“In his address to the nation, (Daniel) Ortega also accused the papacy of having supported Italian dictator Mussolini, and the Vatican of being a “mafia organization”.
“I don’t believe in popes or kings: who chooses the Pope?” he said. “If we want to talk about democracy, the people should first elect priests and the bishops”, and “even the Pope” should be “elected by direct vote and not by the organized mafia in the Vatican.”
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Roman Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church. “Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an interview Tuesday with the Associated Press. Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalize homosexuality or discriminate against LGBTQ people, and he himself referred to the issue in terms of “sin.” But he attributed such attitudes to cultural backgrounds, and said bishops in particular need to undergo a process of change to recognize the dignity of everyone. “These bishops have to have a process of conversion,” he said, adding that they should apply “tenderness, please, as God has for each one of us.” Francis’ comments, which were hailed by gay rights advocates as a milestone, are the first uttered by a pope about such laws. But they are also consistent with his overall approach to LGBTQ people and belief that the Catholic Church should welcome everyone and not discriminate.
It’s what climate change evangelicals do not want to hear: That there is no real climate change emergency now or disaster looming. That word comes from a new international study that concluded there’s “no evidence” of that climate emergency. The conclusion was reached after the study authors analyzed data from heat waves, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and ecosystem productivity. … “Fearing a climate emergency without this being supported by data means altering the framework of priorities with negative effects that could prove deleterious (harmful) to our ability to face the challenges of the future, squandering natural and human resources in an economically difficult context.” – Source
Pope Francis said the need to reform the United Nations was “more than obvious” after the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine war exposed its limits, in an extract of his new book published Sunday. The Argentine pontiff said Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine highlighted the need to ensure the current multilateral structure — especially the UN Security Council — finds “more agile and effective ways of resolving conflicts”. “In wartime, it is essential to affirm that we need more multilateralism and a better multilateralism,” but the UN is no longer fit for “new realities”, he added in an extract published by La Stampa daily. The organisation was founded to prevent the horrors of two World Wars from happening again, but although the threat represented by those conflicts was still alive, “today’s world is no longer the same”, said Francis. “The necessity of these reforms became more than obvious after the pandemic” when the current multilateral system “showed all its limits”, he added. Francis denounced the unequal distribution of vaccines as a “glaring example” of the law of the strongest prevailing over solidarity. The 85-year-old advocated “organic reforms” aimed at allowing international organisations to rediscover their essential purpose of “serving the human family” and said international institutions must be the result of the “widest possible consensus”. The pope also proposed guaranteeing food, health, economic and social rights on which international institutions would base their decisions. – SOURCE.
Pope Francis is featured in a documentary film on climate change and the environment that premiered at the Vatican on Tuesday. “The Letter,” which can be streamed for free on YouTube Originals starting Oct. 4, follows a climate activist, an indigenous leader, a climate refugee, and married marine biologists as they travel from their corners of the world to the Vatican to speak to Pope Francis… The inspiration for the documentary’s title was taken from the word “encyclical,” which is used for certain papal messages and literally means “circular letter.” The title refers to Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato si‘… “The film ‘The Letter’ highlights the key concept of dialogue,” he said. “Dialogue is central to the Holy Father’s vision for humanity’s peace with the Creator, with all creation, and among us humans.” Hoesung Lee, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said at the press conference that the film “is a timely reminder of the urgency and importance of Laudato si’.” “Both the science community and the faith community are very clear: the planet is in crisis and its life support system [is] in peril. The stakes have never been higher, and we should be the source of the solution to this crisis,” he added. – SOURCE.
Inter-faith group of religious leaders meets Pope Francis at Vatican – Co-founders of the nation’s first Jewish-Muslim brotherhood, Imam Marwan Gill and radio host Miguel Steuermann, have private audience with Pope Francis to strengthen interfaith relationship. In a historic feat of solidarity, Argentina’s Jewish and Muslim communities have arranged a meeting with the head of the Catholic Church. On Monday, the brotherhood sat down with The Supreme Pontiff as representatives of Argentina’s most populous religious minorities… Speaking with a tone of unity, the guests explained to His Holiness how the initiative arose from the Radio Shalom-Salam programme, a Jewish-Muslim dialogue, which they have produced every Sunday for over a year and a half, and how from there, they promoted activities that synergised groups within Argentine society more broadly… “It was a beautiful example of how we can achieve unity through diversity. Simply the image of having a Rabbi and an Imam being received by the head of the Catholic Church – especially as the world recovers from the pandemic and deals with ongoing global and regional conflicts – highlights the need for gestures of unity,” Imam Marwan Gill told the Times in an intervierw. “Leaders of different faiths must work together to promote peace, justice, and harmony in the world.”… “The Pope had a big impact on interfaith dialogue during his time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He left behind an important legacy on the community by constantly working to improve the relations of different faiths,” Imam Gill added. “A few years ago, he published his great work [encyclical] Fratelli tutti, which means that all are brothers and sisters. It’s an inspiration not only for Catholics, not only for Christians, but I think for any follower of any religion. It highlights the need for accepting the diversity and theological convictions of others. It highlights the need for working hand-in-hand for the betterment of our societies and for the moral standard of humanity.” –SOURCE.
The Pope said: “The phenomenon of climate change has become an emergency that no longer remains at the margins of society. Instead, it has assumed a central place, reshaping not only industrial and agricultural systems but also adversely affecting the global human family, especially the poor and those living on the economic peripheries of our world.” He said the world is facing the twin challenges of “lessening climate risks by reducing emissions” and of “assisting and enabling people to adapt to progressively worsening changes to the climate”. These challenges require everyone to come up with a multi-dimensional approach to protect people and the planet, he added. Pope Francis once again spoke of the need for an “ecological conversion“, saying this process requires everyone to be grateful for God’s Creation, to live in communion with one another, and to work together to deal with environmental problems. “Courageous, cooperative and far-sighted efforts among religious, political, social and cultural leaders on local, national and international levels are needed in order to find concrete solutions to the severe and increasing problems we are facing.” He called on the most-developed nations to reduce their own carbon emissions, while also offering financial assistance to “less prosperous areas of the world”… “Everything is connected,” repeated Pope Francis, adding that “promoting the long-term common good of our planet is essential to genuine ecological conversion“. He noted that the Holy See and Vatican City State have recently acceded to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.” – IndCatholicnews.com
ROME — LGBT advocate Father James Martin, SJ, said Thursday that churches have a special duty to celebrate Gay Pride, since much anti-gay violence has been “motivated by religion.”… “The Catechism of the Catholic Church asks us to treat LGBTQ people with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” he notes. “And participating in Pride events, or at least supporting our LGBTQ friends is one way to do this.” Celebrating Pride “doesn’t mean you have to agree with what every video, every article, or even every float in a parade has to say,” he cautions. “It’s more about supporting the fundamental human rights of this community: the right to live in safety, the right to be treated as equals, and the right to be fully welcomed in the society.” – Source.
Pope Francis said Sunday that Jesus is not looking for “perfect Christians” or those who “never doubt.” … “By telling us the story of Thomas,” Francis said, “the Gospel tells us that the Lord is not looking for perfect Christians. The Lord is not looking for perfect Christians.” “I am afraid when I see a Christian, some associations of Christians who believe themselves to be perfect,” he continued. “The Lord is not looking for perfect Christians; the Lord is not looking for Christians who never doubt and always flaunt a steadfast faith.” – SOURCE.