(Student) Body and Soul (mother)

The AP has a story on the continuing flap over President Obama giving the commencement address at Notre Dame. There are many people who think this story is overblown. Some bright academician should study how the fires of the culture wars are fanned by the media. Anyway, I thought this was interesting. The AP reports […]

Sitting in the Pew(s)

Kevin mentioned that we would post the transcript from Archbishop Chaput’s meeting with religion reporters at a Pew forum on March 17.Here it is. There are several interesting exchanges, particularly between the archbishop and Catholic columnist E.J. Dionne.

Denominations trim presence on Capitol Hill

Daniel Burke |

WASHINGTON — Imagine finally making it to the big game, then having to take half your team off the field. That’s how it feels for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobby that recently laid off more than a dozen staffers, said legislative director Ruth Flower. The cuts come just as the new […]

Group rallies outside Vatican embassy for women’s ordination

Chris Guzman |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Despite decades of fighting for women’s ordination in the Roman Catholic Church, a Catholic women’s advocacy group still hopes the Vatican will reverse its opposition to the inclusion of female clergy members. “People have been fired who work at Catholic institutions because they even bring up the issue (of women’s ordination),” said Aisha […]

Tajikistan criticised over restrictive religion law

Roman Kozhevnikov/Reuters |

DUSHANBE, March 26 (Reuters) – Tajikistan, a Muslim nation bordering Afghanistan, introduced a new religion law on Thursday which the United States has criticised as highly restrictive.

Catholic bishops say no to Reiki treatment

Daniel Burke |

WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Catholic Bishops said Thursday (March 26) that Catholic chaplains, health care facilities and retreat centers should not promote or support Reiki therapy, a Japanese alternative healing practice. Reiki “finds no support either in the findings of natural science or in Christian belief,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Doctrine […]

Survey: Personal invites are most effective for churches

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) An invitation from a family member or friend is the most effective way to get people to attend church, a new survey shows, casting doubt on several time-tested methods used by churches to attract new members. The other approaches — from broadcast commercials to information packets left on doorknobs — are far less effective, […]

Obama taps special envoy for trafficking

Karin Hamilton |

WASHINGTON (RNS) President Obama announced on Tuesday (March 24) his nomination of Luis C. de Baca as ambassador-at-large to monitor and combat human trafficking. “I’m grateful that this fine public servant has agreed to join my administration, and I am confident that with Secretary (of State Hillary) Clinton he will be an indispensable part of […]

A second Delray Beach priest is sentenced to prison for church theft

Brian Haas/South Florida Sun-Sentinel |

The Rev. Francis Guinan told a jury he could spend his Delray Beach church’s money however he wanted, on trips to Las Vegas, expensive dinners and golf outings. He insisted it was normal to lie in church bank records, create secret slush funds and walk away from the offertory with wads of cash.

Top Vatican official rededicates Mass. menorah

Jay Lindsay/AP |

BRAINTREE, Mass. — The Vatican’s top liaison to Jews helped rededicate a menorah in memory of Holocaust victims Wednesday amid fallout from the Holy See’s botched decision to lift the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying bishop. Cardinal Walter Kasper joined Holocaust survivors and local Roman Catholic leaders at the ceremony for the Yom Hashoah Menorah at […]