Faced with scandal, Haggard’s wife tells why she stayed

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Under similar circumstances, many women would have kicked their husbands to the couch. Or the curb. But for Gayle Haggard, the gay sex-and-drug scandal that toppled her husband’s ministry was simply ” the mountain we had to go over.” And now, on the other side of that mountain, she’s preaching a message that many […]

COMMENTARY: Redemption and renewal

Cathleen Falsani |

(RNS) We all love a redemption story. There’s profound appeal in a rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches tale. The fall-from-grace-followed-by-a-spectacular-comeback is about as ingrained in our American psyche (and soul) as rooting for the underdog, generosity to those in distress and second chances. So when I walked into the movie theater recently to see the new Jeff Bridges film […]

Doctor testifies for parents in faith-healing death

Steve Mayes |

OREGON CITY, Ore. (RNS) When their son became ill, Jeffrey and Marci Beagley were confronted by several symptoms that would concern any reasonable parent but gave no indication that death was imminent, a pediatrician told jurors on Monday (Jan. 25). Dr. Douglas Diekema was the first defense witness called in the trial of the Oregon […]

French panel recommends partial ban on Islamic veils

Elizabeth Bryant |

PARIS (RNS) Six years after banning Muslim girls from wearing headscarves in public schools, French lawmakers appear close to a measure to ban women from wearing face-covering veils in some public spaces. On Tuesday (Jan. 26), a parliamentary commission delivered a long-awaited report recommending that women be barred from wearing the full veil in public […]

Polish bishop, under fire from Jews, steps back from statement

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Polish Catholic bishop who has been denounced for calling the Holocaust a “Jewish invention” distanced himself from the statement on Tuesday (Jan. 26), saying that he had been misunderstood. In an interview published Monday (Jan. 25) on an Italian Catholic Web site, Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek was quoted as saying that Jews […]

Bishops nix move to force hiring of gays in churches

Al Webb |

LONDON (RNS) Anglican bishops and other members of the House of Lords have nixed an attempt by the British government to force churches and other religious institutions to hire gays, lesbians and transgender people. The upper chamber of Parliament, which includes 26 Anglican bishops as members, rejected the proposed law change Monday (Jan 25) after […]

Book traces the long strange trip of drug-induced spirituality

Steve Rabey |

(RNS) If the word “psychedelic” conjures up images of San Francisco or Woodstock, there’s much more to learn from journalist Don Lattin’s mind-blowing guided tour of the colorful people who gave birth to America’s psychedelic era in an unlikely place: Harvard University. In his new book,”The Harvard Psychedelic Club,” which has received enthusiastic reviews and […]

Tuesday’s roundup

With expected government cuts to abstinence education funds, evangelical Christians are picking up the slack. By the way, teenage pregnancy and abortion rates rose from 2005-2006, according to a report released Tuesday. Pro-gay religious leaders, including Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson are planning a multi-city event called “The American Prayer Hour” to counter the National […]

Official: John Paul briefed on shooting plot, mulled resigning

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Italian left-wing terrorist group the Red Brigades plotted to kidnap Pope John Paul II, according to a new book released Tuesday (Jan. 26) by the Vatican-appointed advocate for John Paul’s canonization. The book, “Why He Is a Saint,” also reveals that the late pope personally confronted Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev about […]

COMMENTARY: Score one for thinking

Tom Ehrich |

(RNS) As a New York Jets fan, I was both frustrated and fascinated as I watched the Indianapolis Colts dismantle the Jets’ Super Bowl hopes in a conference title game on Sunday (Jan. 24). In losing 30-17, our Jets weren’t out-hustled, out-skilled or out-coached. What I saw from the vantage point of HDTV and endless […]