Rape is sport for some in India. The bishops' conference of India named rape "physical and emotional terrorism," but that's not enough. It's time the church speaks out against this outrage.
David Gibson of Religion News Service examines the conflicting views of Catholic bishops on the passage of severely punitive laws against gays and lesbians, particularly in Africa and Asia.
The issue is especially pressing in Africa, where Nigeria recently adopted harsh prison terms for people in same-sex relationships.
The new president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India said the church should draw strength from spirituality to engage in works of charity.
"Energy for charitable works should come from our spiritual strength," Cardinal Baselios Thottunkal of Trivandrum told a news conference Wednesday at the end of the weeklong bishops' assembly.
The head of the Catholic church in India has reiterated its opposition to "criminalization" of homosexuality.
"It is for the government and the legislature to sort out the situation now," Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai said after the Supreme Court declined to review its December ruling on an anti-sodomy law.
The December ruling served to reinstate Section 337 of India's penal code, a law that outlawed homosexuality, making it a felony subject to fines and sentences of up to 10 years to life in prison.
All Things Catholic: While pop culture remains fascinated by small clues to Pope Francis' personality, we got a reminder on Sunday of something far more fundamental.