It's time for TheBlaze's weekly recap of the most popular and intriguing faith and culture stories.
Let's start with a piece that's still hot on TheBlaze. Pope Francis ended the week by stunning thousands at St. Peter's Basilica by doing something wholly unexpected: Bowing down in front of the crowd and confessing his sins to an ordinary priest. Francis made the noteworthy move after his sermon in which he covered the importance of confession in the Catholic faith.
In this picture made available by the Vatican newspaper L' Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis is confessed by a priest in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP Photo/L' Osservatore Romano)
On Wednesday, "Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson refused to back down on his biblical views during an interview with CNN. Willie Robertson openly upheld his Christian views when pushed to defend his father, family patriarch Phil Robertson, who made headlines late last year after uttering controversial comments about homosexuality and the Bible.
"I believe what the Bible says," he said. "You have to read the Bible and make up your own mind."
TV personalities Lil Will Robertson, Korie Robertson, Bella Robertson, Willie Robertson, Sadie Robertson and John Luke Robertson from Duck Dynasty attend Nickelodeon's 27th Annual Kids' Choice Awards at USC Galen Center on March 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Image source: Getty Images/David Livingston)
Speaking of not backing down, actress Candace Cameron-Bure, who was recently profiled by TheBlaze, is taking part in this season's "Dancing With the Stars," a show known for its sometimes-sexy dance moves and garb. But on last week’s episode, Cameron-Bure shared her Christian faith with viewers and explained her decision to be more modest in how she dresses and performs. In turn, she received big cheers from the crowd.
The show featured a video package in which Cameron-Bure explained that as a Christian her “life revolves around [her] relationship with Jesus Christ.” She continued, “So with the overall tone of the dance and the costumes, I’m not going to take a backseat.”
While we’re talking about stars and their faith, did you know that Korn bassist Reggie Quincy "Fieldy” Arvizu is so open about his beliefs that he got a crucifix tattooed on his face?
President Barack Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time Thursday -- and did you hear about the gift Obama hand-delivered to the pontiff?
In honor of the pope’s decision to grant public access to the gardens at the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, the pope’s summer residence, Obama presented him with a chest full of fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House garden. Despite areas of disagreement between Obama and the Catholic Church, namely abortion and contraception, the president called himself a “great admirer” of Pope Francis.
Oh, and don't forget to take a look at the Christian tattoo scientists found on a 1,300-year-old mummy’s body.
Image source: Trustees of the British Museum
Then there's Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain continuing its battle over the Obamacare contraceptive mandate before the Supreme Court, where arguments were heard last week. While the company's fight to be freed from covering the morning-after pill, among other drugs, is nowhere near over, there may be some good news for the corporation.
According to early reports, the majority of the justices questioned why companies and organizations don’t have religious rights in the eyes of the federal government and some wondered why the government wouldn’t be willing to grant waivers to religiously owned companies similar to those that nonprofits enjoy.
And World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization, stunned the nation last week when it announced that it will begin hiring married gays and lesbians and unmarried gays who practice abstinence outside of marriage so long as they are committed followers of Jesus Christ.
In light of recent news that U.K. hospitals were using the bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies to heat their medical facilities, Glenn Beck opined on his show Wednesday that Jeremiah 19:5-8 holds great warning for the U.K.
Image source: YouTube/"The Voice of Italy"
And now for a big bonus. We included this in last week's recap, but it was so great we decided to include it again: A video of a nun stunning reality-show judges with her awesome voice. See it all unfold here.