Trial opens in infant’s faith-healing death

Steve Mayes |

OREGON CITY, Ore. — Prosecution and defense attorneys differed sharply Monday (June 29) on what led to the death of 15-month-old Ava Worthington. Ava, malnourished and in obvious distress, “died a needless death” because her parents, Raylene and Carl Worthington, failed to provide adequate medical care, said Greg Horner, chief deputy district attorney. Yet John […]

Would you like fries with that?

Tiffany Stanley |

The place that first brought you Frostys and square burgers will now be home to a local Catholic charity. The original Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, has been sold to the Catholic Foundation, reports Meredith Heagney at The Columbus Dispatch. Founder Dave Thomas opened the landmark location in 1969; Thomas died in 2002 and the […]

Remembering Michael

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a friend of Michael Jackson, takes a warts-and-all look at the late popstar in this Beliefnet piece. Moneyquote: “He threw away his life. He had lived recklessly and orphaned his children. He had medicated away the afflictions of the soul as if they were ailments of the body until his body could […]

White House: Church choice still pending

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs weighed in Monday on the Time magazine report about President Obama’s church attending plans. No, said Gibbs, it’s not correct that Obama has chosen the chapel at the Camp David presidential retreat and won’t look for a church in Washington. But it is true that the president doesn’t like […]

Church-state divide looms for Episcopalians on gay marriage

Daniel Burke |

(UNDATED) Episcopal bishops from the six states that have legalized gay marriage are requesting permission to adapt their church’s venerable prayer book for use at same-sex weddings. The proposal presents a new challenge to the Episcopal Church as it seeks to balance respect for gay rights with fellow Anglicans’ widespread condemnation of homosexuality. The request […]

COMMENTARY: Free to disagree

Tom Ehrich |

(UNDATED) When I skated past Michael Jackson’s sudden death while millions of other Americans were caught up in a wave of grief and remembrance, I realized that America’s birthday on July 4 had taken on yet another layer of complexity. Now, in addition to the multitude of other divisions, we are split between those who […]

White House denies report that Obama won’t pick D.C. church

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON (RNS) The White House on Monday (June 29) denied a report that President Obama has decided to make the Camp David presidential retreat hischurch home. “The President and First Family continue to look for a church home,” a White House spokesman said Monday. “They have enjoyed worshipping at Camp David and several other congregations […]

Eastern Orthodox leader to visit U.S. this fall

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world’s 300-million Orthodox Christians, will travel to the U.S. in October and lead a symposium on the environment in Memphis, Tenn., the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America announced on Friday (June 26). Bartholomew, often called the “Green Patriarch” for his environmental advocacy, will also visit New […]

Pope says relics are those of St. Paul

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Catholic Church’s Year of St. Paul ended with a flourish on Sunday (June 28), as Pope Benedict XVI announced that scientists had authenticated the first-century saint’s earthly remains under a church in Rome. Carbon testing of bone fragments in a sarcophagus beneath the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, along […]

Unitarians, UCC elect minorities as presidents

Tiffany Stanley |

(RNS) The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the United Church of Christ (UCC) both made history this week by selecting minority presidents at their annual meetings. The Boston-based UUA elected its first Latino president, the Rev. Peter Morales; the Cleveland-based UCC nominated its first African-American president, the Rev. Geoffrey Black, as its next general minister […]