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Faith and Family

Stay up to date on the latest news and discussions on religion, faith and family.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Chicago Archbishop, right, takes his seat with Mons. Charles Scicluna, Malta Archbishop, and the Rev. Hans Zollner, left, ahead of a press conference on a Vatican summit on preventing clergy sex abuse, at the Vatican, Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. Organizers of Pope Francis' summit on preventing clergy sex abuse will meet this week with a dozen survivor-activists who have come to Rome to protest the Catholic Church's response to date and demand an end to decades of cover-up by church leaders. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Catholics sex abuse summit sidesteps role of gay priests

By Christopher Vondracek - The Washington Times

Some conservative U.S. Catholics are dismayed by the official schedule for Pope Francis' Vatican summit with bishops on clerical sex abuse that begins Thursday, saying it ignores the root cause of the scandal: gays in the priesthood. Published February 20, 2019

Ukrainian soldiers drive APCs near Urzuf, south coast of Azov sea, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Ukraine put its military forces on high combat alert and announced martial law this week after Russian border guards fired on and seized three Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Ukraine bars entry to Russian males, upping ante in conflict

By Yuras Karmanau and Nataliya Vasilyeva - Associated Press

Ukrainian officials on Friday upped the ante in the growing confrontation with Russia, announcing a travel ban for most Russian males and searching the home of an influential cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church. Published November 30, 2018

Recent Stories

Pope Francis stands next to an amphora containing holy oil during a Chrism Mass inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Thursday, April 18, 2019. During the Mass the Pontiff blesses a token amount of oil that will be used to administer the sacraments for the year. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis washes inmates' feet, says bishops must be servants

- Associated Press

Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 prisoners Thursday and urged them to serve one another as brothers, as he ushered in the solemn pre-Easter rituals made more poignant this year following the devastation of Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral.

Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, answers questions about a parental abortion consent bill during session, Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

Florida House passes bill requiring parental abortion consent

- Associated Press

Legislation that would require consent from a parent or guardian before a girl under 18 could obtain an abortion passed the Florida House on Wednesday night after a lengthy debate and amid questions about its constitutionality.

In this Friday, March 21, 2014, file photo a crown of thorns which was believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ and which was bought by King Louis IX in 1239 is presented at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Paris' mayor, Anne Hidalgo, said a significant collection of art and holy objects inside the church had been recovered from the fire at Notre Dame cathedral. In a tweet later, she thanked firefighters and others who formed a human chain to save artifacts. "The crown of thorns, the tunic of St. Louis and many other major artifacts are now in a safe place," she wrote. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, File)

Fire chaplain hailed as hero in Notre Dame blaze

Associated Press

For the chaplain of the Paris fire brigade, the hardest thing about the blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral was cracking the security codes to rescue its most precious relic.

Gov. Roy Cooper (D-N.C.) is shown in this undated file photo. On April 18, 2019, Mr. Cooper vetoed legislation that addresses a doctor's responsibilities if a late-term abortion results in an infant being born alive.(Associated Press) **FILE**

North Carolina 'born-alive' abortion bill wins final passage

- Associated Press

North Carolina lawmakers have given final passage to a bill to require doctors and nurses to care for babies born alive during a failed late-term abortion, a measure critics say is really intended to intimidate abortion providers.

Smoke is seen in the interior of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. A catastrophic fire engulfed the upper reaches of Paris' soaring Notre Dame Cathedral as it was undergoing renovations Monday, threatening one of the greatest architectural treasures of the Western world as tourists and Parisians looked on aghast from the streets below. (Philippe Wojazer/Pool via AP)

Focus shifts to 'sacred objects' in Notre Dame sacristy as flames extinguished

The world watched as social media and television cameras tracked the red, yellow and orange inferno spreading remorselessly across the roof of the 850-year-old national symbol. "It seems that they're saving the majority of the cathedral, but I can only imagine how much is lost inside."

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina has criticized the measure through a spokeswoman, raising expectations he would veto it if it reaches his desk. (Associated Press)

North Carolina Senate passes 'born-alive' abortion bill

- Associated Press

A bill requiring doctors and nurses to protect and care for children born alive during a failed late-term abortion cleared the North Carolina Senate on Monday, handing social conservatives a victory that could ultimately be undone by the Democratic governor.

In this Oct. 9, 2018, file photo, an embryo receives a small dose of Cas9 protein and PCSK9 sgRNA in a sperm injection microscope in a laboratory in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province.  (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) ** FILE **

Indiana lawmakers back felony charge if doctors misuse sperm

- Associated Press

A woman who was among numerous patients unknowingly impregnated by their Indiana fertility doctor's own sperm says she's pleased with state lawmakers backing a proposal that would make such actions a felony criminal offense.

In this March 12, 2019, file photo, William "Rick" Singer, front, founder of the Edge College & Career Network, exits federal court in Boston after he pleaded guilty to charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal, where ringers were hired to take SAT tests and proctors paid to look the other way. The scandal is fueling deeper concerns about the fairness of using SAT and ACT tests to determine college admission. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Should the SAT be optional? Bribery scandal renews debate

- Associated Press

The most brazen abuses of standardized testing in the college bribery scandal could be chalked up to security lapses: the ringer hired to take the SAT, the proctors paid to look the other way, the accommodations for extra time obtained through false diagnoses of disabilities.

