Feminist pioneer challenges Orthodox patriarchy

Kevin Douglas Grant |

JERUSALEM (RNS) Tova Hartman opens the door to her apartment with a warm smile, speaking softly and casually dressed. With her down-to-earth femininity, she doesn’t exactly look like a rabble-rouser within Orthodox Judaism. Which, perhaps, is precisely what makes her so effective. The 53-year old psychologist and Jewish scholar has used her decidedly feminist Orthodox […]

John Paul’s casket unearthed for beatification

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The casket of the late Pope John Paul II was exhumed Friday (April 29), in preparation for the late pontiff’s beatification ceremony on Sunday. John Paul’s casket was removed in the early morning hours from its tomb in the Vatican Grottoes, under St. Peter’s Basilica, said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, director of […]

Jews, evangelicals search for ways to discuss Israel

Debra Rubin |

WASHINGTON (RNS) American Jews and evangelicals need a formal mechanism to discuss their differences and similarities on support for Israel, leaders from both sides said Thursday (April 28) at the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum 2011. Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, spoke alongside Gary Bauer, president of American […]

Friday’s Religion News Roundup

The word of the day is “betwixt,” from the high-church vows pronounced between Wills and Kate this morning at Westminster Abbey. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and his fly-away eyebrows presided over the pomp and circumstance, assisted by the Dean of Westminster and the Bishop of London (sermon here, and the prayer the happy couple […]

Acceptance grows for autistic kids in church

Kelly Heyboer |

CALDWELL, N.J. (RNS) Halfway through a Mass in Caldwell College’s campus chapel, Chase Keith rose to his feet for one of the most challenging parts of a challenging day. It required the boy from Basking Ridge, N.J., to offer his hand to strangers in the traditional sign of peace. With his mother whispering in his […]

The president’s (born-again) birth certificate

Cathleen Falsani |

(RNS) So, according to the long-form birth certificate released by the White House on Wednesday (April 27), Barack Hussein Obama II was born at 7:24 p.m. on Aug. 4, 1961 at Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital, 6085 Kalanianaole Highway, Oahu, Honolulu, Hawaii. Phew! Glad that’s settled. Or at least it seemed to be settled for […]

Evangelical icon David Wilkerson dies in car crash

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Evangelist David Wilkerson, who wrote the popular book “The Cross and the Switchblade” and founded New York’s Times Square Church, died in a traffic accident Wednesday (April 27). Wilkerson, 79, died after his car slammed into a tractor-trailer on a highway about 95 miles southeast of Dallas, according to The Associated Press. His wife, […]

Thursday’s Religion News Roundup

Evangelical icon David Wilkerson, founder of New York’s Times Square Church and Teen Challenge anti-drug programs and author of “The Cross and the Switchblade” was killed in a car accident in eastern Texas (photo at left). Over at Christian Broadcasting Network, David Brody is continuing the lovefest for The Donald because “he FORCED this White […]

Panel cites Egypt for religious freedom violations

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON (RNS) A religious freedom watchdog panel has added Egypt to its list of the worst violators of religious liberty, citing attacks on Coptic Christians that occurred surrounding the downfall of former President Hosni Mubarak. “The Egyptian government engaged in and tolerated religious freedom violations both before and after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on […]

Naming saints isn’t an easy or quick process

Kim Lawton |

NEW YORK (RNS) Pope John Paul II will move one step closer to sainthood when he is beatified during an elaborate Vatican ceremony on Sunday (May 1). While the Roman Catholic Church has held up heroes, patrons, intercessors and spiritual companions for centuries, the path to sainthood is never easy or quick. “The lives of […]