Pope Francis open to allowing married priests in Catholic Church

According to USA Today:

Pope Francis said he is open to the possibility of permitting married men to become priests to address the serious shortage of Catholic priests in some countries.

The pope raised the idea in an interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit.

He ruled out the prospect of allowing single men who are already priests to marry but was open to the idea of allowing unmarried laymen or men already married to be ordained.

The pope raised the prospect in the context of allowing “viri probati,” Latin for “tested men,” to be ordained in places with a scarcity of priests.

He told the newspaper the lack of Catholic priests was an “enormous problem” for the church.

“We need to think about whether ‘viri probati’ could be a possibility,” he told the German weekly. “If so, we would need to determine what duties they could undertake, for example, in remote communities.”

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See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism

Canada spending $650-million on reproductive rights, including fighting global anti-abortion laws

The Globe And Mail reports that Canada plans to pay for advocacy groups to challenge laws in countries that severely restrict abortion such as Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the Middle East:

In a sharp reorientation of Canada’s foreign-aid strategy, the Trudeau government plans to spend $650-million on sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide – a move that could see Canada paying for a battle against anti-abortion laws in dozens of countries.

The three-year plan, announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday as he marked International Women’s Day, would finance a range of global programs, including contraception, reproductive health, legal abortion, sexuality education and advocacy work.

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CNN Host Reza Aslan Sparks Outrage After Eating Part of Human Brain While Meeting With Cannibals

First a quote from “Reza Aslan Doesn’t Get Religion” by John Stonestreet for some background:

Reza Aslan’s “Believer,” a “spiritual adventure series” it’s called, which premiered Sunday on CNN, explores belief systems from around the world. But in a recent opinion piece at CNN, Aslan (who identifies himself as a Sufi Muslim) makes it clear that he doesn’t believe there are any essential differences between the world’s religions. As a matter of fact, he seems to think all religions are basically subjective nonsense.

“I know better than to take the truth claims of any religion (including my own) too seriously,” he writes. And considering the “conflict” and “bigotry” religion inspires and the way it clashes with reason, Aslan thinks it’s “understandable why so many people view religious faith as the hallmark of an irrational mind.”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is your tour guide to the religions of the world.

Now, according to Heather Clark over at Christian News:

Shiva, Hindu God of Destruction

CNN host Reza Aslan, a Muslim, is sparking outrage after eating part of a human brain during a televised meeting with a cannibalistic extreme Hindu sect called the Aghori.

The meeting was part of his television series “Believer,” which is said to feature the “world’s most fascinating faith-based groups.”

The Aghori, while identifying as worshipers of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, are condemned by mainstream Hindus for their practices, which includes drinking out of human skulls and eating the flesh of the dead. They also wear the ashes of cremated humans on their faces and consume their own urine and excrement.

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Resolution Declaring Pornography a ‘Public Health Crisis’ Unanimously Passes Tennessee Senate

Christian News reports:

A resolution that declares pornography as being a public health crisis passed the Tennessee Senate unanimously on Monday and now moves to the desk of Gov. Bill Haslam for signing.

The resolution had been presented by Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, at the urging of Ricky Darr of Make America Porn Free, which works in conjunction with the organization Girls Against Porn and Human Trafficking to urge enforcement of obscenity laws and “to remove the easy accessibility of pornography from the reach of children.”

“My six-year-old came across pornography last year,” Darr told the Senate Health Committee last week, where the resolution likewise was approved without objection. “My son came up to me and said, ‘Dad I’ve seen a whole lot of illegals.’ He calls them illegals, and I knew what he was talking about.”

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Planned Parenthood rejects Trump offer to keep federal funding, stop abortions

According to Jessica Chasmar of Washington Times: 

Planned Parenthood has firmly rejected a proposal by President Trump offering to preserve federal funding for the women’s health organization if it stopped providing abortion services.

Mr. Trump reportedly confirmed Monday to The New York Times that an informal proposal was made to Planned Parenthood offering to maintain federal funding — about $500 million each year — if the organization ended abortion procedures. Sources told the newspaper that White House officials even suggested there could be an increase in that funding if they accepted the deal.

Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president and chief brand officer, told The Times that no federal funds are used to pay for abortions.

“Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept,” she said. “Providing critical health care services for millions of American women is nonnegotiable.”

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WikiLeaks Claims CIA Lost Control of ‘Hacking Arsenal’

Breitbart reports:

In a press release for their most recent data dump, whistleblowing service WikiLeaks claims that the CIA has lost control of their “hacking arsenal.”

The press release states that WikiLeaks’ publication of CIA documents is the “largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.” The data dump consists of 8,761 files and documents taken from a high-security isolated network situated inside the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Explosively, WikiLeaks also claims that the CIA has lost control of their “hacking arsenal.”

