Pope Francis condemned the increasing inequality between the rich and the poor as well as society's exploitation and manipulation of nature in a lengthy message released ahead of World Peace Day on Jan. 1, 2014.
"It is a truly pressing duty to use the earth's resources in such a way that all may be free from hunger," Francis wrote in his message.
"It is well known that present production is sufficient, and yet millions of persons continue to suffer and die from hunger, and this is a real scandal. We need, then, to find ways by which all may benefit from the fruits of the earth, not only to avoid the widening gap between those who have more and those who must be content with the crumbs, but above all because it is a question of justice, equality and respect for every human being." more >>
A Christian initiative seeking to build a network of leaders committed to centering the "Seven Mountains of Culture" to the values of Jesus Christ, is urging Christians to be active in engaging and transforming culture outside of church walls.
Pinnacle Forum, which was inspired by Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, has made it its vision to "see God at the center of our culture," and since 1996 has spread from a local ministry in Phoenix, Ariz., to a global movement.
With a strategy to gather Christian leaders in confidential forums and equip them with the tools to impact society with Christian ideals, the Forum seeks to engage the "seven mountains of culture," which it identifies as Arts and Entertainment, Business, Education, Family, Government/Military, Media, and Religion. more >>
Controversial conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh said that President Barack Obama is "having an orgasm" over Pope Francis' recent thoughts in his "Evangelii Gaudium," an "apostolic exhortation," where the Roman Catholic Church leader condemned global inequality and the "tyrannical" world economic system.
"This is the president citing the pope, his new best friend, because the pope is ripping America, the pope [is] ripping capitalism," Limbaugh said on his show on Wednesday. "And Obama's having an orgasm. Jeremiah Wright is beside himself. Jeremiah Wright thought he was Obama's preacher, now [the] pope somehow has co-opted Obama."
The remarks were in response to Obama's recent comments on equality, where he mentioned the Vatican leader in a speech: "So the basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed. In fact, this trend towards growing inequality is not unique to America's market economy. Across the developed world, inequality has increased. Some of you may have seen just last week, the Pope himself spoke about this at eloquent length. 'How can it be,' he wrote, 'that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?'" more >>
Church leaders around the world have paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, with Pope Francis praying that people will follow the example of justice and common good set forth by South Africa's first-ever black president.
"In commending the soul of the deceased to the infinite mercy of Almighty God, I ask the Lord to console and strengthen all who mourn his loss," Francis wrote in a telegram on Friday, sending his condolences to Mandela's family and all the people in South Africa.
"Paying tribute to the steadfast commitment shown by Nelson Mandela in promoting the human dignity of all the nation's citizens and in forging a new South Africa built on the firm foundations of non-violence, reconciliation and truth, I pray that the late President's example will inspire generations of South Africans to put justice and the common good at the forefront of their political aspirations." more >>
Rejecting Pope Francis' recent writings against the world's "tyrannical" economic system, a Tea Party advocate contended that Jesus Christ was a capitalist.
"One truth shines out from the Bible: Jesus spoke to the individual, never to government or government policy. Jesus was a capitalist, preaching personal responsibility, not a socialist," wrote Jonathan Moseley, a Virginia businessman, criminal defense attorney and member of the Northern Virginia Tea Party, in an article for WND.com.
The Tea Party advocate rejected claims that Pope Francis' recently published 50,000-word Apostolic Exhortation was mistranslated and said he believes the pope did indeed condemn capitalism. more >>
The Church of England said it would "repent" for its previous homophobia in a major new report on human sexuality, but rejected the idea that traditional teachings on marriage should be seen as homophobic.
The Anglican Communion also rejected notions that the report, which recommends that clergy be allowed to "accommodate" same-sex relationships, contradicts traditional teachings, as some news headlines have suggested that clergy can start "blessing" gay marriage.
"The recommendations do not propose any change in the church's teaching on sexual conduct. They do propose that clergy, with the agreement of their Church Council, should be able to offer appropriate services to mark a faithful same sex relationship," a statement on the Church of England's website explains. more >>