A Roman Catholic priest from Kenya is mobilizing churches and believers to tackle the growing slaughter of rhinos and elephants, arguing that humans are supposed to help protect, not destroy, animals and the environment.
"I'm raising awareness that conserving the environment and protecting the animals is also serving God. This is rooted in our doctrines, our scriptures, [our] social teachings," Fr. Dr. Charles Odira, who heads the Commission for Pastoral and Lay Apostolate at the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in an interview with National Geographic.
"Therefore, we're supposed to be stewards, not destroyers. It is from this perspective we're making people understand and take this as divine obligation." more >>
Starbucks has formally apologized to a Louisiana schoolteacher upset over finding satanic symbols in her coffee foam on a Sunday. The woman, who identifies as Catholic, took to Facebook to share her story, which led to an apology from the company.
"I unfortunately can't give the young man's name who served it, because I was so appalled that I could not bring myself to look at him," Megan Pinion wrote in her Facebook post. "I am in no way judging his beliefs of dis-meriting his beautiful artwork. I am however judging his lack of professionalism and respect for others. I am a teacher in the public school system and if I were to present a child of atheist or pagan believers with a Christian art project I could be sued in a heartbeat."
Pinion posted photos of the cups of coffee she ordered. One features a pentagram, while the other is decorated with the numbers 666, which is known as the mark of the devil. more >>
Archbishop Wilton Gregory of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta has apologized to disappointed Catholics who sent him letters asking why he built a $2.2 million residential mansion. He called the decision an "oversight."
"I failed to consider the impact on the families throughout the Archdiocese who, though struggling to pay their mortgages, utilities, tuition and other bills, faithfully respond year after year to my pleas to assist with funding our ministries and services," Gregory wrote in a piece for The Georgia Bulletin on Monday. "I failed to consider the difficult position in which I placed my auxiliary bishops, priests, deacons and staff who have to try to respond to inquiries from the faithful about recent media reports when they might not be sure what to believe themselves.
"To all of you, I apologize sincerely and from my heart." more >>
Same-sex marriage becomes legal in England and Wales on Saturday and while the Church of England has accepted that new reality, it still maintains guidelines for its clergy against marrying gay and lesbian couples.
"I think the church has reacted by fully accepting that it's the law, and should react on Saturday by continuing to demonstrate in word and action, the love of Christ for every human being," Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told The Guardian on Thursday.
Queen Elizabeth II officially approved the gay marriage law in July 2013, after the bill passed the parliament. The Anglican Communion had spoken out against the bill, arguing that changing the definition of marriage will not be good for society. more >>
Controversial billboards in Columbus, Ohio, reading "Jesus is Muslim" and "Mohammed is in the Bible" are drawing protests from local Christians who say Muslims are "hijacking" the name of Jesus.
"Although we support the Islamic community's right to free speech, as well as their right to post messages on billboards, we do not support the hijacking of the name of Jesus Christ in their attempt to lure uninformed Christians into their religion," Coach Dave Daubenmire of Pass the Salt Ministries said in a statement Thursday.
Daubenmire is hosting a prayer vigil on Saturday alongside the Rev. Rusty Thomas of Operation Save America and Pastor Bill Dunfee of New Beginnings Church in Warsaw. more >>
Author Rachel Held Evans, who has been described as a liberal evangelical, says the negative reaction against World Vision and its recent announcement that it will begin employing those who are in a same-sex marriage, shows "how out-of-control the evangelical obsession with homosexuality has become."
Reacting to evangelicals who have suggested that Christians should withdraw their support from World Vision, Held Evans stated, "[I]t puts into stark, unsettling relief just how out-of-control the evangelical obsession with homosexuality has become. Organizations don't get 'farewelled' for hiring divorcees. People don't get kicked out of their churches for struggling with pride or for not wearing head coverings when they pray.
"The notion that the way to 'punish' World Vision is to withdraw support from its efforts to feed, clothe, heal, comfort, rescue, and shelter 'the least of these' is so contrary to the teachings of Jesus – particularly Matthew 25:31-46-it's hard to know where to start." more >>