c.2012 Religion News Service NEW YORK (RNS) By tradition, the storied Al Smith Dinner has provided a few hours of comic relief from the angry volleys of the campaign trail -- a white-tie charity banquet held in the weeks before Election Day, hosted by the archbishop of New York and featuring speeches by the two presidential candidates on the condition that they lob nothing more than good-nature
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) Though she is at the center of one of the biggest crises in the Catholic Church today, Sister Pat Farrell is loath to talk about herself, and certainly not in any way that would make her a focus of the looming showdown between the Vatican and American nuns.
Of all the controversies that have followed in the bloody wake of the July 20 shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado, few have provided such clarifying insight into the moral tensions and contradictions in American culture as the argument over whether gun control is a religious issue.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) The Obama administration's policy requiring most employers to provide free birth control coverage in their health insurance policies takes effect on Wednesday (Aug. 1) -- a deadline that has sparked apocalyptic warnings from conservative activists and some faith groups.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) A Catholic priest has suggested that Satan may have driven accused killer James Holmes to open fire at a Colorado cinema, continuing the religious debate over a shooting that claimed 12 lives and wounded 58 more.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) Supporters of President Obama's health care reform law were elated on Thursday (June 28) -- and admittedly a bit surprised -- by the Supreme Court's narrow decision upholding the landmark legislation. But they may want to keep the corks in their champagne bottles, at least for now.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) The leading advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse by clergy is urging Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput to defrock the priest convicted last week of shielding other clerics who preyed on children. But laicizing Monsignor William Lynn is not as simple as it sounds.
A Philadelphia priest was convicted June 22 of one count of child endangerment, becoming the first cleric in the Catholic Church’s long-running clergy sexual abuse scandal to be tried and found guilty of shielding molesters.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) A popular online advice columnist has said that the late Rev. Robert Drinan, a famed Jesuit priest and onetime Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, tried to kiss and fondle her in the 1970s when she was 18 or 19 years old.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) Relations between the Vatican and the American nuns who are under investigation seem to be worsening after the sisters said Monday (June 18) that initial discussions with Rome about a resolution to their standoff were "difficult" and that comments by several U.S. bishops have not made negotiations easier.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) In an unexpected blow to the Obama administration and a major boon for America's Catholic bishops, the influential Catholic Health Association on Friday (June 15) rejected White House proposals aimed at easing faith-based objections to the contraception mandate.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) Amid continuing headlines about cover-ups of child abuse in the Catholic Church, an oversight board of lay Catholics on Wednesday (June 13) warned the nation's bishops that they must follow their own policies against abuse more rigorously if they hope to restore their fragile credibility.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) A coalition of nearly 150 religious leaders, led by conservative Protestants, have petitioned the Obama administration to broaden the exemption that allows churches and some religious organizations to avoid a controversial new mandate that all health care insurers provide free contraception coverage.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) When the nation's Catholic bishops gather in Atlanta next week (June 13-15) for their annual spring meeting, a top agenda item will be assessing the reforms they adopted 10 years ago as revelations of widespread sexual abuse of children by priests consumed the church.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) As the nation's Catholic bishops mark 10 years since they adopted sweeping reforms to address the sexual abuse of children by clergy, the 800-pound gorilla in the chancery remains a lack of accountability for the bishops themselves.
Leaders representing most of the nation’s 57,000 Catholic nuns answered a Vatican crackdown on their group by charging that Rome’s criticisms of the sisters were “unsubstantiated,” caused “scandal and pain” and “greater polarization” in the church.
A top Southern Baptist official who was accused of plagiarism in a radio segment claiming that civil rights leaders and President Obama used the Trayvon Martin case to stir racial tensions has lost his weekly call-in program but can keep his main job, a church panel has announced.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) Social conservatives on Thursday (May 31) reacted sharply to a federal appeals court ruling that declared the law barring federal recognition of same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
When blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng made a daring escape from house arrest this spring and found refuge in the U.S. embassy in Beijing, he instantly became a popular hero in the West and a rallying point for human rights activists everywhere.