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A real school of witchcraft is opening this summer in an ancient British castle

Over at AOL, Beth Sawicki informs us that if you have a wand and good humor, you can get involved in a real school of witchcraft:

While you’ll unfortunately never get the chance to roam the halls of Hogwarts with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, this is definitely the next best thing.

A real school of witchcraft is opening in the United Kingdom this summer. The Bothwell School of Witchcraft is held in a 15th century castle, Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex. Just like in Harry Potter’s world, students are sorted into four houses, compete against each other, take lessons in witchcraft, and end the term with a fabulous banquet.

The school is modeled after a “murder mystery,” an extended game where every player has a specific role and interacts with other characters. According to its website, “all you’ll need is a wand and good humour. If you’ve never experienced anything like this before, don’t worry. We cater for all backgrounds; you can get as much or as little involved as you like and we will have all you need to have a great time.”

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New Jersey Boy Scouts Agree to Pay $18,000 for Excluding Girl Who Identifies as Boy

According to Christian News:

A New Jersey branch of the Boy Scouts has agreed to pay $18,000 to the family of a nine-year-old girl who identifies as a boy after they filed a civil rights complaint for excluding the child from participating in the organization.

The Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts will also issue a written apology to Kristie Maldonado and her daughter who goes by the name Joe. The child had been a member of Cub Scout Pack 87 for approximately a month when a Boy Scout official advised that she could not continue with the program because she is a girl.

“It made me mad,” Joe told reporters. “I had a sad face, but I wasn’t crying. I’m way more angry than sad. My identity is a boy. If I was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It’s right to do.”

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53 U.S. Companies Join Legal Brief Asking Supreme Court to Allow Girl in Boys’ Restroom

Christian News reports:

53 U.S. companies have signed on to a legal brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of a Virginia girl who identifies as a boy and wants to use the boys’ restroom at school.

“The [school district’s] policy discriminates against transgender children and violates their privacy. The policy forces children to use restrooms according to their ‘biological gender.’ This mandate targets transgender individuals in particular because they are the only people for whom ‘biological gender’ fails to correspond with gender identity—indeed, this disparity is a defining aspect of being transgender,” the brief reads in part.

“The policy places transgender youth—and only transgender youth—in the humiliating and painful position of having to publicly deny and disclaim their gender identity,” it asserts.

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Beauty And The Beast: ‘Gay moment’ set to make Disney history

Sky News reports that Disney once again pushes the homosexual agenda:

The new Beauty And The Beast film is set to feature an “exclusively gay moment” in what is being called a watershed scene for Disney.

The Hollywood live-action remake, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the love-struck couple, comes 26 years after the studio’s classic animation.

But it is one of the sub-plots centering on the character LeFou, played by US actor Josh Gad, which is also getting attention and making headlines.

LeFou, the sidekick of the movie’s main antagonist Gaston (Luke Evans), will explore his sexuality after developing feelings for Gaston.

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The Terrible Message Teens Are Getting About Weed

LifeZette reports:

Teenagers don’t think pot is a big deal. Because of that, moms and dads need a major heads-up.

The pediatrician, at the teen’s next appointment, may be having a conversation with him or her about why that’s a problem.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on Monday released the report, “Counseling Parents and Teens about Marijuana Use in the Era of Legalization of Marijuana.” It comes as voters in a growing number of states have either approved recreational or medicinal use of the drug, or are seriously looking to make that leap.

It also comes as a result of more kids smoking pot. Almost 40 percent of U.S. high school students report having tried marijuana; about 20 percent say they are current users; and almost 10 percent of teens admit to trying the drug before age 13.

Use among 12th grade students, specifically, is up 36 percent over a year ago. And parents are asking pediatricians to help answer some very tough questions.

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Video Clip Shows IRGC Support For Terror Against America

CNSNews reports:

As Iran’s government claimed that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is widely known to be fighting terrorism in neighboring countries, a newly-emerged video clip purportedly shows an IRGC strategist threatening to unleash terror cells in the U.S., targeting nuclear missile launch facilities, among other things.

At a time when the Trump administration is considering listing the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said at the weekend U.S. efforts to sanction the organization have never benefited the U.S.

Zarif said the world at large agrees that the IRGC has extended the utmost support for neighboring countries in their fight against terrorism.

Iran is supporting Shi’a militias fighting alongside the Iraqi military against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) jihadists. The IRGC is also heavily involved, in conjunction with Tehran’s Hezbollah allies and other Shi’a fighters, in supporting the Assad regime in the Syrian civil war, where combatants include Sunni nationalists, Kurds, Salafists, and ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliated jihadists.

