December 12, 2006

Charges have been dismissed against Presbyterian pastor Janet Edwards of Pittsburgh, who was accused of officiating at a lesbian wedding. A church court found that prosecutors failed to file their paperwork on time. Edwards, a descendant of famed Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards, faced possible expulsion if convicted. Her legal team said they consider the case closed and do not anticipate an appeal within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Because officials failed to file the proper paperwork by a September 8 deadline, a church court dismissed the case in less than two hours on November 15. Edwards said she knew she might be cleared because of the procedural error but was prepared to face trial.

Religion historian Mark Noll has been honored with the National Humanities Medal. A prominent scholar in American religious and cultural history, Noll became a history professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana this fall. At an Oval Office ceremony on November 9, President Bush recognized Noll along with nine other recipients of the medal, which honors contributions to the humanities.

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