Muslims break ground on major Islamic center in Toronto

Ron Csillag |

TORONTO (RNS) The Aga Khan, leader of the world’s 15 million Ismaili Muslims, on Friday (May 28) joined Prime Minister Stephen Harper to break ground on a planned $300-million Islamic center that will include the first museum of Islamic art and culture in North America. More than a decade in planning and design, the complex […]

Anglican head proposes reduced role for Episcopalians

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on Friday (May 28) proposed a reduced role for the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion because the church has consecrated gay bishops. Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, said Episcopalians’ support for gay and lesbian bishops is out of step with other Anglicans. “Our Anglican fellowship […]

Thirty-seven Catholic missionaries were killed in 2009

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Thirty-seven Catholic priests and missionaries were killed in 2009, the highest number in 10 years and nearly twice as many as in 2008. The statistics, which appear in a report by the Vatican’s Fides agency, include not only missionaries to non-Catholic countries, but “pastoral workers who despite serious risk remained at their […]

Priests’ mistresses petition for end to celibacy

Fernando Alfonso III |

(RNS) Some 40 Italian women who claim to have had relationships with Roman Catholic priests have sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI seeking an end to priestly celibacy. The letter, posted on the website of the Times of London newspaper on Friday (May 28), says celibacy “has nothing to do either with the Scripture […]

Friday’s roundup

Here’s how it’s looking out there as we slide into the long holiday weekend … There’s a lot of talk here in D.C. about Thursday’s House and Senate committee vote to repeal the Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy about gays in the military. Conservatives, led by the Family Research Council, obviously don’t like it. President Obama‘s […]

Amish offer business tips for CEOs

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in America have never been to high school, don’t use electricity, and would sooner love their competitors than sue them. For generations, the Amish have tended farms tucked away in rural communities like Lancaster, Pa., motivated by a faith that urged them to be in the world, but […]

Court says Berlin schools not obligated to meet religious needs

Niels Sorrells |

BERLIN (RNS) With schools unable to meet the special religious needs of every devout student, educational institutions cannot be expected to provide special facilities for any of them, a Berlin court ruled Thursday (May 27). The decision by the administrative appeals court reverses a lower court decision last September that ordered a Berlin high school […]

Majority find homosexuality `morally acceptable’ for first time

Fernando Alfonso III |

WASHINGTON (RNS) A slight majority of Americans view gay or lesbian relations as morally acceptable, a first since Gallup pollsters started asking about the issue in 2001. In a recent survey of 16 different behaviors or social practices, pollsters found that 52 percent of Americans accept gay or lesbian relations, a steady increase since a […]

House rejects amendment on chaplains’ prayers

Ankita Rao |

WASHINGTON (RNS) The House on Thursday (May 27) rejected a proposed amendment that would have allowed military chaplains to close public events with faith-specific prayers. The amendment, offered by Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., to the Military Construction Authorization Act, was deemed not relevant to the bill, Bachmann’s office said. The amendment would […]

1921 slaying of Catholic priest gets renewed interest

Greg Garrison |

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (RNS) The 1921 murder of the Rev. James E. Coyle on the front porch of his rectory was no ordinary slaying. Involved were the anti-Catholic Ku Klux Klan, a future Supreme Court justice and a preacher’s daughter who secretly married a Puerto Rican. In her book “Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, […]