When Pope Francis left his script Christmas morning to ad-lib an invitation to atheists to join the prayerful in “desiring peace,” it may have been the first time an Urbi et Orbi Christmas address—an annual message “to the city and the world”—mentioned unbelievers.
Nearly every home has at least one Bible, although few read it.
But 16 percent of Americans log on to Twitter every day. And that’s where author Jana Riess takes the word of God. A popular Mormon blogger at Religion News Service and author of Flunking Sainthood, Riess spent four years tweeting every book of the Old and New Testaments with pith and wit.
WASHINGTON (RNS) As a law extending workplace protection to gay, bisexual and transgender workers makes its way through the Senate this week, there’s a shift in the political air: Arguments that stand purely on religious grounds are no longer holding the same degree of political sway they once did.
The Public Religion Research Institute’s annual American Values Survey, released October 29, examines libertarians to try to “pin down a group that doesn’t fit on the traditional liberal-to-conservative spectrum,” said Robert Jones, CEO of PRRI.
After decades of glum trends—fewer priests, fewer parishes—the Catholic Church in the United States has a statistic to cheer: more men are now enrolled in graduate-level seminaries—the main pipeline to the priesthood—than in nearly two decades.
They are rarely at worship services and are indifferent to doctrine. And they’re surprisingly fuzzy on Jesus.
These are the Jewish Americans sketched in a new Pew Research Center survey, 62 percent of whom said Jewishness is largely about culture or ancestry and just 15 percent of whom said it’s about religious belief.
Pope Francis has called for strong, specific worldwide measures for the Roman Catholic Church to act “with determination” against the clergy sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the church for more than a decade.
It is one of the first actions on a major issue in Francis’s weeks-old papacy, one that has been marked chiefly by attention to his humble, low-key style.
In 2001, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger urged Pope John Paul II to create a central system to further the Vatican's investigations of sexual abuse under priests. He shifted control of the disposition of the cases from the Congregation for the Clergy, where little action had been taken, to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Ratzinger then headed.