Sex isn’t Sin When Practiced within a Sacred Context


Few religion-column topics are more guaranteed to offend than sex. I probably needn’t go any further. Merely seeing the word in print has surely offended someone already. That squeamishness is a good place to begin.

Negative views of sexuality in Western Christendom go back at least as far as Augustine, who reacted to his own, youthful transgressions with a Manichaean starkness that filtered into Latin positions on the topic and impacted doctrines as wide-ranging as original sin, clerical celibacy and birth control.

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Exorcists wanted: apply to Catholic Church

Wanted: a few good men to cast out devils.

Overwhelmed with requests for exorcists, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are holding a special training workshop in Baltimore this weekend to teach clerics the esoteric rite, the Catholic News Service reported.

The church has signed up 56 bishops and 66 priests for the two-day workshop that began on Friday, seeking to boost the small group of just five or six American exorcists that the church currently has on its books.

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The Fast Growing de-Christianization of the Middle East

Pope Benedict has called bishops to a two-week Vatican synod from Oct. 10 to discuss the fate of Christian minorities in the Middle East, where some face conflict, discrimination, economic woes or sectarian tensions.

With emigration rife, Christian communities have dwindled in many parts of the region where their faith was born. Here are estimates of how many still live in Middle Eastern countries:

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The Pope’s visit (to Cyprus) becomes a scandal for the faithful

Metropolitan Athanasios: I have refused to attend the celebrations marking his visit

An interview with Antigoni Solomonidou-Drousiotou

The Metropolitan of Lemesos, Athanasios, distances himself from the Church of Cyprus’ official position on the forthcoming visit to the island of Pope Benedict. He plainly declares that he opposes the visit, explaining that Catholicism is a heresy and the visit of the Head of the Catholic Church to Cyprus will scandalize the minds of innocent, faithfully people. At the same time, he stresses that neither adverse reactions nor rude or bad manners must be shown.

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spiritual struggle 

XVII International Ecumenical Conference on Orthodox Spirituality

Bose Monastery, Wednesday 9 – Saturday 12 September 2009

in collaboration with the Orthodox Churches

Bose, 2 September 2009

The 17th annual International Ecumenical Conference on Orthodox Spirituality will be held at the Bose Monastery on 9–12 September 2009. Organized in collaboration with the Orthodox Churches, the conference is an important occasion of discussion on fundamental themes of the spiritual life, those where the traditions of Christian East and Christian West intersect the deepest expectation of contemporary man.

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