Streaming to subscriptions: Video games enter new frontiers

- Associated Press

The video game industry is entering new frontiers. Now, you'll increasingly have the choice of subscribing to games, playing for free or possibly just streaming them over the internet to your phone or TV.

In this June 14, 2017, file photo, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory speaks during a Mass to repent clergy sexual abuse and to pray for molestation victims, in Indianapolis. Pope Francis has named Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory as the new archbishop of Washington D.C., choosing a moderate, and the first African-American, to lead the archdiocese that has become the epicenter of the clergy sex abuse crisis in the U.S. The 71-year-old Gregory replaces Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who resigned last year after being implicated in covering up abuse by a Pennsylvania grand jury report. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, file)

Pope Francis names moderate Wilton Gregory as Washington, D.C., archbishop

- Associated Press

Pope Francis on Thursday named Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory as the new archbishop of Washington D.C., choosing a moderate, and the first African-American, to lead the archdiocese that has become the epicenter of the clergy sex abuse crisis in the U.S.

In this Oct, 10, 2013, file photo, Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah speaks during the closing ceremony and handover of the ASEAN Chairmanship to Myanmar in Bandar Seri Begawan. The sultan announced to implement Islamic criminal laws that punishes gay sex by stoning offenders to death. The legal change in the tiny, oil-rich monarchy, which also includes amputation for theft, is due to come into force Wednesday, April 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Brunei invokes laws allowing stoning for gay sex, adultery

- Associated Press

New Islamic criminal laws that took effect in Brunei on Wednesday, punishing gay sex and adultery by stoning offenders to death, have triggered an outcry from countries, rights groups and celebrities far beyond the tiny Southeast Asian nation's shores.

In this Jan. 9, 2019 file photo, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gives a press conference in Mexico City. Lopez Obrador said Thursday, Feb. 28, that wages should rise but we shouldn't create an atmosphere of labor instability. He is now trying to close the Pandora's box of wage demands he helped unleash when he doubled the minimum wage in border areas. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

Mexico president's demand for Spanish apology over conquistador's conquest backfires

As Democratic presidential candidates revive a debate over reparations for slavery in their 2020 campaigns, Mexico's new leftist president is bringing up an even older grudge, sparking outrage by demanding that Spain's king and Pope Francis officially apologize for the conquest of Mexico a half-millennium ago.

This combination photo shows actress Lori Loughlin at the Women's Cancer Research Fund's An Unforgettable Evening event in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 27, 2018, left, and actress Felicity Huffman at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on  Sept. 17, 2018. Loughlin and Huffman are among at least 40 people indicted in a sweeping college admissions bribery scandal. Both were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in indictments unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Boston. (AP Photo) ** FILE **

Parents could face tax charges, big fines in admissions scam

- Associated Press

A wide-ranging college admissions cheating scheme allowed wealthy parents not only to get their kids into sought-after schools but to write off the bribes on their taxes, federal authorities say. Now some parents who are already facing possible prison time could be hit with additional criminal charges and stiff financial penalties, experts say.

In this Friday, March 29, 2019, file photo, Pope Francis attends an audience with participants of a course on the Internal Forum promoted by the Apostolic Penitentiary Court, in the Pope Paul VI hall, at the Vatican. Pope Francis said on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, women have "legitimate claims" to seek more justice and equality in the Catholic Church, but has stopped short of endorsing more sweeping calls from his own bishops to give women decision-making roles. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

Pope Francis: Women have 'legitimate claims' for justice, equality

- Associated Press

Pope Francis said Tuesday women have "legitimate claims" to seek more justice and equality in the Catholic Church, but stopped short of endorsing more sweeping calls from his own bishops to recognize the "urgency of an inevitable change" to give them leadership roles.

Sign advertising free measles vaccines and information about measles are displayed at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., Wednesday, March 27, 2019. The county in New York City's northern suburbs declared a local state of emergency Tuesday over a measles outbreak that has infected more than 150 people since last fall, hoping a ban against unvaccinated children in public places wakes their parents to the seriousness of the problem. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Unvaccinated children drive measles outbreak to record levels

- The Washington Times

U.S. health officials reported Monday that more people have contracted measles in the first three months of this year than they did in all of last year -- a viral outbreak driven by unvaccinated children in various areas of the country two decades after the illness was declared eliminated.

"Unplanned" - an anti-abortion, pro-life film  - has just been given a surprise R-rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, the trade association which determines the suitability of film content for viewers. (Pure Flix)

Despite Twitter ban, media blackout and an R-rating, 'Unplanned' cleans up at the box office

- The Washington Times

"Unplanned," a feature film which takes a stand against abortion, doubled its projected earnings, coming in at fifth place overall with a $6.1 million dollar opening despite previous industry predictions from $2 million to $3 million for its opening weekend. The independent production did well despite a temporary Twitter ban on the film's social media presence, limited release on the nation's movie screens and very little coverage from the mainstream media.

