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Plea to Pope Francis on Behalf of Homeless LGBT Youth Appears in Full-Page 'NYT' Ad

Pleatopopefrancis

Faith in America has taken out a full-page ad in today's New York Times to make an impassioned plea to Pope Francis on behalf of homeless LGBT youth. The letter to the Pope is written by Carl Siciliano, the executive director of the Ali Forney Center, NYC's largest shelter for homeless LGBT youth.

Read the ad HERE.

GoldWrites Faith in America founder Mitchell Gold in a press release:

"So much has been accomplished for LGBT legal equality….now we hope the next wave will be an all-out effort for LGBT spiritual equality…one that will especially protect vulnerable teens….and one that will enable all legislation to be passed. Just imagine for a moment if so many of the kids that have killed themselves did not grow up being taught that homosexuality was sinful….if when they came out to their parents they were totally embraced rather than being told they were “disappointed” and needed counseling….if they felt they had family and church to turn to?

"I’ve come to see that in the final analysis it is this “sin” hurdle that is the basis for too many to be against LGBT equality and it is clearly one of the most harmful parts of an LGBT teen’s life. Just a few months ago a precious 13 year old in my community told me how he agonizingly contemplated suicide for over a tortuous year. Why? Because he thought he was a sinner. On a very basic, simple level I believe we must dismantle this wall of outdated, misguided and ill-informed religious teachings. Not an easy task….but one that has to be done…..by all of us, with a concerted effort."

A Facebook page was also launched to accompany the ad.


Obama Neglects LGBT Issues In Chat with Pope Francis

Obama and Pope Francis

The Washington Blade is reporting that President Obama failed to raise LGBT-specific issues with Pope Francis during their meeting in the Vatican last Thursday. 

“I would say that the largest bulk of the time was discussing two central concerns of his,” Obama told reporters after the meeting. “One is the issues of the poor, the marginalized, those without opportunity and growing inequality.”

Obama said he and the pontiff discussed immigration reform and the possibility of a papal trip to the U.S. The president stressed there was also “some specific focus” during their 50 minute meeting on the Middle East – and specifically Syria, Lebanon and the fledgling peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

“The theme that stitched our conversation together was a belief that in politics and in life the quality of empathy, the ability to stand in somebody else’s shoes and to care for someone even if they don’t look like you or talk like you or share your philosophy – that that’s critical,” said Obama. “It’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars.”

Obama said he did not discuss any specific religious exemptions relating to the Affordable Care Act, although the Vatican noted that the two discussed “questions of particular relevance for the church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection…”

Esteban Paulón, LGBT Federation of Argentina President, expressed disappointment that Obama failed to address global concerns about global LGBT inequality with Pope Francis. Before becoming the pope, Francis served as archbishop of Buenos Aires (where his record on gay rights was decidedly mixed)

“Even though we did not have high expectations, we believed that within the context of the meeting President Obama would have brought to the table his administration’s concern that it has expressed, and that we have shared, about the climate of hostilities towards lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in many parts of the world,” Paulón told the Blade on Friday. “In many of those countries this persecution happens with the support, or at the very least with the complicity and silence, of the Catholic hierarchy.”


Obama Meets Pope Francis at the Vatican: VIDEO

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President Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time today at the Vatican, in a meeting that lasted 52 minutes. The NYT reports:

In a three-paragraph communiqué released on Thursday afternoon, the Vatican described as “cordial” the meetings between Mr. Obama and Francis, as well as a later meeting among the president, his aides and other top Vatican officials. The discussions touched on “current international themes,” according to the statement, as the Vatican also expressed hope for respect for humanitarian and international law in “areas of conflict.” Immigration reform was discussed, while both sides shared a “common commitment” to fighting human trafficking.

As expected, the Vatican communiqué also alluded to the ongoing dispute between American bishops and the Obama administration over provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including the mandate that for-profit corporations must provide contraception coverage in health care plans. American bishops argue that the mandate is a violation of religious freedom. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of the mandate.

In the communiqué, the Vatican noted that discussions were held on questions of particular relevance for the Church, including “the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection.”

Watch scenes from their meeting, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Obama Meets Pope Francis at the Vatican: VIDEO" »


Rand Paul: Obama Should Explain to the Pope Why He's Attacking Religious Freedom - VIDEO

Paul

Referring to the Hobby Lobby case before the Supreme Court yesterday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) lectured Obama on what he should explain to Pope Francis in a meeting scheduled for Thursday.

“He ought to explain to the pope why he is telling businesses in America they can’t remain true to their faith and stay in business." He should also “tell the pope he’s not going to spy on him anymore.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Crooks and Liars notes:

...if it were Rand Paul visiting with the Pope, I'd tell him he should be ready to explain why it is that he opposes extending unemployment insurance while taking food out of the mouths of hungry children.

I think Rand Paul has more to explain than President Obama does.

Continue reading "Rand Paul: Obama Should Explain to the Pope Why He's Attacking Religious Freedom - VIDEO" »


Pope Francis Suggests Catholic Church Might Support Civil Unions

Pope Francis suggested in an interview on Wednesday that the church might consider supporting same-sex civil unions, CNN reports:

FrancisOn gay marriage, the Pope reiterated the church's longstanding teaching that "marriage is between a man and a woman." However, Pope Francis said, "We have to look at different cases and evaluate them in their variety."

For instance, civil unions provide financial security to cohabitating couples, "as for instance in medical care," the Pope said in a wide-ranging interview published Wednesday in Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily.

According to the Pope's biographer, then Cardinal Borgoglio has supported the idea of civil unions in Argentina when faced with the unstoppable passage of same-sex marriage in 2010.


Peace Doves Released From Pope Francis’s Window Immediately Attacked By Other Birds: VIDEO

Pope francis

The AP reports on a bad omen out of Vatican City, where two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis as a peace gesture were quickly attacked by other birds.

Bird attack_1As tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, a seagull and a large black crow swept down on the doves right after they were set free from an open window of the Apostolic Palace.

One dove lost some feathers as it broke free from the gull. But the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove.

It was not clear what happened to the doves as they flew off.

New York quips, "Hopefully, they recovered and intend to continue to their avian fight for good. But, if something terrible happens somewhere in the world today, no one can say that there weren't any signs."

Any thoughts on what doom scenario the seagull and crow might symbolize? Bonus points for creativity.

Check out some more shots and footage of the attack, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Peace Doves Released From Pope Francis’s Window Immediately Attacked By Other Birds: VIDEO" »


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