Number of Catholics worldwide edged up, Vatican says

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The number of Catholics in the world edged up 1 percent in 2009, the Vatican said, bringing to 1.18 billion the number of adherents of the world’s largest church. The statistics appear in the latest edition of the Vatican’s “Annuario Pontificio,” or pontifical yearbook, which was presented to Pope Benedict XVI on […]

Oregon bill would end protections for faith healers

Steve Mayes |

PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) Oregon prosecutors and lawmakers endorsed a bill Monday (Feb. 21) that would remove special legal protection for parents who treat seriously ill children with faith healing instead of providing medical treatment. Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote and others told the House Judiciary Committee that House Bill 2721 would help halt needless, […]

Tuesday’s Religion News Roundup

Oops! … They did it again. The Obama administration again made big religion news last Friday (before a holiday weekend, no less!) though, to be fair, it wasn’t as late in the day as the faith advisory council announcement. The Dept. of Health & Human Services on Friday said they’ve rescinded Bush-era conscience protections for […]

COMMENTARY: Budget battles disregard the vulnerable

Tom Ehrich |

INDIANAPOLIS (RNS) My sister and I stood in the assisted-living apartment set up for our 94-year-old father and realized the moment had passed. He needs to be in the health care unit at his retirement center. Assisted living would be too demanding. He will never again sleep in this bed, knit scarves for the homeless […]

Happy Presidents’ Day

The Religion News Roundup is off today for President’s Day. I admit, though, that I’m really not sure how I’m supposed to honor the holiday. (Or how it should be spelled. Whither the apostrophe?) We should all come up with a good President’s Day celebration idea before the car dealerships completely take it over. Until […]

Jesuits sued over sex abuse bankruptcy

Lynne Terry |

PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) Lawyers representing a group of people who accuse Jesuit priests of sexual abuse filed 37 lawsuits Thursday in bankruptcy court, asking for about $3 million. The lawsuits claim that the Roman Catholic order paid money to various entities before declaring bankruptcy two years ago, and that that money should actually be part […]

In Italian sex scandal, Vatican caught in a bind

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) No major Western European leader in recent years has been a more stalwart ally of the Roman Catholic Church than Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Berlusconi’s stands against euthanasia, living wills, in-vitro fertilization and domestic partnerships have put his country in line with Catholic teaching, and out of sync with all other […]

Marriage seminar sparks Chick-fil-A boycott

Diana Fishlock |

HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) Amy Goropoulos’ stomach and her ethics do not agree on Chick-fil-A. She used to visit the restaurant with her husband and coworkers, but she recently quit the chicken cold turkey. The Christian-owned fast-food chain has become the center of a national maelstrom for supporting a recent (Feb. 11-12) marriage seminar in central […]

Friday’s Religion News Roundup

Kevin Eckstrom |

Here’s how it’s looking out there as we slide into the weekend … From the Dept. of Oops They Did It Again, the Archdiocese of Louisville says a defrocked priest who was on probation for abuse shouldn’t have held a seat on a parish council. Up in Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley is launching a month-long […]