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April 2010 Archives

Mormons and Catholics React to Arizona Immigration Law

posted by mconsoli

Mormons on Opposite Sides in Immigration Fight No matter how much the LDS Church would like to remain neutral on the issue of illegal immigration, Mormon activists on opposite sides draw on their faith’s doctrines or practices to buoy their […]

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Is High Court’s Cross Ruling Good for Christians?

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Evangelicals cheered when a Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday (April 28) allowed a cross to remain as a war memorial in California’s Mojave Desert. Some Christians, however, caution that a celebration may not be in order. The high court’s […]

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Belgium Poised to Ban Muslim Veil

posted by mconsoli

PARIS (RNS) Belgium is poised to become Europe’s first country to ban the face-covering Islamic veil, after lawmakers approved such a measure Thursday (April 29) — just a week after the French President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered similar legislation in France. […]

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Legionaries Break Silence Ahead of Vatican Meeting

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY – The No. 2 official in the Legionaries of Christ has broken his silence on the eve of a Vatican meeting to discuss the fate of the order following revelations that its late founder led a double life. […]

Retired Chaplains Oppose Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell Repeal

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) More than 40 retired military chaplains warned President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that allowing gays to serve openly in the military will force current chaplains to choose between obeying God or men. “This forced choice must […]

NEWS FEATURE: Panel Faults Obama for Lagging on Religious Freedom

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. government is not doing enough to protect religious freedoms abroad, the independent U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said Thursday (April 29) in its annual report to Congress and the White House. “The problems are above […]

Tea Party Insurgence Ripples Through Missouri Synod Election

posted by mconsoli

ST. LOUIS (RNS) When the nominations for president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod were tallied and released earlier this month, a collective gasp went up from Lutherans who pay attention to things like presidential nominations. It wasn’t just that nine-year […]

Vatican: Pope May Apologize for Abuse by Priests

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI may issue a mea culpa for the church’s handling of clerical sexual abuse cases when he attends a meeting of the world’s clergy in June, the Vatican official in charge of handling abuse cases […]

High Court Supports Mojave Cross in Calif.

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court said Wednesday that a lower court went too far in ordering the removal of a congressionally endorsed war memorial cross from its longtime home atop a remote outcropping in California. Signaling support for keeping the […]

News Feature: What’s God trying to tell us with the volcano in Iceland?

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) What do homosexuality, health care reform, and British advertising standards all have in common? They’re all things that have ticked God off, some religious leaders say, and he’s venting his frustration with the angry fires of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano. […]

Researchers Probe Whether, Why, ‘Free Will’ Exists

posted by mconsoli

ORLANDO, Fla. — Are people really responsible for all the things they do? Do they have what theologians call God-given “free will” to choose between right and wrong? Those questions are at the heart of a four-year research project underway […]

Muslims Want Graham Barred from Capitol Hill Prayer Event

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) Days after evangelist Franklin Graham was disinvited from a Pentagon observance of the National Day of Prayer, a Muslim organization has asked members of Congress to follow suit. Corey Saylor, national legislative director of the Council on American-Islamic […]

China Pledges to Repair Quake-Damaged Monasteries

posted by mconsoli

BEIJING – The Chinese government promised to focus on repairing monasteries damaged in an earthquake in an ethnically Tibetan region of the country, days after monks assisting in relief work were told to leave the disaster area. The death toll […]

Outspoken Cardinal has Long History of Making Headlines Cardinal

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos’ ability to make headlines landed him on many journalists’ short lists as a possible future pope — but lately, those same headlines also show why he was probably never a serious contender. The […]

Obama Stops at Billy Graham’s Mountain Home

posted by mconsoli

MONTREAT, North Carolina – President Barack Obama made a visit Sunday to Billy Graham’s mountainside home, concluding his North Carolina vacation with his first meeting with the ailing evangelist who has counseled commanders in chief since Dwight Eisenhower. The 48-year-old […]

Vatican to Finance Adult Stem Cell Research

posted by mconsoli

ROME – The Vatican is pushing for research of adult stem cells as an alternative to the use of embryonic stem cells, which the Catholic Church opposes because it maintains that the destruction of the embryo amounts to the killing […]

Conservatives Decry Pentagon for Pulling Graham from Event

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) Conservative Christian leaders blasted the Army’s decision to disinvite evangelist Franklin Graham from a Pentagon event on the National Day of Prayer because he has been critical of Islam. Graham, this year’s honorary chair of the National Day […]

News Feature: ‘South Park’ Creators to Take Mormons to Broadway

posted by mconsoli

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) The Book of Mormon will make its debut next spring as a Broadway musical, and a lot of Latter-day Saints may not like it. Fans of satire, on the other hand, may love it. “South Park” […]

