Parishioners sue archbishop on fraud charges

Bruce Nolan |

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Thirteen parishioners of a New Orleans Catholic church that closed after Hurricane Katrina have sued Archbishop Alfred Hughes and an aide, alleging fraud and broken promises. Parishioners from Our Lady of Good Counsel accused Hughes and the Rev. Michael Jacques of assuring them in August 2007 that their parish would remain open […]

Ala. judge steps away from supporter’s comments

Charles J. Dean |

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) A supporter of former “Ten Commandments Judge” and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was not speaking on Moore’s behalf when she accused public schools of “indoctrinating” children in communism and Islam, a Moore spokesman said. The charge is made in a letter that Moore supporter Julie Sanders wrote to other supporters, a […]

Obama names Hispanic theologian as Vatican envoy

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON — President Obama has nominated Hispanic theologian Miguel H. Diaz as the next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. Diaz, a professor of theology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota, was nominated as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See on Wednesday (May 27). If the nomination is approved by […]

On second thought …

Kevin Eckstrom |

Retired Milwuakee Archbishop Rembert Weakland has stirred the waters lately with his new book in which he discusses — in fairly lengthy detail — his homosexuality. The New York Times was the first to break that story, and now Laurie Goodstein is back with Weakland 2.0 and his plans not to retire to a New […]

It’s elementary, my dear

With Sonia Sotomayor poised to take a seat on the Supreme Court and become the sixth Catholic justice, the Wall Street Journal asks, why, in a country that’s only 25 percent Catholic, the faith has such a outsized presence on the court. Douglas Kmiec, the prominent jurist and Catholic Obama supporter, told the WSJ it […]

Strange bedfellows

Gay marriage, and the fight over legal recognition thereof, has brought together some strange bedfellows, the NY Times reports. Ted Olson and David Boies, the opposing counselors in Bush v. Gore, the 2000 Supreme Court case that essentially handed the presidency to George W, have filed a federal suit – together – to overturn California’s […]

Obama nominees: from theology to diplomacy

The White House has announced nominations of two theologians to serve as ambassadors for the administration. Miguel Diaz, a professor of theology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota, has been nominated for the post of ambassador to the Vatican. He is a board member of the Catholic Theological Society […]

American exorcist plies his lonely trade

Daniel Burke |

(UNDATED) Pity the poor exorcist, caught between evil spirits eager to inhabit human bodies and a skeptical society loath to believe demons exist outside of movie theaters. Even church leaders and clergy look askance at exorcists as peddlers of a practice best left in the Middle Ages. Most American exorcists, particularly those appointed by the […]

For Muslims, a final act of dignity from the living for the dead

Nancy Haught |

PORTLAND, Ore. — Judy Nikukar was in her 40s and had been a Muslim for 15 years before someone invited her to help wash a body before burial. Nikukar considered whether she wanted to do it. She had seen only two dead bodies before — she was 6 when her great-grandmother died; 18 when her […]

COMMENTARY: U2 does it again

Dick Staub |

(UNDATED) In 1976, a group of Dublin teenagers with questionable ability but unquestioned passion started making music. Thirty-three years later, Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge and Larry Mullen (now known to the world as U2), have sold more than 145 million albums and have won more Grammy Awards (22) than any other band. Rolling Stone […]