Pope Francis Excommunicates Priest for Supporting Women, LGBT People

All this talk of a progressive new Pope may have been jumping the gun.

Writing for the National Catholic Reporter, Brian Roewe reported this week that Pope Francis has excommunicated an Australian priest from the Church for his liberal values and activism. Fr. Greg Reynolds publicly supports LGBT rights, marriage equality and women’s ordination, three big no-nos in Catholic tradition. (We reported on Reynolds’ dismissal from the church the other day, but at the time, Pope Francis’ role wasn’t exactly clear.)

Here’s the Vatican’s “explanation” behind its decision, according to NCR:

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Give Pastor Perry Noble Your Money… or You’re Stupid

Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church in South Carolina tells his congregation that they’re stupid if they don’t give him (*ahem* I mean, God) money:

I love the half-hearted applause at the 2:30 mark.

Incidentally, this is the same pastor who ran a seminar last month on the five ways to overcome your financial struggles.

Guess what solution #1 was?

Of course it is.

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Pastor Punishes Gay Church Member Because Other Members of the Congregation Are Bigots

Pastor Mark Brewer of Crosspoint Wesleyan Church in Fredericton, New Brunswick had to deal with a potential crisis this past week.

One of the finest members of his church, 20-year-old Colin Briggs, had been a camp counselor and church volunteer for a couple of years. He even went on a mission trip to Haiti in 2011.

But he’s gay. And there was a chance that some of the older members of the congregation wouldn’t take that news very well if they ever found out.

So Brewer met with Briggs a few days ago to let him know that, if the church members ever bothered him about his sexuality, Brewer would offer his support and defend Briggs’ character. That’s what their church’s mission was all about, after all: becoming “fully devoted followers of Jesus.”

I’m just kidding. Of course I’m kidding. You know I’m kidding.

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Pope Francis: The Church Has No Right to ‘Interfere Spiritually’ With LGBT People

Building a reputation as the most LGBT-friendly Pope in history, Pope Francis said in an interview published today that the Church should not interfere spiritually with LGBT people, nor seek to cause them any harm.

According to CNN’s highlights of the interview, published in several languages and 16 countries:

“Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”

Francis said that someone once asked him if he “approved” of homosexuality.

“I replied with another question,” he said. “‘Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being.”

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Because if Anyone Knows About Clinging to Sacred Theories…

Reader DeAnne was driving through Huber Heights, Ohio when she passed Free Methodist Church… and turned around to double check the sign… and turned around again just to get a picture.

It was worth it. It’s not that often that a church takes a shot at science only to have it backfire this badly:

They were good for the first two lines… until you realized what they were trying to do. And if anybody knows about clinging to sacred theories no matter what the evidence says, it’s the people in a church. [Read more...]


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