NEW YORK (RNS) On a dark, damp and expensive Tuesday night at Sotheby’s auction house in Manhattan, one of the 11 surviving copies of the Bay Psalm Book, the first book (and the first book of Scripture) printed in English in America, was sold for the highest price ever recorded for a print book in open sale.
(RNS) The Supreme Court announced on Tuesday (Nov. 26) that it will decide whether for-profit businesses can be treated like religious entities in a politically and constitutionally freighted test of the Obama administration’s mandate that employers include free contraception coverage as part of their health plans.
Laying out a blueprint for the issues that are likely to define his papacy, Pope Francis has issued a biting critique of capitalism, calling on world leaders to fight against poverty and for the rich to share their wealth and urging the media to adjust its priorities.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican called Monday’s (Nov. 25) much-heralded summit between Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin “constructive” and “cordial,” though there was little immediate indication it would lead to further dialogue.
A federal judge has ruled that an Internal Revenue Service exemption that allows clergy to shield a portion of their salary from federal income taxes is unconstitutional.
The clergy housing exemption applies to an estimated 44,000 ministers, priests, rabbis, imams and others. If the ruling stands, some clergy members could experience an estimated 5 to 10 percent cut in take-home pay.
(RNS) After a closed-door session at their annual meeting in Baltimore this month, the U.S. Catholic bishops issued an unusual “special message” reaffirming their long-standing opposition to the Obama administration’s birth control insurance mandate.
(RNS) Nonbelievers are challenging the Internal Revenue Service’s special exemptions for religious organizations in a federal court in Kentucky, saying churches and other religious groups should have the same financial rules as other nonprofit groups.
WARSAW, Poland (RNS) The latest United Nations climate summit got off to an unusually emotional start when Yeb Sano, the head delegate from the Philippines, issued a tearful plea at the opening plenary.
America’s pews are becoming dramatically more welcoming to gays and lesbians, and they increasingly reflect the nation’s racial and ethnic diversity, according to the latest results from a major study of U.S. congregations.