10 minutes with … Shawn Francis Peters

Lindsay Perna |

(UNDATED) An Oregon jury acquitted two Oregon parents, Carl and Raylene Worthington, on July 23 in the death of their 15-month-old daughter, Ava, who succumbed to pneumonia as the couple relied on prayer instead of seeking conventional medical help. Shawn Francis Peters, a faith-healing expert at the University of Wisconsin and author of “When Prayer […]

Faith-based mutual insurers worry about health care reform

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON — As Congress debates whether to mandate health insurance for all Americans, several Christian ministries whose members share each other’s medical costs are hoping the final version of health care reform doesn’t put them out of business. Officials of three major “health sharing” organizations say they are watching the Capitol Hill discussions closely, and […]

COMMENTARY: Money won’t fix health care as long as profits persist

Phyllis Zagano |

(UNDATED) U.S. health care is a mess. Will a trillion dollars really make any difference? Tune in after the Congress returns from its August recess to find out. For several weeks, six key senators sat around a table drinking coffee and eating chocolate-covered potato chips, negotiating how to revamp the American health care system. The […]

Stepping out on faith

Six friars on their way to a lifelong commitment to God decided to walk 300 miles to show their divine dependence in a unique way, The Washington Post reports. Traveling on foot along highways and byways in Virginia and ending at a D.C. monastery, the pilgrims met everyone from lonely commuters to the Chik-Fil-A cow. […]

Georgia to allow headscarves in courtrooms

Lindsay Perna |

(RNS) Georgia court officials unanimously voted on Monday (July 27) to allow individuals to wear religious head coverings in state courtrooms. The Georgia Judicial Council adopted the policy after a Muslim woman was arrested last year for refusing to remove her headscarf in a courthouse in Douglasville, Ga. “We felt that it was necessary for […]

Etiquette for the host

A Canadian newspaper has retracted its story that the prime minister pocketed a communion wafer during the funeral mass of a state official. The Saint John Telegraph-Journal issued a front-page apology for causing Wafergate, which broke as Prime Minister Stephen Harper was at the G8 summit and getting ready to meet–who else–the Pope.

Even MORE shirtless missionaries

Q: Who doesn’t want to see scantily-clad Mormon missionaries? A: YouTube, apparently, which flagged the video above for content violations. Chad Hardy, creator of the calendar series “Men on a Mission,” has not backed down from the LDS church (which excommunicated him for his calendar work), and he’s certainly not going to let a little […]

Boston raises priests’ retirement age to stem shortage

G. Jeffrey MacDonald |

(RNS) Priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston will need to wait an extra five years for retirement under new rules aimed at addressing a persistent clergy shortage. Rules taking effect Aug. 1 raise the retirement age for Boston-area priests from 70 to 75. They do not affect priests who are already retired, and […]

Pope defrocks leader of Medjugorje shrine

Francis X. Rocca |

(RNS) Pope Benedict XVI has defrocked one of the promoters of a world-famous Bosnian shrine to the Virgin Mary, following his investigation on charges of heresy and sexual misdeeds. The Rev. Tomislav Vlasic, an adviser to supposed visionaries at the shrine of Medjugorje, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, has been “granted … the favor of reduction to the […]

Fiji bans massive Methodist hymn-sing

Kim Cain |

(RNS/ENI) Fiji’s military government has banned a massive annual hymn-singing contest and church conference out of fears that the crowd of some 10,000 singing Methodists could destabilize the strife-torn nation. The government of interim Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama has said the island nation’s Methodist Church will not be allowed to hold its annual conference, […]