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Mother Teresa declared a saint as Pope Francis lauds her in Vatican ceremony - LA Times

Pope Francis declared Mother Teresa a saint on Sunday, telling crowds in St Peter’s Square that the Albanian-born nun’s decades of toil in the slums of Calcutta made her a “model of holiness.”

“She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity,” the pope said at the canonization ceremony for the nun, who died in 1997, aged 87, and was put on an unusually swift track toward sainthood just six years later.

Amid the crowd of 120,000 in the square for the ceremony were 13 heads of state, including Queen Sofia of Spain, hundreds of Missionaries of Charity sisters in their trademark blue-trimmed saris and 1,500 homeless people brought to St. Peter’s for the event and treated to a pizza lunch at the Vatican afterward.

In his homily, Francis focused on Mother Teresa’s efforts to help those living on the edge of society, a theme the pope has made central to his papacy.


Churches fear Iowa law will silence pastors, open church bathrooms to transgenders | Fox News

Congregations across the state of Iowa are in grave danger of having their pastors silenced in the pulpit over LGBT public accommodation rules, according to a federal lawsuit filed against the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

Fort Des Moines Church of Christ filed what is known as a “pre-enforcement challenge” – arguing that a portion of the Iowa Civil Rights Act is a threat to First Amendment freedoms.


Mother Teresa of Calcutta to be made Roman Catholic saint Sept. 4: pope | Reuters

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a nun who dedicated her life to helping the poor, will be made a saint of the Roman Catholic Church at a ceremony on Sept. 4, Pope Francis announced on Tuesday.

Last December, he cleared the way for sainthood for the Nobel peace laureate, who died in 1997 at the age of 87 and was known as "saint of the gutters".

Teresa, who was born Agnese Gonxha Bojaxhiu of Albanian parents in 1910 in what was then part of the Ottoman Empire and is now Macedonia, became an international figure but was also accused of trying to convert people to Christianity.

Francis, who has made concern for the poor a major plank of his papacy, was keen to make Mother Teresa a saint during the Church's current Holy Year.


Mother Teresa to Be Sainted After 2nd Miracle Declared: Vatican - NBC News

ROME — Mother Teresa, who dedicated her life to helping India's poor, will be made a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican said Friday.

She will likely be canonized in September to coincide with the 19th anniversary of her death and Pope Francis' Holy Year of Mercy, according to an Italian Catholic newspaper report.

The pontiff marked his 79th birthday on Thursday by approving a decree that the nun had performed a second miracle 11 years after her death, the Vatican confirmed in a statement.


Gun-control fans mock Republicans for 'thoughts and prayers' after San Bernardino shooting - Washington Times

Gun control advocates slammed Republicans calling for “thoughts and prayers” in the aftermath of the horrific San Bernardino shooting, prompting accusations of “prayer shaming” on the right.

The New York Daily News ran the dramatic headline “God Isn’t Fixing This” on its front page Thursday, alongside highlighted statements asking for prayers from Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul, as well as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan.


Actress Takes Impassioned Stand Supporting Right to Pray in Public on ‘The View’ — and One Co-Host Doesn’t Seem to Like It | Video |

Actress Candice Cameron Bure was unabashed in her impassioned defense of the right of Americans to voluntarily pray in public on Monday’s edition of “The View.” Her point of view stood in stark contrast to that of co-host Raven-Symone, whose body language alone made that much clear.

The women of “The View” were discussing the story about a high school football coach who recently defied a lawsuit threat demanding he stop praying on the field after games. The assistant coach, Joe Kennedy, is claiming the post-game prayer session is not mandatory and is therefore protected free speech under the First Amendment.


The Animals of Chernobyl: Photos : Discovery News

This week came welcome news that animal populations in Ukraine's Chernobyl Exclusion Zone had rebounded tremendously, despite living in an area that nearly 30 years ago was the site of a horrific nuclear power accident.

The 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl created an evacuation area of some 1,000 square miles, removing humans from the equation and leaving animals to their own devices.

Animals ranging from feral cats to horses to fish seem to be getting by, after the fallibility of man left them a contaminated place to call their own. Here we take a look at some of the wildlife currently making a living in the "zone."


Americans Welcome A Popular Pope - Rasmussen Reports™

Pope Francis is coming to the United States this week. The new pope is expected to draw thousands to his public masses and dominate the news for the next several days. That’s okay with most Americans, Catholics in particular. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on September 14-15, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.


Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Says Licenses Being Issued Without Her Authority - ABC News

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis says marriage licenses are being issued in Rowan County without her authority and she wants her name and title removed.

Choking back tears this morning at a news conference before her return to work, a defiant Davis said she is faced with a "seemingly impossible choice ... my conscience or my freedom," referring to her opposition to same-sex marriages.

She added: "I'm no hero."

Despite her assertion that her deputies don't have her authority to issue marriage licenses, Rowan County Deputy Clerk Brian Mason said he will continue issuing them today.

Davis also told reporters this morning that she wants the licenses to indicate that they are being issued under federal authority.

She returned to work today nearly one week after being released from jail for failing to issue marriage licenses over her religious objection to same-sex marriage.

Davis filed an appeal Friday that asks for another delay in issuing the licenses. If the court does not respond before Davis returns to work, she will have to choose whether to allow her office to continue issuing licenses or again disobey the judge who already sent her to jail.