While affirming traditional marriage, Pope Francis said the Roman Catholic Church may be open to supporting certain cases of civil unions, particularly when it involves benefits such as healthcare. He made the comments in an extensive new interview with an Italian newspaper on Wednesday.
"Matrimony is between a man and a woman," the pope said in an article by the Corriere della Sera, translated by Catholic News Service, but added that "diverse situations of cohabitation [are] driven by the need to regulate economic aspects among persons, as for instance to assure medical care."
"It is necessary to look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety," the Vatican leader added. more >>
A Roman Catholic Church cardinal has criticized the Ugandan anti-gay law that expanded punishment for gay people and threatened life in prison for certain offenders, arguing that gay people "are not criminals."
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, made the comments Tuesday in Bratislava, Slovakia, during a church and human rights conference, according to CatholicHearald.co.uk. He urged the international community, however, to keep sending much needed aid to Uganda, which is now facing cuts and sanctions because of the law.
Uganda's decision to expand the legal punishment for homosexuality has been criticized by some world leaders, though the nation's political and church leaders have insisted that it is their right to manage the country according to their ways. more >>
Newark Archbishop John Myers in New Jersey is reportedly facing the anger of parishioners who are withholding donations to the church after finding out that more than $500,000 is going into expansions for his lavish retirement home.
A detailed report in The Newark Star-Ledger on Sunday stated that parishioners are "infuriated by what they call a tone-deaf show of excess at a time when Catholic schools are closing and when the pope has called on bishops to shed the trappings of luxury."
"If this is the only way I can be heard, so be it," said 70-year-old Joe Ferri, after finding out about the expansion plans. "I'm disgusted. The archdiocese is not going to get another penny out of me." more >>
The Rev. Cho Yong-gi, founder and pastor emeritus of Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, one of the largest Pentecostal churches in the world, has been sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling church funds.
Cho was found guilty of causing $12 million in losses to the church by having officials in 2002 buy stocks owned by his eldest son, Cho Hee-jun, at four times the market value, Yonhap reported on Thursday.
The 78-year-old pastor, who founded the church in 1958, will also have to pay about $4.6 million in fines. The junior Cho will also be serving a three-year prison term for colluding with his father, the Seoul Central District Court ruled. more >>
Striking images have been released, showing Ukrainian priests on the front lines before armed guards and burning barricades, reaching out to the people in the midst of violent conflict between the Ukrainian government and protesters, which led to close to 100 deaths on Thursday.
"Ukraine's Orthodox and Catholic priests have been frequently seen on or near the front lines of the clashes, ministering to protesters and riot police alike, though at times some have appeared to more closely align themselves near the protesters," The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
Ukraine's opposition leaders and President Viktor Yanukovich signed a deal on Friday to end violence. The EU-mediated peace deal came after a previous truce on Wednesday between the Ukrainian government and protesters failed, leading to fresh clashes where close to 100 people were killed and over 500 injured. more >>
The archbishop of Jos and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria has accused the Western world of forcing secular values on homosexuality and condom use "down the throats" of Africans. He called on believers to stay faithful to their religious heritage.
"In Africa, whether it is about population control, use of condoms, homosexuality, etc sometimes, the views of the West are forced down the throats of Africans through financial inducement. Africans must not be copy cats, believing that whatever comes from the West is ideal," His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama said at a seminar in Jos on health care and Catholic social teachings, Agenzia Fides reported on Wednesday.
"We must not be swallowed up by the tyrannical imposition of some governments or international non-governmental organizations who wish to dictate the moral trend of the world based on their secular values" he added. more >>