Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church today dropped his latest bomb on Christiandom when he said that the scientific theory of evolution was not at odds with the existence of God. Saying that, in fact, the Big Bang requires the existence of God. From The Independent:
"When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so," Francis said.
He added: "He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfilment.
"The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.
It's a huge move for the Catholic Church, which has often been stereotyped as being "anti-science," but may not do much to win over many of the Pope's conservative detractors ... Discuss
The spiritual sea of change taking place in China will not be without its challenges—some more complex than others.
While China is officially an atheist country, it is undergoing one of the most dramatic religious overhauls in modern memory. In 1949, the country was home to an estimated 1 million Christians. In 2010, that number was more like 58 million. And some studies are saying that by 2030, China could be home 247 million Christians—the most of any nation in the world. Read More
After two weeks of meetings, Catholic bishops did not come to an agreement on a revised official stance on homosexuality. The church leaders also failed to come to a consensus on whether or not remarried Catholics—who had been divorced—could receive communion. The bishops were called to the historic synod by Pope Francis after new polls revealed that the Vatican’s views of family life were seen as dated. However, despite heated discussions that led some to believe that major shifts in how the church actively ministered in the LGBT community were coming, no significant new agreements were forged. Even a revised report on the meetings—which removed several statements from an earlier report that contained positive language concerning gays and lesbians—did not receive a two-thirds vote of support from the group of bishops.
The latest version of the report said that same-sex couples were not “"God's design of matrimony and the family," but cautioned, “Nonetheless, men and women with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and delicacy.” It’s unclear how close the bishops are to revising their position on allowing remarried divorced church members to receive Holy Communion, as the report only said that they will continue to examine the issue. Following the synod, Pope Francis gave a speech, saying, “The Church is called to waste no time in seeking to bind up open wounds and to rekindle hope in so many people who have lost hope.” The more than 200 bishops will meet again next fall to discuss similar issues ... Discuss