Catholicism

A Catholic priest who rode a "hoverboard" scooter during Christmas Eve Mass in the Philippines has fallen afoul of his diocese, which suspended Father Albert San Jose for attempting "to get the attention of the people" in a personal manner. The priest has apologized for the incident, which was recorded.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / The Texas Tribune

Nearly a week after Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he does not want to allow Syrian refugees into Texas, a group of college students who attend Abbott's church — the University Catholic Center in Austin — posted a simple sign in the church’s vestibule.

A standard sheet of white office paper, it quoted from the Bible, Matthew 25:35, “For I was ... a stranger and you took me in.” The words “Pray for Syrian Refugees” were typed in bold underneath.

Pope Francis kicked off the Catholic Church's special Jubilee Year, the focus of which will be mercy, on Tuesday by opening the bronze Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and walking through it.

Pope Francis landed in Kenya on Wednesday, beginning his first-ever trip through Africa, during which he's expected to address income inequality and religious intolerance.

The pope's six-day trip started on an inspirational note, The Associated Press reports:

"Francis was received upon arrival at Nairobi's airport by President Uhuru Kenyatta and a throng of traditional dancers and singers. ...

The Catholic Church of England and Wales

The Pope minced no words in his 192-page papal encyclical "Blessed Be," acknowledging man-made pollution as the source of climate change, criticizing those that deny science on the issue, and making several recommendations. 

As leader of the largest church in the world, the Pope has great influence, but in countries like the U.S. where the Catholic church--along with many other institutions in the country--is highly polarized, environmentalism often falls squarely on one side of the rift. 

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