Palestinians claim ownership of Western Wall

Michele Chabin |

JERUSALEM (RNS) The Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, is actually a Muslim shrine, according to an official report published Monday (Nov. 22) by the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Information. The document, which was written by Al-Mutawakei Tahad, a senior ministry official and respected writer, states that the Wall — long considered the sole […]

London warns British Muslims on Shariah in schools

Al Webb/London |

LONDON (RNS) The British government has warned a network of Islamic schools in the wake of a BBC investigation that claims extremist Shariah law is being taught to thousands of Muslim students. The televised report, by the BBC’s Panorama program, said as many as 5,000 pupils are being taught that thieves should have their hands […]

Controversial bishop threatened with ouster over neo-Nazi lawyer

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A Holocaust-denying bishop whose readmission to the Roman Catholic Church provoked an international outcry last year now faces expulsion from his ultra-traditionalist group for hiring a lawyer with neo-Nazi ties. Bishop Richard Williamson was one of four bishops in the Society of Saint Pius X whose 1988 excommunications were lifted by Pope […]

Talking turkey (and God)

President Obama took some heat last year for not mentioning God enough in his Thanksgiving proclamation. In this year’s proclamation, he appears to go out of his way to avoid that critique (see full text below). Now about that poor turkey … THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary For Immediate Release November 23, […]

Tuesday’s Religion News Roundup

Pope Benedict XVI sought to “kick-start a debate” when he said condom use may sometimes be justified, Vatican insiders told the AP, and boy did he ever. On Tuesday, the Vatican said using condoms to prevent the greater evil of HIV transmission also applies to women – even if that means averting a potential pregnancy, […]

Gentile wives brace for first Hanukkah feasts

Nicole Neroulias |

(RNS) Anne Coyle used to set the holiday table with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, but this year, she’s rolling up her sleeves in an attempt to make latkes and brisket. Cheered on by her husband and a support group for non-Jewish women raising Jewish children, Coyle’s first stab at a traditional Hanukkah meal has […]

10 minutes with âÂ?¦ Linda Mobley

Nancy Haught |

(RNS) In this season of giving thanks and counting blessings, Linda Mobley of Vancouver, Wash., says she’s been blessed by breast cancer. Twice. She thought she’d beaten the disease eight years ago. But soon after she’d self-published her book, “Blessed with Cancer,” in July, Mobley was told the cancer had returned, metastasized into her bones. […]

COMMENTARY: Doing more with less

Tom Ehrich |

(RNS) We will get out the Christmas music this week, but not our shopping lists nor our credit cards. Like many Americans, we are planning a “lean” gift-giving season. There’s not enough money to do as much as we would like, but even more, no particular desire to give things. We yearn for family time. […]

Pope, in intimate interview, mulls mistakes, health, fashion

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI has dominated global headlines since Saturday (Nov. 20) when the Vatican’s official newspaper leaked excerpts from a new book in which the pope suggested condoms might sometimes be justified in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS. But the condom remarks — that a male prostitute, for example, is someone whose […]