On the presidential campaign trail, Senator John Kerry (D., Mass.) is using the New Testament’s Letter of James to imply that the Bush administration may be long on expressing faith but lacks compassionate deeds in dealing with hunger and joblessness. Following Kerry’s appearance in a St. Louis church, a White House spokesman decried the ploy as “exploitation of scripture.”
Two top officials of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel resigned in March after the church lost $14 million to two investment firms that have been alleged to be fraudulent. The resignations of the president, Paul Risser, and the corporate treasurer, Brent Morgan, were accepted during an annual cabinet meeting in Los Angeles, the denomination announced.
George F. R. Ellis—a prominent theoretical cosmologist, a Quaker and an active opponent of apartheid during its rule in South Africa—has won the 2004 Templeton Prize. Ellis becomes the latest scientist to win the $1.4 million prize that its founder, U.S.-born investor Sir John Templeton, has stipulated be the largest annual monetary prize given to an individual outside the sports world.
The American Baptist Churches in the USA has reported the fastest growth of any Protestant denomination, according to the 2004 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, which compiled figures for the end of 2002 from some 215 different denominations in the two countries. The American Baptists showed a gain for the second consecutive year after two previous years of decline.
Pope JohnPaulII has appointed MaryAnnGlendon, a Harvard Law School professor, to serve as president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, making her the highest ranking laywoman in the Vatican.