WASHINGTON (RNS) Junipero Serra, the 18th-century Franciscan missionary who’s set to be declared a saint later this year despite protests from Native American groups, could lose his place of honor in the U.S. Capitol if a California lawmaker has his way.
The Episcopal Church lost a major court battle on February 3 when a South Carolina judge ruled that the Diocese of South Carolina legally seceded from the denomination and can retain control of $500 million in church property and assets.
(RNS) The Anglican Church in North America, which broke away from the Episcopal Church in 2009 because of sharp differences over human sexuality and the authority of the Bible, has elected a bishop from Atlanta to become the church’s next leader.
What a difference ten years makes. In May 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriage. Six months later, with dire warnings about schoolchildren being forced to read Heather Has Two Mommies and threats of legalized polygamy, so-called values voters passed bans on same-sex marriage in 11 states and ushered George W.
Americans are showing more tolerance for a range of behaviors, with sex between unmarried adults, medical research on stem cells from human embryos, and doctor-assisted suicide all showing record highs and increases in “moral acceptability” from last year.
Evangelist Franklin Graham is praising Russian president Vladimir Putin for his aggressive crackdown on homosexuality, saying his record on protecting children from gay “propaganda” is better than President Obama’s “shameful” embrace of gay rights.
An Austrian priest who’s been banned from speaking at Roman Catholic churches during his three-week U.S. tour said Pope Francis could be an ally in reforming the Catholic Church, but said it will take more than the pope to open the priesthood to married men and women.
Sometimes a court opinion is more than just a court opinion. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 26-page decision on June 26 striking down a federal ban on same-sex marriages offers a window into Americans’ rapidly shifting views of same-sex relationships—a shift that increasingly relies on secular views of law and fairness, not traditional moral or religious views.
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.
WASHINGTON (RNS) In nearly two hours of arguments on Wednesday (March 27), the Supreme Court heard many of the expected cases for and against recognizing gay marriage: that refusing to do so is blatant discrimination, that gay marriage is a social experiment that the court should not preempt, that Washington has no role in state marriage laws.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as Pope Francis on Wednesday (March 13), after only two days of voting in the conclave tasked with choosing a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
What started off as a rocky relationship between the Episcopal and Roman Catholic bishops of San Francisco got even worse on October 4 when Episcopal Bishop Marc Andrus said he was denied entrance to the installation mass for the city’s new Roman Catholic archbishop.
c. 2012 Religion News Service CHICAGO (RNS) Mitt Romney may or may not become the first Mormon to move into the White House next year, but a new study shows that Mormonism is moving into more parts of the country than any other religious group, making it the fastest-growing faith in more than half of U.S. states.
There is an 80 percent chance that later in this century a megadrought will plague the American Southwest for decades, according to a study released by researchers at NASA and at Columbia and Cornell universities. The drought will be caused by reduced precipitation and changes in evaporation rates. The researchers say other factors, such as the El Niño weather pattern, could interrupt long periods of severe drought. The researchers say there is time to reduce the factors contributing to climate change (Washington Post, February 12).