Evangelicals launch bid to ditch nuclear weapons

Charles Honey |

(RNS) The destruction one nuclear bomb can wreak is more than horrifying, says megachurch pastor Rob Bell of Grandville, Mich. It’s an insult to God. “Nuclear weapons are a direct affront to God’s dream of shalom for the world,” Bell said Tuesday (April 28). “Life is beautiful, and nuclear weapons are ugly.” Bell, the pastor […]

Britons debate cost of hospital chaplains

Trevor Grundy |

CANTERBURY, England (RNS/ENI) A British secularist group has called on the government to end public support for hospital chaplains, saying the government has no business in paying the salaries of religious clergy. The National Secular Society (NSS) has sent a report to Britain’s Health Minister, Alan Johnson, calling for a review of hospital chaplaincy services […]

Notre Dame says no Laetare Medal winner this year

Kevin Eckstrom |

(RNS) The University of Notre Dame said it will not award its prestigious Laetare Medal to anyone this year after a former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican declined the honor to protest President Obama’s planned commencement address. Notre Dame, still reeling from blistering criticism from conservatives and more than 50 U.S. bishops for its invitation […]

Bad news

The Dallas Morning News’ last two religion reporters have be reassigned to cover suburban schools. For many years the DMN was the gold star in religion reporting. Their contributions will be sorely missed in Dallas and way, way beyond.

“100 Days That Did Not Shake the World”

That’s the headline of an article about the first 100 days of the Obama administration in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, according to Catholic News Service. According to CNS, the article said Obama has been less liberal than predicted in many areas, including economics and international relations. “On ethical questions, too — which from the […]

Can a Communion chalice transmit swine flu?

Daniel Burke |

(UNDATED) Religious groups across the country are urging houses of worship to take special precautions this weekend, including changing sacred practices, as the swine flu outbreak threatens to grow into a global pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 109 confirmed cases of the virus in 11 states on Thursday (April 30), and […]

Pope to confront myriad challenges in Holy Land trip

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI departs next Friday (May 8) for what promises to be one of the most eventful and memorable events in his reign: a week-long visit to the Holy Land, with stops in Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Benedict has presented the trip as first and foremost a pilgrimage to […]

Dalai Lama to open new center at MIT

G. Jeffrey MacDonald |

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — On the campus of the country’s premier scientific university, the world’s best-known Buddhist leader on Thursday (April 30) called on educators to teach ethics and compassion without a basis in religious belief. Hundreds gathered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the Dalai Lama, speaking from the seated, cross-legged position of a […]

COMMENTARY: Rome’s burning, so why are we fiddling?

Dick Staub |

(UNDATED) Is our population — as obsessed as it is with the trivial — capable of recognizing a crisis, much less mustering the disciplined response necessary to aggressively and intelligently resolve it? If Nero fiddled while Rome burned, how significant would it be for an entire nation of Americans to take up fiddling while our […]

The ghost of Tom Reese

Somebody check the water up in NYC. First Cardinal Egan, now the Jesuit editors at America magazine are suggesting the Catholic church consider married priests. Everyone knows that ordinations in the church are drastically declining and the church has not been able to stanch the flood. There were 5,700 fewer Catholic priest in 2008 then […]