Vietnam veteran John Smathers and his wife, Judy, knelt at the altar rail at the Falls Church, a 272-year-old faith community at which George Washington once prayed, just outside the nation’s capital in Virginia. Holding a microphone, they bowed their heads before worshipers struggling to come to terms with disturbing photographs of American soldiers sadistically abusing Iraqi prisoners.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth will not be allowed to exhibit at the Baptist General Convention of Texas meeting this fall—further fallout from the deteriorating relationship between the Texas convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.
The new Catholic bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, has declared that city officials or town clerks who are Catholic and approve gay civil marriages are “involving themselves in cooperation with evil.” Bishop Robert McManus said legalized gay marriages in Massachusetts are “clear and serious violations” of natural law and Catholic teaching.
A pastor in Keene, New Hampshire, has resigned after preaching sermons found on the Internet and consequently confessing to plagiarism. Robert C. Hamm stepped down in April from his post as senior pastor of Keene United Church of Christ.
Hours before President Bush addressed the nation on his plans for a June 30 transfer of power in Iraq, church leaders met with United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to support a larger role for the international body.