay Marriage

The Hill reports: Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said on Sunday he believes “Jesus would approve of gay marriage.” “I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else and I don’t see that gay marriage damages anyone else,” Carter, who describes himself as a born-again Christian, told HuffPost ...

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Duterte: Prove God Exists And I’ll Resign Immediately

The Philippine Star reports: President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday vowed to immediately resign if Christians can prove that their God exists. “If there is anyone of you there, the noisy ones, who would say that you have been to heaven, talked to God, saw him personally, and that He exists, the God that is yours, and if He does is ...

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GEORGIA: Church Boots Senior Pastor After Multiple Males Report His Sexual Interest In Rubbing Their Feet

The Christian Post reports: Brad Waller, a married father and senior pastor of the Grace Church of the Islands, PCA, in Savannah, Georgia, has left his church and several others in his congregation in shock after confessing to abusing multiple men and boys under his spiritual care with sexual foot massages, which prompted his swift removal from ministry by the ...

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Pruitt Directly Asked Trump To Give Him Sessions’ Job

CNN reports: Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Scott Pruitt directly appealed to President Donald Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and let him run the Department of Justice instead, according to three people familiar with the proposal. In an Oval Office conversation with Trump, Pruitt offered to temporarily replace Sessions for 210 days under the Vacancies Reform ...

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AUSTRALIA: Catholic Archbishop Sentenced To One Year Of “Home Detention” For Molestation Coverup [VIDEO]

The BBC reports: A Catholic archbishop in Australia has been given a maximum sentence of 12 months in detention for concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s. Philip Wilson, now archbishop of Adelaide, is the most senior Catholic globally to be convicted of the crime. He was found guilty by a court last month of covering up abuse by a ...

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Britain Vows To Ban Ex-Gay Torture Nationwide

The Guardian reports: The government will appoint a national LGBT health adviser and take measures to end so-called conversion therapy as part of a plan to deliver what Theresa May has promised will be “real and lasting change”. The proposals form part of an action plan published by the Equalities Office on Tuesday. It follows a UK-wide survey of LGBT ...

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Two More Bishops Resign Over Molestation Scandal

The Associated Press reports: Pope Francis on Thursday accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, the latest fallout from a sex abuse scandal whose scope and gravity were initially underestimated by the pontiff. Last month all 31 of Chile’s active bishops offered to quit for collectively failing to protect children from pedophile priests. The Vatican announced that Francis allowed ...

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Republican Tax Law Rewrite Hit Churches

Politico reports: Republicans have quietly imposed a new tax on churches, synagogues and other nonprofits, a little-noticed and surprising change that could cost some groups tens of thousands of dollars. Their recent tax-code rewrite requires churches, hospitals, colleges, orchestras and other historically tax-exempt organizations to begin paying a 21 percent tax on some types of fringe benefits they provide their ...

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ITALY: Vatican Tribunal Sentences Former Diplomat Priest To Five Years In Prison For Child Porn Possession

The Associated Press reports: The Vatican tribunal has convicted a former Holy See diplomat and sentenced him to 5 years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography in the first such trial of its kind inside the Vatican. Monsignor Carlo Capella admitted to viewing the images during what he called a period of “fragility” and interior crisis sparked by ...

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Vatican Uses “LGBT” For First Time In Official Document

The Independent reports: The Vatican has recognized the term “LGBT” by using it in one of its official documents for the first time. A paper examining the Catholic Church’s relationship with young people, published on Tuesday, said “some LGBT youth” were looking to “benefit from greater closeness and experience greater care by the church.” The use of the term appears ...

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Top Cardinal Booted Over “Credible” Abuse Claims

CBS News reports: Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington DC, has been removed from public ministry after an accusation he abused a teen nearly 50 years ago while serving as a priest in New York archdiocese. McCarrick, now at age 87, previously served as archbishop of Newark in New Jersey. The cardinal maintains his innocence but has accepted the ...

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Pope Francis: Only Heterosexuals Can Form A Family

Reuters reports: Only heterosexual families can form a family, Pope Francis said on Saturday, when he also condemned abortion and hailed the “sanctity” of women who forgive cheating husbands. “It is painful to say this today: People speak of varied families, of various kinds of family,” but “the family [as] man and woman in the image of God is the ...

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