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.”
See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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’.”
See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism
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.
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.”
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.
See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism
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.