“Pope Francis has a lot of explaining to do by approving the newest Vatican instruction,” said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which campaigns for LGBT rights in the church.
“Francis’ famous ‘Who am I to judge?’ statement in 2013 was made in response to a question about gay men in the priesthood,” DeBernardo said. “That response indicated very plainly that he did not have a problem with a gay priest’s sexual orientation.
A good friend of mine, a well-respected black Christian leader, called it a lynching. But with a gun, and not a rope. I agree.
I’m talking about the shooting of Walter Scott, a black man in North Charleston, S.C., who was shot and killed by white police officer Michael Slager. Black citizen Walter Scott — who was pulled over for a malfunctioning brake light — was shot several times in the back as he fled Slager after a brief tussle. Scott was unarmed, running away, and at least 17 feet away from Slager when Slager opened fire and shot him in the back. After killing him, Slager dropped his Taser next to Scott’s body, which the prosecutors allege was an effort to make the case that he acted in self-defense.
Around them, the air cracked with gunfire, Sanders told a jury on Dec. 7.
“There was so many shots,” Sanders testified in the federal government’s case against Dylann Roof, on trial for killing nine congregants at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. “There was so many shots.”
Veora Layton-Robinson, a student in her final year at New York Theological Seminary, had signed up for a full load of courses when she decided to add one more: a class on Black Lives Matter.
The minister and elementary school teacher was inspired by the class to start developing a Black Lives Matter chapter with members of her Mount Vernon, N.Y., church and community, convinced that more needed to be done to address police brutality, address concerns about violent crime and help people understand the power of voting.
On Dec. 6, protests ensued at Texas A&M University during an on-campus speech from Richard Spencer, a white nationalist and the self-proclaimed head of the so-called "alt-right" movement, reports the Houston Chronicle. Protesters were met with — and pushed by — law enforcement officials in riot gear and riding on horseback.
If it is “leftist propaganda” to talk about the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the immigrant, to talk about justice and love for God and neighbor, to talk about humility and grace — in short, to talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ, then let us do it all the louder. Otherwise, we trade the truth for power. We trade our witness for the respect of the empire.
The Vatican has launched a website as part of its efforts to protect children from clerical sexual abuse and promote healing and reconciliation.
It’s the first time that the Vatican has published resources and documents on the issue, and the site is sponsored by the commission set up by Pope Francis to protect minors.
A new short documentary, "What Happens When an Evangelical Church Welcomes LGBTQ Members," features Rev. Adam Phillips, a pastor in Portland, Ore., whose church was kicked out of the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination in 2015 when Phillips revealed his full acceptance and support of the LGBTQ community.
"I hadn't really grown up in a faith community, and the Covenant Church was my faith family," he says. "I poured myself into it, and for a long season they poured themselves into me. I was one of the young emerging leaders...to be the future leaders of the church."
TIME magazine unveiled its annual Person of the Year, and to little surprise, President-elect Donald Trump's mug appears on the cover. He beat out a handful on the "short list," which included Hillary Clinton, Beyoncé, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the CRISPR Pioneers at the University of Pennsylvania, and "The Hackers" — who TIME reports "took aim at democracy itself" this year.
On Dec. 6 German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for face-covering veils to be banned in Germany, reports the Washington Post.
“The full veil is not appropriate here, it should be forbidden wherever that is legally possible,” said Merkel, speaking to attendees of the Christian Democratic Union's conference.
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