Boys Scouts of America lifts ban on openly gay members

Washington D.C., May 23, 2013 / 04:22 pm (CNA).- The Boy Scouts of America has voted in favor of a resolution that lifts the ban on openly gay members but will not allow gay adult troop leaders. During its annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas, some 1,400 Boy Scouts delegates voted on whether or not the groups should lift its ban on openly homosexual youth members. The resolution, which allows gay youth members, was passed with an over 60 percent majority of votes. In a May 22 op-ed for … [Read more...]

Pope Francis urges Christians to not be ‘museum pieces’

Vatican City, May 23, 2013 / 04:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis reflected May 23 on Jesus Christ's exhortation to be “salt of the earth,” warning that Christians who do not live their faith become “flavorless salt” and are fit to be museum pieces.The pontiff said that God gives Christians the “salt” of faith, hope and charity. This salt should not be hoarded “because if the salt is preserved in a bottle it does not do anything: it is good for … [Read more...]

Mideast Christians unite in prayer for abducted bishops

Aleppo, Syria, May 23, 2013 / 02:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Orthodox and Catholic Christians in the Middle East gathered this week to pray for and appeal for the realease of two Orthodox bishops who were kidnapped in Syria one month ago. “We renew our request for the abductees to...release the two Archbishops without hurting their health or physical situation; and release all other abducted priests and innocent civilians,” the Syriac and Greek Orthodox archdioceses of Aleppo said May … [Read more...]

US bishops praise immigration bill’s advance in senate

Washington D.C., May 23, 2013 / 02:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. bishops welcomed a U.S. Senate committee's passage of a major immigration bill as an “important step,” urging the full senate to consider the bill as soon as possible. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration, lauded the Senate Judiciary Committee’s passage of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization … [Read more...]

New academic post aims to renew Africa’s political culture

Vatican City, May 23, 2013 / 08:31 am (CNA).- Cardinal Robert Sarah, the president of Benin and officials from the Pontifical Lateran University presented a new chair whose goal will be to study African politics and form new generations of leaders in the Church’s social doctrine. The new position, which is named after the late Beninese Cardinal Bernard Gantin, was dedicated May 23, “to recall what his life meant for the people of Benin, for the Church in Africa, and for the … [Read more...]

Nigerian bishops lament disunity among local Catholics

Abuja, Nigeria, May 23, 2013 / 04:06 am (CNA).- As the Catholics of the Diocese of Ahiara protested the appointment of a bishop from a nearby diocese as their shepherd, local bishops expressed sadness at the disunity in the Church of Nigeria. Bishop Peter Ebere Okpaleke – formerly a priest of the Awka diocese – was consecrated bishop of the Diocese of Ahiara in Nigeria May 21, while many residents of the diocese rallied against the move. Due to the strong opposition among the … [Read more...]

Health care includes spiritual needs, archbishop tells World Assembly

Geneva, Switzerland, May 23, 2013 / 12:03 am (CNA).- The head of a Vatican delegation to the World Health Assembly on Wednesday called for universal health care coverage and an “integral” approach to health care that responds to a person’s spiritual needs.Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, head of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, stressed the need for “integral development.” This approach, he said, does not focus only on health … [Read more...]