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Tim Keller Stepping Down as Redeemer Senior Pastor

According to Kate Shellnutt of Christianity Today “The influential Reformed leader is moving away from his NYC pulpit as his church becomes three.” She writes:

Later this year, Redeemer Presbyterian will no longer be a multisite megachurch in Manhattan, and Tim Keller will no longer be its senior pastor.

Keller, 66, announced at all eight Sunday services today that he will be stepping down from the pulpit. The move corresponds with a decades-long plan to transition the single Presbyterian Church in America congregation—which has grown to 5,000 members since it began 28 years ago—into three particular churches.

His last day as senior pastor will be July 1.

This move does not mean retirement for Manhattan’s most popular evangelical pastor and apologist; instead, Keller will work full-time teaching in a partner program with Reformed Theological Seminary and working with Redeemer’s City to City church planting network.

“There’s a certain level of him that’s going to mourn the connection with a congregation and being their pastor,” said Kathy Keller, Tim’s wife and a staff member at Redeemer, in an interview with CT. “It’s a loss. But there’s also something very exciting that he’s going to.”

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Relationship problems, not family rejection, leading cause of higher gay suicides

LifeSite News reports:

While many assume that family rejection is the leading cause of depression among LBGTI individuals, a new study has found that in fact the problem appears to stem predominantly from the higher incidence of relationship problems among homosexuals.

Dr. Delaney Skerrett led a team of researchers from the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP) in studying suicides in Queensland. He found that a leading cause of suicide among “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex” (LGBTI) people is stress from their romantic partners.

“We tend to assume that the psychological distress LGBTI people are often going through is due to family rejection. But it seems that’s not so much the case. The conflict seems to be largely related to relationship problems, with partners,” Dr. Skerrett said.

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Namaste, Satan: Metal yoga class set inside Satanic Temple in Salem, Mass.

Black Widow Yoga done with heavy metal music in the background held in a satanic temple?  Really?  Well, according to Mass Live those who wish to participate in this sort of thing will have their chance:

Metal music and yoga do not seem like two things that go together all that often. But they’re getting paired up under one roof: The Satanic Temple in Salem, Massachusetts.

The classic is scheduled for Sunday, March 5, at 9:30 a.m.

Black Widow Yoga has pulled together the class. On its Facebook page, Black Widow Yoga describes itself as an independent yoga concept that uses metal music instead of “traditional yoga music.”

“Inspired by other non-traditional yoga classes such as Metal Yoga Bones in Brooklyn NY, Tina of Black Widow Yoga aims to challenge your understanding of what yoga means to each individual, and encourages every outsider to harness the energy within that truly connects to doomy and dark music,” its Facebook page says.

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Trial Underway in UK for Preachers Arrested for ‘Anti-Social’ Opposition to Islam, Homosexuality

Christian News reports:

A trial is currently underway in the United Kingdom for three preachers who were arrested last July on accusations of “causing a disturbance” and engaging in “anti-social behavior” after some listeners became offended by their speech about issues such as Islam, Buddhism, homosexuality and divorce.

Michael Overd, Adrian Clark and Michael Stockwell appeared in Bristol Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and Friday as part of a four-day trial over accusations that they violated a section of the Crime and Disorder Act, which prohibits speech or behavior causing “intentional harassment, alarm or distress” that is “racially or religiously aggravated.”

Prosecutor Ian Jackson “told the court some of the statements made by the preachers may have been in the King James Bible, translated in 1611, but that did not mean they were acceptable in 2016,” according to the Daily Mail.

Video of the incident was played in court on Friday.

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Pope suggests ‘better to be atheist than hypocritical Catholic’

Reuters reports:

Pope Francis delivered another criticism of some members of his own Church on Thursday, suggesting it is better to be an atheist than one of “many” Catholics who he said lead a hypocritical double life.

The same could be said of evangelicals. The report continues…

In improvised comments in the sermon of his private morning Mass in his residence, he said: “It is a scandal to say one thing and do another. That is a double life.”

Evangelicals, listen up!  More…

“There are those who say ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this and that association’,” the head of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic Church said, according to a Vatican Radio transcript.

He said that some of these people should also say “‘my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my employees proper salaries, I exploit people, I do dirty business, I launder money, (I lead) a double life’.”

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See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism

Witches to cast a spell on Trump

According to ELLE, liberal witches are going to put what they call a “binding spell” on the Trump administration.  Evidently they’re only going to bind Republicans because they don’t wish to cause them harm. “We’re just trying to stop the harm they’re doing,” say liberal witches.  One can’t help but wonder if conservative witches will stand for this or will they cast their own spell in an attempt to cancel out the spell that binds.  Jaya Saxena has the story:

Those who don’t like Donald Trump and the current Republican administration are mobilizing in all sorts of ways. They’re speaking up in town halls and calling their representatives. They’re organizing protests and demonstrations. And, for the magically-inclined, they’re casting spells.

