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On Friday, July 5, 2013, Pope Francis cleared two of the 20th Century’s most influential popes to become saints. To canonize, or officially declare a deceased individual as a saint, is almost an impossible feat and took the waiver of some Vatican rules in order to honor Pope John XXIII.
Pope Francis decided that John XXIII should be declared a saint even though the Vatican has not confirmed a second miracle that could be attributed to his intercession. The Vatican agreed and stated that Francis has the power to dispense with such requirements and proceed with the process.
The ceremony is expected to be held before the end of the year, although a rumored date of December 8 has been circulating. This date is most associated with the feast of the Immaculate Conception, also known as a major feast day for the church.
Read more at AP.org
Reverend R. Guy Erwin, a North Hollywood theology professor, became the first openly gay bishop to be ordained into the Evangelical Lutheran Church on Friday.
Only two years after the church lifted its ban on gay ministers, Erwin won a six-year term to the Southwest California Synod after a three-day assembly held in Woodland Hills. The historic descision is a landmark for the congregation’s LGBTQ followers.
For the past thirteen years, Erwin has taught theology and Christian History at Cal Lutheran University. He and his partner, Rob Flynn, belong to St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in North Hollywood.
A man was killed in a deadly terror attack in London on May 22.
Dramatic footage has emerged of the suspected terrorist attack near the London barracks that left one man dead. The video shows the suspect with blood-covered hands using jihadist rhetoric to justify the violence.
On Wednesday night, prime minister David Cameron spoke to the public, vowing that Britain will “never buckle” in the fact of terrorist incidents. He called the killing in Woolwich “absolutely sickening.”
ITV News broadcast footage of one of the alleged attackers that night.
A man, brandishing a cleaver and a knife, with the body of the victim lying just feet away, said, “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
Later footage showed the aftermath of the incident, in which the two suspects were shot by police.
The victim, who is believed to be a British soldier, is thought to have died after suffering knife injuries, possibly around the head.
A new study indicates that faith in God may lead to better short-term treatment outcomes in patients suffering from psychiatric illnesses.
According to David Rosmarin, a clinician and instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, individuals who professed a strong belief in God later reported a better well-being, less depression, and less anxiety in face of their treatments.
159 patients were evaluated in the Behavioral Health Partial Hospital department at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. Participants were asked to rate their spiritual faith and their expectations regarding the treatment on a five-point scale. Researchers then assessed each patient’s well-being at the beginning and end of the program, accounting for their levels of depression, anxiety and self-harm.
Rosmarin reported that patients who described themselves as possessing more than a “slight” belief in a higher power were twice as likely to respond to treatment.
Researchers are still unsure as to whether the cause of the treatment boost can be accredited to spirituality, some outside factor, or if spiritual people, somehow, are healthier than others.
A new pope has been elected!
Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected the pope, making him the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.
His chosen name will be Pope Francis.
The 76-year-old archbishop of Buenos Aires had reportedly been the runner up in the 2005 conclave which elected Benedict XVI, who retired last month, and which made him the first pope to resign in 600 years.
Bergoglio has spent most of his career in Argentina.
Pope Benedict XVI has given his final mass.
The frail Pope, 85, gave a humble final mass in front of about 55,000 people gathered in front of St. Peter’s Square in Rome. He arrived in his Pope mobile to cheers, thanking everyone for understanding his decision to step down.
The Pope had announced his decision to resign a few weeks prior due to his age and health. He’s the first Pope in the modern age to step down rather then serve for life.
He will continue to be known as Benedict XVI and become the Roman pontiff emeritus or pope emeritus, the Vatican had announced on Feb. 21.
Pope Benedict XVI will later depart for Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence for popes, and live there until restorations are complete on the Vatican covenant, which will become his home.
The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope after the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005.