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‘Prime Minister Boris Johnson may come back to work with a degree of humility’, says Christian MP

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A Conservative Christian MP believes Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suffering from coronavirus may have a positive benefit to the way he does his job.

Mr Johnson had his first day back at work on Monday after spending two weeks recovering from time spent in hospital with Covid-19.

MP for South West Devon Gary Streeter told Premier he has high hopes for how the prime minister will lead the country out of the crisis.

“I think that he will come back full of energy and he’s made a flying start with a very positive statement outside Downing Street this morning.

“He’s obviously been very ill, but he’s also had the chance to step back and grapple with the big issues that we’ve got to face as a country now. I expect in the next few days there’s a plan to get us out of lockdown over several weeks and to take us back into a new normality. I think he will be very much the architect of that and will be able to communicate that to the British people.”

Now he is back at Downing Street, the prime minister has many challenging problems on his to-do list.

There is no end in sight for lifting lockdown measures – and although the situation will be reviewed again on 7th May, there is still no sign of an exit plan.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has accused the Government of treating the public “like children” for refusing even to give a hint of what a future strategy could look like.

The problem of adequate levels of PPE is a headache the Government has made little progress on in Mr Johnson’s absence.

According to a study published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society on Wednesday, over a third of frontline workers surveyed said they were still unable to access continuous supplies of PPE.

A promised shipment of 400,000 medical gowns due to arrive earlier this week turned out to be closer to 32,000, according to media reports.

Meanwhile, the Government previously set a target of 100,000 Covid-19 tests being conducted every day by the end of the month, but with just five days to go that ambition looks doomed.

The Home Secretary said on Saturday only 28,760 tests had been carried out on Friday, while a new online booking service has also facing some serious teething problems.

Streeter admits there’s a lot to get sorted out and the government has made its errors.

“Mistakes have been made because decisions have been made by human beings,” he said. “But I think we’ve had a clear strategy to reduce the peak of the virus and to build capacity in NHS to make sure that the NHS could cope all the way through. That clearly has happened.”

With several issues to deal with, Streeter believes Mr Johnson will address them with more “humility” after having his own battle with coronavirus.

“I think it clearly makes him full of empathy for those families who are going through this themselves. The British people, we love an underdog, don’t we? I think that there’ll be even more people getting behind him and wishing him well.

“And I suspect he’ll come back with not just clarity and energy that we expect from him, but perhaps with a degree of humility. He did say himself at one stage ‘it could have gone either way’. When you have that kind of experience where life hangs in the balance, it changes you. So I should be looking closely.

“I’m sure we all will see how this has changed for us, and how it impacts his leadership the nation, and it can’t be a bad thing.”

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Pope Francis endorses same-sex civil unions for the first time as pontiff

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Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse same-sex civil unions on Wednesday, sparking cheers from gay Catholics and demands for clarification from conservatives given the Vatican’s official teaching on the issue.

The papal thumbs-up to same-sex civil unions came midway through the feature-length documentary ‘Francesco’ that had its debut screening at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday.

The film, which includes fresh interviews with the pontiff, looks into the issues that mean the most to Pope Francis, including the environment, poverty, migration, racial and income inequality, and the people most affected by discrimination.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis said in one of his sit-down interviews for the film. “What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

ILGA Europe, an association that promotes the interests of LGBTI people, gave the pontiff’s words a cautious welcome.

“In the context where there is so much polarisation and scapegoating of LGBTI people, often endorsed and stoked by religious leaders, Pope Francis’ statement on same-sex unions is to be welcomed and should be carefully listened to,” the organisation said on Twitter. “We will monitor closely to see in how far the statement will be picked up by the churches and will lead to real change for LGBTI people and their families.”

The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit who has sought to build bridges with gays in the church, praised the comments as “a major step forward in the church’s support for LGBT people.”

“The pope’s speaking positively about civil unions also sends a strong message to places where the church has opposed such laws,” Martin said in a statement.

However, US conservative Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, called for clarification. “The pope’s statement clearly contradicts what has been the long-standing teaching of the church about same-sex unions,” he said in a statement. “The church cannot support the acceptance of objectively immoral relationships.”

Catholic teaching holds that gays must be treated with dignity and respect but that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.” A 2003 document from the Vatican’s doctrine office stated the church’s respect for gays “cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

Doing so, the Vatican reasoned, would not only condone “deviant behavior,” but create an equivalence to marriage, which the church holds is an indissoluble union between man and woman.

That document was signed by the then-prefect of the office, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI and Francis’ predecessor.

While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to same-sex marriages. However, he had never come out publicly in favour of civil unions as pope.

Director Evgeny Afineevsky had remarkable access to cardinals, the Vatican television archives and the pope himself. He said he negotiated his way in through persistence, and deliveries of Argentine mate tea and Alfajores cookies that he got to the pope via some well-connected Argentines in Rome.

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The liberation of America is only in the hands of Jesus; Franklin Graham announced the fasting prayer on October 25th

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Evangelist Franklin Graham is calling on Christians to participate in a day of fasting and prayer for our nation on Sunday, Oct. 25.

Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization, believes the church needs to call upon the name of God and ask for Him to move in this country. He stressed that our nation is facing multiple crises – from a pandemic to a turbulent presidential election, and widespread racial unrest.

“I am urging followers of Jesus Christ to fast and to pray for our nation next SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25. Mark it on your calendars and prepare now. I hope individuals, families, and churches will join me in asking for the Lord’s help and for His will to be done in this critical election. Will you?” Graham wrote on Facebook.

“We need to call out to God for His help, His intervention, and His mercy. It is only by His hand that America will survive and be able to thrive again. We have an election coming up with so much at stake – two vastly different directions for the future of this country. This not only affects us but our children and our grandchildren,” he added.

Graham led a Prayer March last month in Washington, D.C. where thousands of prayer warriors showed up to bless our nation.

“Prayer is our most important weapon. It allows us to go directly to the King of Kings, directly to stand before the throne of grace and make our petitions known directly to God,” Graham said.

Several worship events have taken place across the country at various venues this year, all for the same purpose: to bring America back to its first love and repent before a holy God.

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