In Cleveland, a battle over unwanted churches

Michelle Jarboe McFee |

CLEVELAND (RNS) Shuttered churches might be the biggest challenge facing the preservation community. Shrinking congregations and migration to the suburbs have left churches empty, or with fewer members. Preservationists lobby to save them, but no one can afford to open them. By  Michelle Jarboe McFee.

Catholics rally against Obama contraception mandate

Rick Jervis |

 (RNS) From Maine to Phoenix to southern Louisiana, Catholic churches across the country echoed with scorn for a new federal rule requiring faith-based employers to include birth control and other reproductive services in their health care coverage. By Rick Jervis. 650.

Pennsylvania Catholic bishop criticized for Hitler comment

Diana Fishlock |

HARRISBURG, Pa. (RNS) “In totalitarian governments, they would love our system,” Bishop Joseph McFadden said. “This is what Hitler and Mussolini and all those tried to establish: a monolith so all the children would be educated in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things.” By Diana Fishlock.

Friday Godbytes: Airport Yoga; Jewish Star Wars; Mormon Cuisine

I don't know about you guys, but flying can be a pretty stressful experience. It's not the flying itself that gets me so much as the journey to the plane: The security checks (“Does chapstick count as a gel if it melted in pocket?”); the annoying fellow travelers (“Stand on the RIGHT side of the […]

Americans intrigued but wary still of Mormon beliefs

Cathy Lynn Grossman / USA Today |

(RNS) Suddenly, America's abuzz about Mormonism's “gold plates and magic underwear,” says Terryl Givens, a professor of religion at the University of Richmond. Mormon ways are little-known, yet many Americans are suspicious of them. Why? Cathy Lynn Grossman reports.