Legal Skirmish Colors National Day of Prayer

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON — As Rep. Randy Forbes sees it, the decision by a Wisconsin federal judge that the law creating a National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional is little more than one person’s opinion. Millions of Americans, Forbes said, think otherwise. […]

Controversial Cardinal Bows Out of D.C. Latin Mass

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) A former Vatican official who praised a French bishop for not reporting an abusive priest to the police has withdrawn from celebrating an upcoming Latin Mass at the nation’s largest Catholic church. Victims’ advocates had blasted the Maryland-based […]

Court Rejects Unemployment Pay for Jehovah’s Witness

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) A Pennsylvania judge has denied unemployment benefits to a Jehovah’s Witness who quit her job in a jewelry store when her responsibilities conflicted with her religious beliefs against celebrating birthdays. The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court’s ruling reversed a decision by […]

Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Pope, Vatican Over US Abuse Case

posted by mconsoli

MILWAUKEE – A federal lawsuit alleges that Pope Benedict XVI and senior Vatican officials covered up allegations of child sexual abuse against a Wisconsin priest who is accused of molesting at least 200 deaf children from 1950 to 1975. The […]

Abuse Survivors Protest Cardinal’s Visit to DC

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON – Advocates for victims of sexual abuse by priests appealed to the pope and the archbishop of Washington on Tuesday to keep a retired Vatican cardinal from celebrating Mass at the nation’s largest Roman Catholic church. Cardinal Dario Castrillon […]

Tibetan Monks Ordered Out of China’s Quake Zone

posted by mconsoli

BEIJING – Earthquake survivors say it was the Tibetan monks who helped first, bringing food, pitching tents and digging through rubble after disaster hit far western China a week ago, killing thousands. Now the Buddhist monks who responded first are […]

News Feature: As Controversy Lingers, Shroud of Turin Still Draws a Crowd

posted by mconsoli

TURIN, Italy (RNS) As hoteliers and souvenir vendors from Lourdes to Mexico City can readily attest, a sacred pilgrimage can quickly morph from a spiritual event into a commercial bonanza. And although religious tourism has recently become a booming global […]

Army Considers Rescinding Invitation to Evangelist

posted by mconsoli

DENVER – The Army is considering whether to rescind an invitation to evangelist Franklin Graham to appear at the Pentagon amid complaints about his description of Islam as evil, a military spokesman said Wednesday. Graham, the son of famed evangelist […]

Pope Promises Action Against Clerical Sex Abuse

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI promised Wednesday that the Catholic Church would take action to confront the clerical sex abuse scandal, making his first public comments on the crisis days after meeting with victims. During his weekly public audience […]

Faith Leaders Criticize Ariz. ‘Anti-Immigrant’ Bill

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders are outraged over a bill passed by Arizona legislators that criminalizes illegal immigration, calling the bill “anti-immigrant” and a “social sin.” Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony compared aspects of the legislation, approved Monday (April 19) by […]

Abuse Scandal Puts Victims’ Group Back in the Spotlight

posted by mconsoli

ST. LOUIS (RNS) The daily drumbeat of news about clergy sexual abuse began in Ireland last year. This year, the stories spread — to Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Norway. The drumbeat got louder. E-mails from across the ocean continued to pour […]

Abuse Survivors Protest Cardinal’s Visit to DC

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON – Advocates for victims of sexual abuse by priests appealed to the pope and the archbishop of Washington on Tuesday to keep a retired Vatican cardinal from celebrating Mass at the nation’s largest Roman Catholic church. Cardinal Dario Castrillon […]

US Court Splits on Campus Christian Argument

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON – U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday seemed to split sharply on whether a law school can deny recognition to a Christian student group because it will not let gays join, a case that could determine whether college nondiscrimination […]

Pope Benedict XVI Marks 5 Years Since Election

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI marked the fifth anniversary of his election Monday under the shadow of a clerical sex abuse scandal that has plunged the Catholic Church into its most serious crisis of recent times. Benedict was the […]

Jews Worry as Slaughterhouse Chief Faces Jail Time

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) As Sholom Rubashkin sits in an Iowa jail awaiting a possible life sentence on fraud charges related to his now-defunct kosher meat business, his ultra-Orthodox Jewish support base has ramped up protests over his case. Through an online petition, […]

Tearful Pope Says Church Will Better Protect Young

posted by mconsoli

VALLETTA, Malta – With tears in his eyes, Pope Benedict XVI made his most personal gesture yet to respond to the clerical sex abuse scandal Sunday, telling victims the church will do everything possible to protect children and bring abusive […]

On Fifth Anniversary, Pope Is Besieged by Questions

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) As Pope Benedict XVI marks the fifth anniversary of his election on Monday (April 19), the cloud of controversy that’s overshadowing the Vatican likely isn’t what he had in mind to mark the occasion. A spreading international scandal over […]