Pope Francis attends an audience with participants of a course on the Internal Forum promoted by the Apostolic Penitentiary Court, in the Pope Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Friday, March 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis mandates reporting of sex abuse claims in Vatican City

Associated Press

Pope Francis has issued sweeping new sex abuse legislation for Vatican personnel and Holy See diplomats overseas, requiring the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors, a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church worldwide.

Recent Opinion Columns

In this image from video provided by Senate TV, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., speaks on the Senate floor about her vote on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kananaugh, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 in the Capitol in Washington.  Sen Shelly Capito, R-W.Va., sits rear left and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., sits right.  (Senate TV via AP)

Susan Collins' finest hour

In a speech announcing her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, reminded me of some of the great orators of the past. Her speech was measured in tone, substantive in content and delivered with conviction.

Religious Oppression in China Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

How the Chinese government stifles religious faith

Several years ago during a visit to the United States, President Xi Jinping was interviewed by a Chinese national living in the United States. After the interview, Mr. Xi asked a single question of this reporter — not about his family, not about his studies, not about whether he enjoyed living in America — the one question he asked was "Why do so many Chinese students studying in the United States become Christians?"

Illustration on the continued need for impartial justice by ALexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Why Lady Justice must be blind

George Barna, in his book "What Americans Believe," points out that 87 percent of non-Christians and 77 percent of self-described born-again Christians agreed with the statement "People are basically good." Our culture by and large has discarded the idea of original sin.

Illustration on the attractiveness of Socialism by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The unthinking and the unobservant

This past week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed socialist, won the Democratic primary for a congressional seat in New York. Why would a sane person advocate a political movement that was responsible for well over a hundred million deaths in the last century, as well as untold misery? By her comments, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez revealed a couple of things about herself. The first is an ignorance of history — because it is unlikely that she really meant to be an advocate for a cause that often results in mass death and destruction — and that she is unable to think beyond stage 1, or the first order effect of a policy.

Illustration on anti-Christian bias by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Protecting all Americans from anti-religious hostility

Seven justices of the U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was unconstitutionally biased against the religious beliefs of Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop.

From The Vault

This Oct. 1, 2017, file photo shows Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington shaking hands with churchgoers at St. Mathews Cathedral after the Red Mass in Washington. Wuerl is defending himself ahead of a forthcoming grand jury report investigating child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses. He says the report will be critical of some of his actions as Pittsburgh's bishop. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Pennsylvania report identifies more than 1,000 children molested by priests

- Associated Press

More than 1,000 children -- and possible many more -- were molested by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses, while senior church officials took steps to cover it up, according to a landmark grand jury report released Tuesday.

A woman holds her hands in prayer as she watches Pope Francis on a  monitor as people await his arrival on Sept. 26, 2015, in Philadelphia. (Associated Press)

God still the co-pilot: U.S. remains the most religious among all Western nations

- The Washington Times

It is fashionable in some circles to purge the presence of God from everyday life, whether it's by banning religious images or language in public places, or media coverage that implies that faith-based anything is not inclusive. Such thinking is not new. In 1966, Time Magazine published an edition titled "Is God Dead?" -- suggesting that the faith was wavering, and the U.S. was on a path to secularization.

The White House is seen at dusk in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) ** FILE **

Trump hosts first Iftar dinner in observance of Ramadan

- The Washington Times

President Trump is hosting his first Iftar dinner Wednesday night at the White House to mark one of the religious observances of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a gesture that was met with surprise and criticism among some U.S. Muslims.

First lady Melania Trump speaks on her initiatives during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Washington.  The first lady gave her multipronged effort to promote the well-being of children a minimalist new motto: "BE BEST."  The first lady formally launched her long-awaited initiative after more than a year of reading to children, learning about babies born addicted to drugs and hosting a White House conversation on cyberbullying.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Melania Trump unveils 'Be Best' agenda to promote children's well-being

- The Washington Times

First lady Melania Trump rolled out an agenda Monday that focused on enhancing the well-being of children, soldiering on in her duties against one of the Washington press corps' most hostile receptions for a first lady and rabid news coverage of the president's alleged infidelity with adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Pedestrians walk past the entrance for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/David Goldman) ** FILE **

CDC: Teen mom birth rates hit historic low

- The Washington Times

Babies born to teenage mothers reached an historic low between 2015 and 2016, with the birth rate continuously declining for mothers between the ages of 10 and 19 years old, according to new data released on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 14, 2013, an embryologist works on a petri dish at the Create Health fertility clinic in south London. Since the first test-tube baby was born more than three decades ago, in vitro fertilization has become a sophisticated process with pricey incubators, specialized techniques and extensive screening. Now, scientists are going back to basics and testing a simpler and cheaper method intended mainly for use in developing countries. (AP Photo/Sang Tan) ** FILE **

More than 71,000 babies born in 2016 from IVF

- The Washington Times

Babies born using assisted reproductive technology increased in 2016, with 71,296 births counted from the efforts of 377 clinics in the U.S., according to preliminary data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.