01:40 PM EDT 11/08/2013
Originally posted 11/08/2013 10:15AM
Billy Graham has prayed with every president from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, and inspired millions to follow Christ. This week, he delivered his final sermon – a video message he presented Thursday at his 95th birthday party – in which he looks into an uncertain future for the nation.
"Our country's in great need of a spiritual awakening," he says in the video, titled "My Hope America." "There have been times that I've wept as I've gone from city to city, and I've seen how far people have wandered from God."
He adds: "With all my heart, I want to leave you with the truth – that [Christ] loves you [and is] willing to forgive you of all your sins."
Originally posted 04/06/2013 09:35PM
The son of popular evangelical Pastor Rick Warren has committed suicide at his Southern California home, Warren's church said in a statement Saturday.
Matthew Warren, 27, struggled with mental illness, deep depression and suicidal thoughts throughout his life. Saddleback Valley Community Church spokeswoman Kristin Cole said he died Friday night.
"Despite the best health care available, this was an illness that was never fully controlled and the emotional pain resulted in his decision to take his life," the church statement said.
Originally posted 03/14/2013 10:15AM
Catholics worldwide rejoiced on Wednesday when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was selected as the 266th pope.
In many ways, it was a historic choice by the 115 cardinals who elected him. And the 76-year-old Argentine made history himself by choosing to take the papal name of Francis.
In other ways, Bergoglio's selection was a traditional one, at least when it comes to his theological views and positions on a host of social issues.
Here are five things to know about the Catholic Church's new leader:
Originally posted 03/13/2013 03:30PM
Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.
After announcing "Habemus Papum" – "We have a pope!" – a cardinal standing on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday revealed the identity of the new pontiff, using his Latin name.
"I would like to thank you for your embrace," the new Pope told thousands of onlookers.
Originally posted 02/27/2013 07:40AM
A frail Pope Benedict XVI bid a heartfelt farewell to his faithful followers Wednesday, offering a humble final Mass to about 55,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square in Rome, as the cardinals who will pick his successor looked on.
The frail Pope, 85, arrived in his Pope mobile to cheers, thanking everyone for understanding his decision to leave his position due to his age and health, making him the first modern-era Pope to step down rather than serve for life, as is tradition in the Catholic church.
"To love the church also means having the courage to take difficult decisions," he said in his address.
The pontiff's resignation takes effect Thursday. He will keep the name Benedict XVI and become the Roman pontiff emeritus or pope emeritus, the Vatican announced Tuesday.
Originally posted 02/11/2013 06:20AM
The Pope will resign on Feb. 28, he said Monday, citing his lacking the strength to continue in his mission, the Vatican has confirmed.
The announcement had been totally unexpected, and was made during a small ceremony in the Vatican. The Pope delivered the message in Latin, and cited his "advanced age."
The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 85, became Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005, following the death of John Paul II.
While resignations from the papacy are not unknown, this is the first to be taking place in the modern era. The last pontiff to resign was in 1415, when Gregory XII sought to end what was known as the Western Schism among several rivals for the papacy, reports The New York Times.
Originally posted 06/11/2012 06:00PM
Carrie Underwood has come out in favor of marriage equality.
"As a married person myself, I don't know what it's like to be told I can't marry somebody I love, and want to marry," the "Jesus, Take the Wheel" singer – and devout Christian – told Britain's The Independent newspaper.
"I can't imagine how that must feel," she said. "I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love."
Underwood says it's actually her faith that's led her to support gay marriage.
"Above all, God wanted us to love others," the recent CMT award winner said. "It's not about setting rules, or [saying] 'everyone has to be like me.' "
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