Monks, Govt. Workers Seek Life After China Quakes

posted by mconsoli

JIEGU, China – Tibetan monks in crimson robes dug through earthquake rubble alongside government rescue workers Friday, a startling image for a Chinese region long strained by suspicion and unrest. The central government has poured in troops and equipment to […]

Bishop Convicted for Denying Holocaust

posted by mconsoli

BERLIN – A German court convicted ultraconservative British Bishop Richard Williamson on Friday for denying the Holocaust in a television interview. A court in the Bavarian city of Regensburg found Williamson guilty of incitement for saying in a 2008 interview […]

UCC, Shunned By Networks, Takes Inclusive Message to Internet

posted by mconsoli

CLEVELAND (RNS) Six years ago, United Church of Christ advertising spots promoting the church’s openness and diversity were shunned by major broadcast networks as “too controversial.” Rejections of the 30-second spots — which showed unnamed churches turning away gays and […]

Polygamist Sect Members Plead No Contest to Bigamy

posted by mconsoli

SAN ANTONIO – Two members of a polygamist sect were sentenced to prison Thursday on bigamy charges, the first legal finding of multiple marriages in a community that has mostly dodged questions about the practice. Lehi Barlow Jeffs pleaded no […]

Pope, Breaking Silence, Says Church Must ‘Do Penance’

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Breaking his silence as an international clergy sex abuse scandal has roiled the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday (April 15) spoke of the need to “do penance.” The pope, in an indirect reference to the […]

Muslim Woman Denied Foster Care License Because of No-Pork Rule

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) A Muslim woman in Maryland says she was denied a foster care license by a state-authorized agency because she does not allow pork in her home. After 26-year-old Tashima Crudup was denied her license, the American Civil Liberties Union […]

Update: Judge Says Father Can Take Daughter to Catholic Mass

posted by nsymmonds

(RNS) A Chicago man will be allowed to take his 3-year-old daughter to Catholic Mass, despite protests from the girl’s Jewish mother, a Chicago judge ruled Tuesday (April 13). The girl’s parents, Joseph Reyes and Rebecca Reyes, were married for […]

Vatican Backtracks on Linking Abuse Scandal to Gays

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A day after the Vatican’s No. 2 official suggested a link between pedophilia and homosexuality, the pope’s top spokesman issued a clarification Wednesday (April 14), apparently hoping to diffuse the ensuing controversy. “Church authorities do not consider […]

Black Churches See a Revival of Cooperation

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) In South Carolina, three black Methodist denominations launched a plan to host Saturday academies nationwide to mentor young black males. In Chicago, black Baptists announced they would raise $50 million for health clinics, schools and reconstructed churches in earthquake-devastated […]

Census Encourages Wary Muslims to Complete Surveys

posted by mconsoli

RALEIGH, N.C. – Nine years of scrutiny have made some American Muslims wary of the federal government, and that has the U.S. Census bureau working to make sure its crucial survey doesn’t become a casualty of fear. Muslims are not […]

Assemblies of God Leader Bows Out of Civility Statement

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) The top leader of the Assemblies of God wants his name removed from a civility statement signed by religious leaders after learning that its signatories included non- evangelicals. George O. Wood, general superintendent of the prominent Pentecostal denomination, decided […]

Bishops Rebukes Priest for Calling for Pope’s Resignation

posted by mconsoli

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (RNS) Less than 24 hours after calling for Pope Benedict XVI to step down, a Massachusetts priest has been rebuked by his local bishop. A longtime critic of how the church has handled the sexual abuse crisis, […]

Vatican Orders Bishops to Report Charges to Police

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican on Monday (April 12) published an on-line guide to its disciplinary procedures in processing cases of sexually abusive priests, including a mandate to cooperate with local civil authorities. Running less than 700 words in length, […]

Obama Shifts Tactics on Muslim Outreach

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Nearly a year after President Obama told an audience in Cairo that America wanted a “new beginning” with the Muslim world, evidence of that policy shift has, in recent weeks, become hard to ignore. The Obama administration is revising […]

Ugandan Primate ‘Resigns’ from Key Anglican Body

posted by mconsoli

NAIROBI (RNS/ENI) Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda has reportedly resigned from the standing committee of the Anglican Communion, citing the election of a lesbian bishop by the Episcopal Church as part of an unacceptable “revisionist theology”. At the same time, […]

Faith Leaders Weigh In on Stevens’ Legacy

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) As Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens prepares for retirement, religious advocates are cheering his support of church-state separation and readying for the battle over his successor. Stevens, the court’s oldest justice at age 89, sent a letter to […]

Pope Willing to Meet with More Abuse Victims

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI is ready to hold more meetings with victims of clerical sex abuse, his top spokesman stated on Friday (April 9). “The pope has written that he is available for new meetings with (victims), taking […]

