Thursday’s Religion News Roundup

First there was the Mother Teresa cinnamon bun, and then the Jesus Cheeto, and now the man from Nazareth has apparently appeared in the form of kudzu growing on a utility pole in North Carolina. Turns out he already pulled this trick last year in Louisiana. Meanwhile, back here in the real world, Catholics can […]

Mormon leaders told to stay out of politics

Lee Davidson |

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Mormon officials are telling their top, full-time leaders that they and their spouses should not participate in political campaigns, including making donations or endorsing candidates. However, part-time leaders — including local and regional congregational leaders — are still allowed to do that, but are cautioned to make clear they are acting […]

China ordains bishop without Vatican approval

Francis X. Rocca |

(RNS) Stepping up a protracted confrontation with the Vatican, China’s state-run Catholic church on Wednesday (June 29) ordained a bishop without the approval of Pope Benedict XVI just three days after police arrested the pope’s choice for bishop of another Chinese diocese. The Rev. Paul Lei Shiyin was ordained as bishop of Leshan. According to […]

SIDEBAR: Unitarian Universalist Principles

Daniel Burke |

(RNS) The Unitarian Universalist Association, while eschewing religious tenets, espouses seven shared principles: – The inherent worth and dignity of every person; – Justice, equity and compassion in human relations; – Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; – A free and responsible search for truth and meaning; – The […]

Justices rely on `standing’ in church-state disputes

Adelle M. Banks |

WASHINGTON (RNS) As the U.S. Supreme Court ends its 2010-2011 term this week, legal scholars say a decision issued two months ago is likely to resonate within church-state debates for years to come. On April 4, the justices rejected a challenge to an Arizona school tuition credit program that largely benefits religious schools, saying taxpayers […]

Report says Vatican will probe Cleveland closings

Michael O'Malley |

CLEVELAND (RNS) The Vatican is investigating Bishop Richard Lennon’s closings of Roman Catholic churches in the Diocese of Cleveland, according to a report in an Italian newspaper. A spokesman for the diocese said he would look into the account, but had no immediate comment. The report on Friday (June 24) in the Italian newspaper La […]

Liechtenstein churches may lose government support

Jonathan Luxmoore |

(RNS/ENInews) Churches in Liechtenstein, one of the world’s smallest countries, could face financial disaster under government plans to withdraw state subsidies under new legislation, according to a Protestant leader. “This will be a drastic change — we depend on financial support, and there’ll be no chance of obtaining it if the new law goes ahead,” […]

Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup

Pope Benedict XVI became the first pontiff in history to tweet on Tuesday. He said: “B16 is here to rule, yo! BTW, I love kittens. LOL!.” Kidding! He really wrote: “Dear Friends, I just launched Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI” The Vatican Twitter acount has 40,000 […]

Evangelicals, WCC, Vatican reach accord on proselytizing

Francis X. Rocca |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Christian missionaries should renounce all “deception and coercive means” of winning converts, according to an agreement released Tuesday (June 28) by a broad coalition of evangelicals, the World Council of Churches and the Vatican. The document, “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct” represents the latest attempt to assuage sometimes violent […]

Liberals angry after congressman’s God comments

Jason Hancock |

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (RNS) A Republican congressman from Missouri is catching flak from some liberal religious leaders for saying last week that “at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God.” U.S. Rep. Todd Akin made the comments during a radio interview Friday (June 24) with Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family […]