Episcopal presiding bishop tries to clarify `salvation’ speech

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on Thursday (Aug. 27) tried to tamp criticism she received last month after she denounced the “heresy” of individual salvation. In a statement issued by church headquarters in New York, Jefferts Schori tried to clarify her remarks at the church’s General Convention in Anaheim, Calif., saying that individualism […]

The majority speaks

Kevin Eckstrom |

This just in, from the Dept. of Things We’ve Been Waiting to Hear (But Haven’t) for Months … You all remember the dust-up in May over President Obama’s honorary degree from Notre Dame. Some 75 or 80 U.S. bishops publicly blasted Notre Dame for the honor, saying a pro-choice president has no business get a […]

Penitent premier?

Francis X. Rocca |

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will join a religious procession this evening that the Vatican has decreed will earn participants remission of punishment for their sins. The announcement has aroused speculation that Berlusconi is seeking forgiveness for his alleged sexual misdeeds, which have been the cause of much scandal — and amusement — over recent […]

ESSAY: For many Americans, being Catholic means being Irish Catholic

Daniel Sullivan Burke |

(UNDATED) The patron saint of Ireland graces America’s most celebrated cathedral, and the country’s flagship Catholic university calls its student athletes the “Fighting Irish.” Somewhere between these poles of piety and pugnacity, between St. Patrick and the University of Notre Dame, rests the soul of Irish Catholicism — and, by extension, the soul of the […]

The shadow of Chapaquiddick

Kevin Eckstrom |

After hearing about Sen. Ted Kennedy’s death yesterday, I tweaked my Facebook status update to say something along these lines: “Imagining the conversation JFK, RFK and EMK are having right now …” I decided not to include the second part: “wherever it is that Kennedys go when they die.” An old friend from high school […]

Norwegian elected to lead World Council of Churches

Peter Kenny |

GENEVA (RNS/ENI) A Norwegian theologian was elected Thursday (Aug. 27) to lead the World Council of Churches. The Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, an ordained pastor in the Church of Norway, was elected general secretary during a week-long meeting of the WCC’s Central Committee, its main governing body. Tveit, 48, is currently general secretary of the […]

WCC head calls Israeli occupation a ‘sin against God’

Peter Kenny and Stephen Brown |

GENEVA (RNS/ENI) The outgoing general secretary of the World Council of Churches said Wednesday (Aug. 26) that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories should be declared a “sin against God.” “Occupation, along with the concomitant humiliation of a whole people for over six decades, constitutes not just economic and political crimes but, like anti-Semitism, it is […]

Judge rules against Ky. reliance on God for protection

Kristen May |

WASHINGTON (RNS) A Kentucky court has ruled that a state law that declares the state Office of Homeland Security cannot do its job without God’s help is unconstitutional. The New Jersey-based group American Atheists filed suit last December against the Commonwealth of Kentucky for a 2002 law that says “the safety and security of the […]

Thou shalt not buy cars on Sundays

Julia Bauer |

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — When locals leave church on Sunday mornings, some will head for Sunday brunch at their favorite restaurant. Others will eat at home, stop by the pharmacy or even hit the mall. But one thing they won’t do is buy a car. A 56-year-old Michigan blue law forbids Sunday car sales in […]

COMMENTARY: Atoning for the sins of others

A. James Rudin |

(UNDATED) Many companies shut down for an annual inventory and an honest evaluation of past performance. The idea is to detect, correct and avoid future errors. It’s the same theme of the upcoming Jewish High Holy Days: Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year that begins on Sept. 18, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, […]