Muslim Scholar Makes First U.S. Appearance After Ban is Lifted

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Tariq Ramadan made his first public appearance in the U.S. on Thursday (April 8) since the U.S. State Department barred entry to the controversial scholar and Islamic activist in 2004. Ramadan’s appearance on a panel in New York on […]

News Feature: After Years in the Shadows, `Mormon’ Name is Back

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) After a decade long moratorium, Mormon is back. The name, that is. It was on display everywhere last weekend (April 3-4) as thousands gathered here for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 180th Annual General Conference in […]

ACLU Aims to Protect Muslims in FBI Questioning

posted by mconsoli

ST. LOUIS (RNS) Adil Imdad, 41, moved to the United States as a teenager from his native Pakistan in 1981. Five years later, he became an American citizen, and in 1995, he moved to this city to pursue a master’s […]

Poll: Pope’s Approval Ratings Plummet Over Abuse Scandal

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) As sex abuse scandals continue to roil the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI’s approval ratings have plummeted, according to a new study, with 44 percent of Americans saying he has done a “poor” job handling the issue. Just […]

Obama Seeks New Tone in Outreach to Muslim World

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON – Less talk about “Islamic radicalism” and a lot more about doing business. In the year since President Barack Obama pledged a new beginning in the relationship with the Muslim world, the White House has begun to change the […]

Vatican Blasts Anti-Catholic ‘Hate’ Campaign

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican heatedly defended Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday, claiming accusations that he helped cover up the actions of pedophile priests are part of an anti-Catholic “hate” campaign targeting the pope for his opposition to abortion and […]

News Analysis: After Years of Struggle, Churches Cheer Anti-Nuke Pact

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) When President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meet in Prague on Thursday (April 8) to sign a new agreement on nuclear weapons, it will mark one more step in the religious community’s long campaign to reduce, if not […]

Obama Bares His Soul for Easter Event

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) President Obama bared his soul before a cross section of Christian leaders at a White House Easter breakfast on Tuesday (April 6), where he spoke publicly of his faith in redemption through Jesus in his most personal terms since […]

NEWS FEATURE: Muslims See Double Standard in ‘Terrorist’ Label

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) When 19 Muslim men crashed two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, it was widely labeled “Islamic terrorism,” even as many Muslims cringed at the term. So when nine members of a Michigan-based Christian militia, […]

Pope Names Hispanic to Lead Nation’s Largest Diocese

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday (April 6) named Mexican-born Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of San Antonio as the next archbishop of Los Angeles, placing him in charge of the nation’s largest diocese and in line to become the nation’s […]

Williams Apologizes After Saying Irish Catholics Lost ‘All Credibility’

posted by mconsoli

LONDON (RNS) The leader of the global Anglican Communion has been forced to apologize for claiming the Catholic Church in Ireland had lost “all credibility” over the clerical child abuse scandal. The Easter weekend dust-up was triggered when Archbishop of […]

Muslims, Sikhs Welcome Change in Airport Security Screenings

posted by mconsoli

WASHINGTON (RNS) Muslim and Sikh groups praised the Transportation Security Administration for rolling back screening rules on passengers arriving from 14 primarily Islamic countries, even as some worry that profiling will continue. The new rules had been enacted after a […]

News Analysis: Pope Stays Mum on Abuse Scandal. Why?

posted by mconsoli

c. 2010 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) When Pope Benedict XVI stepped out on the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square on Sunday (April 4), his Easter blessing followed traditional form: prayers for parts of the world wracked by war, […]

Lily Farmers Race the Clock Toward Easter

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) To the untrained eye, the graceful lilies that arrive on church altars each year on Easter Sunday are a familiar symbol of resurrection and renewal. Like poinsettias on Christmas, it just wouldn’t be Easter without them. But for the […]

News Feature: New Film Explores the Buddha’s Life

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) Siddhartha Gautama was suffering. For six long years the young spiritual seeker had practiced strict asceticism: surviving on one grain of rice a day, sleeping on nails, drinking his own urine. His arms were thin as vines; his spine […]

Churches Wrestle with Drop in Donations

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) The number of churches that reported a drop in giving due to the sour economy rose nearly 10 percent last year, according to new survey. In 2009, 38 percent of churches reported a decline in giving, versus 29 percent […]

Cardinals Defend Pope on Church Sex Abuse Scandal

posted by mconsoli

VATICAN CITY – Cardinals across Europe used their Holy Thursday sermons to defend Pope Benedict XVI from accusations he played a role in covering up sex abuse scandals, and an increasingly angry Vatican sought to deflect any criticism in the […]

Previous Posts

Former Muslim Wants to See Change
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=348P3ooQUPk   Author and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the National Press Club on April 7th and said there needs to be five amendments to Islam. She said “individuals” within Islam today ...

posted 9:08:12am Apr. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical ...

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, ...

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought ...

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption ...

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »

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