Woman sues over bishop’s power to shutter churches

Michael O'Malley |

CLEVELAND (RNS) An Akron woman who was blocked by the Cleveland Catholic Diocese from holding a protest vigil in a closed church has sued the diocese, claiming it has no authority under state law to close churches without parishioners’ consent. The case, filed by Nancy McGrath, who leads a newly formed Catholic protest group called […]

Episcopal group denounces anti-gay law in Uganda

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) A U.S.-based group that includes several Episcopal bishops is challenging Anglican leaders to denounce a proposed bill in Uganda that would severely criminalize homosexuality. “The Anglican Communion has committed itself to the pastoral care of gay and lesbian people,” said the Rev. Lowell Grisham, co-convener of the Chicago Consultation. “At a time like this, […]

Monday’s round up

The U.S. Catholic bishops called the newly unveiled Senate health-care bill an “enormous disappointment” because of the way it funds abortions and leaves about 24 million people, including immigrants, without coverage. A group of 145 Orthodox, Catholic and evangelical leaders together declared that they will not obey any laws that would require them to participate […]

In off-season, Yankees organist plays for different crowd

Jeff Diamant |

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (RNS) For six seasons, Ed Alstrom has performed regularly as organist for 50,000-plus fans at weekend games in one of the nation’s highest-profile baseball venues — Yankee Stadium. Now, he’s got a second gig where crowds usually top out at about 200: Morristown’s Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. The New Jersey native began […]

Christian students set up dry tailgate party

Roy Hoffman |

AUBURN, Ala. (RNS) Setting up on the grassy area outside their dorm, grilling burgers and passing out drinks, the young men known as “College Kids Tailgate” are like scores of other Auburn students on game day — full of good cheer, camaraderie, and cries of “War Eagle!” Their unofficial uniforms — orange jumpsuits — makes […]

Canterbury comes to Rome

Francis X. Rocca |

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams concluded his visit to Rome over the weekend with what a Vatican statement called “cordial discussions” in the papal library with Pope Benedict XVI. The spritual leader of the world-wide Anglican Communion confessed to Vatican Radio after the meeting that the two had discussed some of the “awkward” side effects […]

Orthodox priest who worked with Muslims gunned down

Sophia Kishkovsky |

MOSCOW (RNS/ENI) A Russian Orthodox priest who was known for seeking to convert Muslims was killed Thursday (Nov. 19) by a masked gunman at his church in Moscow. The official Web site of the Moscow Patriarchate said that the Rev. Daniil Sysoyev, 35, a father of three, died shortly after being shot in the head […]

UAE to allow female muftis

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) The United Arab Emirates, a tiny, tradition-laced state in the Persian Gulf, will become the third Islamic country to appoint female muftis, religious scholars who have the power to issue fatwas and other religious decisions. Still, the decision hardly bucks tradition, according to some Islamic experts, who say women religious authorities appear throughout Islamic […]

New archbishop meets with disaffected Catholics

Bruce Nolan |

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Newly installed Archbishop Gregory Aymond has been in quiet talks with a city pastor and representatives of two closed parishes in hopes of healing a bitter rift that erupted last year over a downsizing plan. Parishioners, meanwhile, hope the dialogue may also produce a compromise on the occasional reopening of their churches. […]

Conservatives vow resistance on abortion, gay marriage

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Facing what they consider “threats” from American culture, prominent Catholic, evangelical and Orthodox Christian leaders are vowing unspecified civil disobedience against abortion, same-sex marriage and limits on religious liberty. “We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right — and more importantly, to embrace our […]