Starting at midnight on Friday, witches around the country are calling for a mass spell to be cast on Donald Trump every night of a waning crescent moon until he’s driven from office.

The spell was publicized by Michael M. Hughes, who told ELLE.com that it was tweaked from multiple spells he saw going around private witchcraft groups. He published it on Extra News Feed because he felt “it would be very welcome to a lot of people.” It quickly spread, with events being formed around the country and support on social media.

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Americans feeling ‘warmer’ toward Mormons and Muslims — but not evangelicals

According to Baptist News Global:

Maybe Mitt Romney should have waited one election cycle to run for president.

Romney was dogged by negative perceptions about his Mormon faith during his unsuccessful 2012 bid for the presidency. But new research shows attitudes about Mormons are warming, just as they are for most other faith groups in the United States.

Using a “thermometer” to gauge opinions about various religions, the Pew Research Center said American feelings about Mormons improved from 48 to 54 degrees since 2014.

“The increase in mean ratings is broad based,” Pew said in the February report titled “Americans Express Increasingly Warm Feelings Toward Religious Groups.”

“Warmer feelings are expressed by people in all the major religious groups analyzed, as well as by both Democrats and Republicans, men and women, and younger and older adults.”

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Trump Admin Withdraws Obama-Era Directive Requiring Allowance of Male Students in Girls’ Restrooms

Christian News reports:

The Trump administration withdrew on Wednesday an Obama-era directive that required public schools to allow students to use the restroom that they feel matches their “internal sense of gender” under threat of losing federal funding.

A letter issued by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice outlines that the guidance issued under the Obama administration did not “contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process.”

“This interpretation has given rise to significant litigation regarding school restrooms and locker rooms,” the departments noted.

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Tim Tebow Raises Concerns After Praising ‘Shack’ Movie Based on Universalist Novel Portraying God as Woman

Christian News reports:

New York Mets outfielder and former NFL great Tim Tebow recently praised the upcoming film “The Shack,” a movie that is based on William P. Young’s bestselling novel of the same name, which some say contains universalistic doctrine and other unbiblical material.

“Got a sneak-peek of @TheShackMovie last night. Great reminder that God is with us in our highs & lows & LOVES us no matter what!” he posted on Twitter on Friday, generating 1,700 likes.

Reaction to his post was mixed, with some conveying agreement and others expressing concern out of their belief that the book and film are heretical.

“I was able to get a sneak peek, too! I loved the way it portrayed the Trinity’s relationship with each other and us!” one follower wrote.

Norma McCorvey, Remorseful ‘Roe’ in Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Case Permitting Abortion, Dead at 69

Christian News reports:

Norma McCorvey was known as Jane Roe, the plaintiff in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Photo credit: CultureWatch

Norma McCorvey, whose legal challenge under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalized abortion but who later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure, died Saturday. She was 69.

McCorvey died at an assisted living center in Katy, Texas, journalist Joshua Prager confirmed to CBS News. He is working on a book about McCorvey and was with her and her family when she died. He said she died of heart failure.

McCorvey was 22, unmarried, unemployed and pregnant for the third time when in 1969 she sought to have an abortion in Texas, where the procedure was illegal except to save a woman’s life. The subsequent lawsuit, known as Roe v. Wade, led to Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling that established abortion rights, though by that time, McCorvey had given birth and given her daughter up for adoption.

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Pope Francis: ‘Muslim Terrorism Does Not Exist’

Breitbart reports:

In an impassioned address Friday, Pope Francis denied the existence of Islamic terrorism, while simultaneously asserting that “the ecological crisis is real.”

“Christian terrorism does not exist, Jewish terrorism does not exist, and Muslim terrorism does not exist. They do not exist,” Francis said in his speech to a world meeting of populist movements.

What he apparently meant is that not all Christians are terrorists and not all Muslims are terrorists—a fact evident to all—yet his words also seemed to suggest that no specifically Islamic form of terrorism exists in the world, an assertion that stands in stark contradiction to established fact.

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See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism

Church of England gay marriage vote thrown into chaos after members ‘get confused and press wrong button’

For some perspective on the Church of England controversy, it’s a good idea to listen to Dr. Albert Mohler address what’s really going on. Click here to listen to Mohler’s The Briefing. To read the transcript, scroll down to “Church of England…”

Now to The Telegraph report:

The Church of England’s crucial vote on gay marriage has been thrown into doubt after the Bishop of Coventry admitted he accidentally voted against the report and several others may have made the same mistake.

The Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth apologised for the mistake last night, which he said was because of “a moment of distraction and some confusion over the voting process”.

The bishop insisted that he did in fact support the report written by his colleagues and was “embarrassed” to have accidentally rejected it.

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