one-world-religion-mental-illnessPerhaps his biggest move came in May, when he delivered his “Laudato Si” encyclical on the environment, making a moral case for combatting climate change. Of course, not everyone — in particular American conservatives and even more conservative elements within the Catholic hierarchy — has been thrilled with the pope’s seemingly liberal worldview. Conservative Catholic politicians in the United States, such as Rick Santorum, suggested that Francis stick to the church and not enter the sphere of politics. But even that backlash hasn’t prevented 2015 from being Pope Francis’ year. His continued efforts at making the Catholic church a more welcoming one have been applauded by Catholics and non-Catholics alike, as evidenced by his skyrocketing popularity. * A historic Supreme Court decision reflects changing attitudes, sparks debate — Same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states, after a historic 5-4 Supreme Court decision in June. The move formalized a shift in attitudes about homosexuality in the U.S. that had been decades in the making. Indeed, a Pew Research survey showed that more and more Christian churches are accepting of same-sex relationships than they’ve ever been. Even Pope Francis famously said of homosexulaity in 2013, “Who am I to judge?”

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