Charismatic and Catholic identities reinforce each other
May 15, 2007
One of the largest national surveys of U.S. Latinos finds that nearly two-thirds are Catholics and 54 percent of them have embraced charismatic and Pentecostal beliefs. Twenty percent of U.S. Latinos identify with Protestant churches, but especially with Pentecostal congregations.
JosephC.HoughJr., who helped to rescue New York’s Union Theological Seminary from financial jeopardy during his eight years as president, announced April 24 that he will retire from the post in June 2008. Hough, 73, was lured out of a planned retirement in 1999 to lead the ecumenical seminary founded in 1836.
Attention focused on pressures on ministers' wives
May 15, 2007
In a case that focused national attention on the psychological pressures on wives of ministers, Mary Winkler, the wife of a slain Church of Christ pastor in Tennessee, was convicted April 19 of voluntary manslaughter. Winkler, 33, was charged in last year’s slaying of Matthew Winkler, 31.
Spin zone: The Iraq war was not the first one to be encouraged by sectors of the media. The Spanish-American War was set off when an explosion destroyed a U.S. warship while it was docked in Havana. Publisher William Randolph Hearst was itching for a fight with Spain. He sent hordes of reporters to Cuba to cover the explosion and within days was spinning the news to blame Spain. War against Spain was soon declared (Columbia Journalism Review, March/April).
In upholding a federal ban on a rare kind of late-term abortion procedure, the Supreme Court may have begun undermining its key abortion precedent. Activists on both sides of the abortion issue said the court’s 5-4 decision on “partial-birth” abortion was a possible turning point in the court’s abortion jurisprudence.
Make videos, not war: Ava Lowery, 16, is a Methodist peace activist in Alexander City, Alabama. Rolling Stone magazine called her one of the great mavericks of 2006. Lowery makes homemade videos that juxtapose images from the Iraq war with popular music and provocative quotes (her Web site is www.peacetakescourage.com). One of her best-known videos is “WWJD?” which pairs the song “Jesus Loves Me” with images of grieving and wounded Iraqi children. (Chicago Tribune, April 4).
The openly gay Virginia man who was at the center of a high-profile court case after he was denied membership in a United Methodist church has been accepted into membership under the church’s new pastor.
In a labor settlement brokered by Atlanta’s Carter Center and backed by Presbyterians, fast-food giant McDonald’s and a coalition of Florida farm workers announced an agreement April 9 to double the wages and improve working conditions for tomato pickers who supply the restaurant chain with tomatoes.
A fledgling coalition of religious groups is trying to show Americans that for too many people worldwide, clean drinking water isn’t as close as the kitchen tap. With more than 1 billion people in developing countries lacking readily available safe drinking water and 2.6 billion without access to sanitation, the faith community is stepping up efforts to push for clean and accessible water.
The Dallas Morning News recently received the Religion Communicators Council award for the nation’s best religion section. It was the 10th time in 11 years that the News had won, and it has reaped similar prizes in annual Religion Newswriters Association contests.
A recently retired conservative Episcopal bishop from Albany, New York, has left the church to become a Catholic. DanielW.Herzog, 65, bishop of Albany from 1998 to January 2007, was an outspoken critic of the Episcopal Church’s liberal trend, especially its 2003 election of an openly gay bishop.
It happens every time a U.S. soldier or marine dies in Iraq. Internet connections are shut down. Commanders don’t want word of the death to reach the soldier’s family before military officials can personally deliver the news.