Women explore religious roots in new books

Cecile S. Holmes |

(RNS) When you’ve lived as the holiest of the holy, coming back to Earth can be an unpleasant re-entry. You enter the ranks of the unsaved only to find you have much more in common with the godless than you might have thought. Even if you never leave the ranks of America’s evangelicals, you might […]

On hot-button issues, the UCC is anything but cold

Michael O'Malley |

CLEVELAND (RNS) When it comes to hot-button political issues, the United Church of Christ is anything but wishy-washy. Its new general minister and president, the Rev. Geoffrey Black, has delivered 17,000 petition signatures to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urging health-care reform — including coverage for all and access regardless of ability to pay. Its outgoing […]

Thursday’s religion round up

President Obama signed a hate crimes bill into law, angering conservative Christians, who called it “a very sad day for America.” Federal agents killed the leader of a radical Muslim group near Detroit. A Senator wants to feds to look into the sweat-lodge deaths. Washington residents are planning a religious service in support of same-sex […]

COMMENTARY: Our longing for home is a longing for God

Dick Staub |

(RNS) When I was a child I lived in a small logging town in Southern Oregon. Bly had one paved road and the short walk down my dirt street ended in the woods. I remember a deer entering a clearing while I was sitting on a log next to my dad as he read. On […]

First female bishop elected to lead German Protestants

Anli Serfontein |

ULM, Germany (RNS/ENI) The Evangelical Church in Germany has elected Bishop Margot Kassmann to be its new leader, the first time a woman has become the highest representative of 24 million German Protestants. The decision was made on Wednesday (Oct. 28) by the EKD’s highest governing body, its synod, meeting in Ulm, southern Germany. Fifty-one-year-old […]

Slain N.J. priest spoke of firing accused janitor

Douglas B. Brill |

CHATHAM, N.J. (RNS) Two days before he was found stabbed to death in a church rectory, a New Jersey priest told a school principal a missing background check might force him to lay off the parish janitor, who was later charged in the priest’s slaying, according to court documents. Father Edward Hinds, 61, pastor at […]

French court finds Scientology guilty of fraud

Elizabeth Bryant |

PARIS (RNS) For the second time this month, the Church of Scientology has won a battle against its dissolution in Europe, despite a stiff sentence handed down by a French court against its operations here. In a verdict delivered Tuesday (Oct. 27), a Paris court fined the church’s Celebrity Center and its bookshop in the […]

eBay blocks auction to raise money for accused killer

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) The online auction house eBay has halted a proposed auction of items that aimed to raise funds for the defense of the man charged in the May killing of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. “Based on the details we know about the anticipated listings, we believe these would violate our policy regarding offensive material,” […]

COMMENTARY: Halloween with all the trimmings

Cathleen Falsani |

(RNS) Saturday will be my 10-year-old son Vasco’s first Halloween. He arrived in the U.S. from Africa just a few months ago, and as far as we can discern there is no Oct. 31 holiday in his native Malawi. But as a fourth grader here in Southern California, Vasco is all about Halloween. He’s been […]

Abuse settlement in New Orleans a surprise to some

Bruce Nolan |

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) When the Archdiocese of New Orleans announced last week (Oct. 20) it will pay $5 million to an undisclosed number of adults who claimed that as children they were beaten, berated and sexually molested at Catholic orphanages, it took some by surprise. The archdiocese announced a package settlement of 20 lawsuits, most […]