Anglican bishop blasts royals as `shallow celebrities’

Al Webb |

LONDON (RNS) A Church of England bishop has triggered fury for publicly describing Prince William and his bride-to-be as “shallow celebrities” and the whole royal family as a collection of “philanderers.” Bishop of Willesden (London) Pete Broadbent, a self-described adherent to republicanism, made his controversial remarks on his Facebook page after William and his fiance, […]

As uproar fades, Seton Hall students meet to study gay marriage

Kelly Heyboer / The Star-Ledger |

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (RNS) It is the class that wasn’t supposed to happen. In a basement classroom at Seton Hall University, 24 undergraduates meet twice a week for a course known as “Special Topics in Political Theory: Gay Marriage.” Most of the tension that surrounded the first few weeks of class has disappeared. The security […]

Hunger group hopes for progress in 2011 on global malnutrition

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Significant progress on global malnutrition can be made in 2011, the ecumenical anti-hunger group Bread for the World said Monday (Nov. 22) in its new annual report on hunger. The U.S. government’s “Feed the Future” initiative has the potential to reduce hunger by addressing long-term economic development and focusing on small farmers, said […]

How, or if, you give thanks speaks volumes

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) Whether it’s a mere “Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub,” or a more solemn supplication, millions of Americans will bow their heads this Thursday in gratitude for the bounty of food before them. Even a murmured “Thanks be to God,” before carving the Thanksgiving turkey speaks volumes about the person praying, especially […]

Do religious people make easy targets for scams?

Nicole Neroulias |

(RNS) Convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff bilked billions of dollars out of thousands of fellow Jews, including charities like the Elie Wiesel Foundation and Steven Spielberg Wunderkinder Foundation. Other major frauds exposed by federal investigators in recent years have targeted Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, black churches and other denominations, from $190 million lost in a three-year […]

Monday’s Religion News Roundup

Pope Benedict XVI sent shock waves through the media by saying in a soon-to-be published book that condoms are morally licit in extremely limited circumstances. The Vatican quickly added that B16 said nothing “revolutionary” in his book-length interview with a German journalist and that pontiff expressed his personal opinion, not church doctrine. Still, some Catholics […]

Vatican says new guidelines will combat global abuse scandal

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican announced on Friday (Nov. 19) that it is preparing international guidelines to prevent the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic clergy, a long-awaited response to a scandal that has seeped into countless corners of the church. Cardinal William Levada, head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, announced the plan to […]

Canadian court rules dissident churches must abandon property

Leanne Larmondin |

TORONTO (RNS/ENInews) An Canadian appeals court has ruled in favor of an Anglican diocese in a property dispute with congregations opposed to same-gender blessings. In a unanimous decision released on Monday (Nov. 15), British Columbia Court of Appeal Justice Mary Newbury, writing for a three-judge panel, dismissed an appeal by four breakaway parishes against a […]

New rules on hospital visitations for gays and lesbians

Bill Barrow / The Times-Picayune |

(RNS) The Department of Health and Human Services unveiled regulations on Wednesday (Nov. 17) that will require hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid financing to drop any visitation policies that discriminate against gays, lesbians and transsexuals. The new rule, which will take effect in January, requires that hospitals have a written policy that must be […]

Marriage fades, but not for lack of couples

Kathleen O'Brien |

(RNS) The headline’s a shocker: Nearly four in 10 Americans believe marriage is obsolete. As in: Over and done with, hold the rice. Holy matrimony has gone the way of the rotary phone, the butter churner, and the eight-track tape. The Pew Research Center’s latest survey, released Thursday (Nov. 18), detected a growing perception of […]