Religion in the News 20/9/13: Reforming Pope?, B&B owners selling up, Biblical cure, Veils (again)
A busy open evening last night and a day of performance management today. The excitement never ends. Eye catchers from the past 24 hours…..
- The Guardian reports that Pope Francis has given a wide ranging interview to an Italian journal where he is quoted as saying that condemning gay people is not what God would want, “… 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 … In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation.” He then goes on to say that he wants to “investigate further the role of women in the church … The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions.”He raises the example of a woman with a failed marriage behind her who has had an abortion. She remarries, has five children, and is happy. “That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life … We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible … We have to talk about them in a context.” The Pope also acknowledges some personal tastes he admires the paintings of Caravaggio and Chagall, and adores listening to Mozart and Beethoven.
- Peter and Hazelmary Bull, whose B&B business gained national attention in 2008 when the couple declined to allow Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy to stay in one of their double bedrooms, said that the controversy has forced them to put their £750,000 hotel on the market, the Huff Post reports. The Bulls said they have no option but to sell up following a slump in custom, which left the couple unable to pay the mortgage on their nine-bedroom property, as well as a need to cover ongoing legal costs. At the time of the controversy, the couple argued that their policy of restricting double rooms to married couples was not targeted at sexual orientation but sexual practise, believing that sex outside marriage is a sin.
- The Guardian reports on a survey from the US which found that 35% of Americans and 48% of those who identified themselves as evangelicals believed that people with serious mental disorders can overcome their illnesses with “Bible study and prayer alone“.
- And finally, the Daily Fail just won’t let the face veil debate rest. Today it reports that the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said, “Certainly, if I was a patient myself, I’d want to be able to see the face of the doctor or nurse who was treating me.” which the paper interpreted as the cabinet minister insisted patients should have the right to demand medics remove their veils. However, what is more disturbing is the comments underneath the article. One poster, Casey Jones from Surrey said, “Go home, shut the door on your way out please.” There are worse.
- Church needs new balance between mission and moral teaching, says Pope Francis (catholicherald.co.uk)
- Pope: Church cannot focus on abortion, gays (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
- Pope Warns Church on Divisive Rules on Abortion, Gays – ABC News (abcnews.go.com)
- Pope urges more understanding for gays (aljazeera.com)