Dalai Lama, Tutu awarded forgiveness prizes

Douglas Todd |

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (RNS) After a worldwide search, the first $100,000 Fetzer Prizes for Love and Forgiveness were awarded Sunday (Sept. 27) to the Dalai Lama and retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. “We wanted this prize to recognize people who live with the reality of fear and violence and yet are inspiring examples of […]

Pope urges Czechs to reclaim Christian heritage

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Visiting the Czech Republic 20 years after a Velvet Revolution overthrew the nation’s communist regime, Pope Benedict XVI called on one of the world’s most secular societies to reclaim its Christian heritage as the basis for “true freedom.” “True freedom presupposes the search for truth — for the true good — and […]

SIDEBAR: The 14 ‘Coenmandments’

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) In her new book, “The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers,” columnist and author Cathleen Falsani lists 14 “Coenmandments,” or moral lessons derived from each of Joel and Ethan Coen’s films. They are: 1. What goes around comes around. 2. Every action has a reaction. 3. Don’t mistreat women. 4. Whatever […]

SIDEBAR: Coens’ acolytes worship at Church of the Latter-Day Dude

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) Cathleen Falsani isn’t alone in finding a spiritual role model in the Dude, the slacker anti-hero of the 1998 film “The Big Lebowski.” In fact, the character has spawned a new religion, the Church of the Latter-Day Dude, which says it has ordained more than 60,000 members. – Key tenets of Dudeism are explained […]

The Coen brothers’ complicated gospel

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) In the beginning was the Dude. And the Dude was with God, and the Dude himself was kind of godly, if you’re into that sort of thing. In his right hand the Dude carried a cocktail, and in his left, a bowling ball, and all of his ways were righteous and mellow altogether. And […]

A price too high

Kevin Eckstrom |

Gillian Flaccus of the AP has an incredibly moving account of what happens to (some) clergy abuse victims when they receive six-figure settlements from the Catholic Church. Flaccus builds her story around David Guerrero, who received $4 million as part of an abuse settlement. He’s now high on crystal meth, has spent through most or […]

Monday’s religion round-up

Conservative Lutherans voted Saturday to take 12 months to decide whether to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but one large church in Arizona is already out the door. Some victims of clergy sexual abuse are finding that settlement money is less a blessing than a bane, and a former Catholic priest in Vermont […]

Cleveland Catholics ask Vatican to oversee their bishop

Michael O'Malley |

CLEVELAND (RNS) Catholics protesting Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon’s plan to close 50 churches are asking the Vatican to oversee Lennon’s actions. Separately, at least three Cleveland churches received letters from the Vatican this week (Sept. 20-26), saying their appeals of Lennon’s orders to close are being reviewed. Some parishioners from the three churches are members […]

Religious leaders press for binding pact on climate change

Chris Herlinger |

NEW YORK (RNS) Representatives from various faith traditions, gathered this week in conjunction with United Nations meetings on climate change, urged political leaders to adopt “strong, binding targets” for the reduction of greenhouse gases. The Sept. 21 statement by religious leaders called upon industrialized nations “to act responsibly in mitigation efforts, by making the largest […]

Pope to visit Portugal and maybe England in 2010

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI will travel to Portugal next May to visit the world-famous shrine to the Virgin Mary at Fatima, the Vatican confirmed on Thursday (Sept. 24), amid semi-official reports of a papal trip to England later in the year. The pope will preside over observances at Fatima on May 13, marking […]