Poll: God has better approval ratings than Congress

Jack Jenkins |

WASHINGTON (RNS) More than half of U.S. voters approve of God’s job performance, according to a new poll, making God more popular than all members of Congress. The poll — which was conducted by the Democratic research firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) — surveyed 928 people and found that 52 percent of Americans approved of […]

Vatican recalls Irish ambassador over abuse report

Alessandro Speciale |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican has recalled its ambassador to Ireland for “consultations” on the official church response to a government report that tallied how abuse cases were mishandled as recently as two years ago. The extraordinary move to recall the papal nuncio, Monsignor Giuseppe Leanza, is also meant to show “a certain note of […]

Catholics offer $50 million for Crystal Cathedral

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, Calif., has offered $50 million to purchase the Crystal Cathedral, the famed Protestant megachurch that is attempting to recover from a bankruptcy crisis. The diocese — the nation’s 11th largest — does not currently have a cathedral. The offer, which includes an immediate deposit of $250,000 and a […]

Poll: Americans want religious presidents, but are vague on details

Nicole Neroulias |

(RNS) Americans want their presidents to be religious, but many have trouble identifying the faiths of President Obama and leading GOP contenders Mitt Romney and Rep. Michele Bachmann, according to a new poll released Monday (July 25). A majority of Americans (56 percent) say it’s important for a candidate to have strong beliefs, even if […]

Monday’s Religion News Roundup

People are poring over Norwegian nationalist Anders Behring Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto, trying to uncover what might have led the self-described Christian “crusader” to scores of people on Friday. He pleaded not guilty on Monday, though he has confessed. Breivik calls himself a “‘Justiciar Knight Commander” for a modern-day Knights Templar, whose primary function would be […]

Friday’s Godbytes

The Washington Post’s Under God blog reflects on presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty‘s recent reference to Jesus as his “political hero”: Here at On Faith, we hear daily from Christian activists whose faith motivates them in the public policy realm –and often their causes cancel one another out. From religious clergy for abortion rights to Catholic […]

Poll: Anti-Muslim sentiment grew after bin Laden death

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) Many Muslim Americans had hoped that the death of Osama bin Laden would improve their image among other Americans, but according to a new survey, just the opposite has happened. Rather than being mollified, anti-Muslim sentiment has intensified since Navy Seals killed the al-Qaida leader in a May 1 raid in Pakistan, according to […]

Willow Creek cuts ties with ex-gay Exodus International

Adelle M. Banks |

(RNS) Willow Creek Community Church, a trend-setting megachurch in suburban Chicago, has quietly ended its partnership with Exodus International, an “ex-gay” organization. Willow Creek decided to sever ties with the Florida-based ministry in 2009, Christianity Today reported, but the decision only became public in June. Church officials described the move as a shift in approach […]

Friday’s Religion Roundup

An illustrated copy of the four Christian Gospels that belonged to Queen Zewditu, who ruled Ethiopia from 1916 to 1930, will be returned to Ethiopia this fall. Asked to examine the copy, Steve Delamarter, an Old Testament professor who specializes in Ethiopian texts, advised the collector to repatriate it. Christian leaders met with President Obama […]

La. monks win right to build, sell caskets

Ramon Antonio Vargas |

NEW ORLEANS (RNS) A federal judge on Thursday (July 21) said a state law that limits the sale of caskets to licensed funeral directors and establishments is unconstitutional. The ruling came in a case brought by the monks at St. Joseph Abbey in Covington, La., who alleged the law amounted to unconstitutional economic protectionism for […]