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Saturday night’s acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting altered a lot of Sunday morning sermons. Coincidence? The lectionary reading for many churches was that of the Good Samaritan. Just something to think about.

RNS alum Dan Burke has a nice roundup of the verdict’s religious reax on Twitter.

Fuller Theological Seminary — the flagship ivory tower of evangelicalism — is causing ripples with its new LGBT student club.

Philly Archbishop Charles Chaput says too many Christians are actually “pagans,” and he doesn’t mean that as a compliment. Pagans, meanwhile, are happy to claim the label, as our own David Gibson explains.

The LA Times chronicles the making of a miracle — specifically the unexplained healing of a Colorado boy, credited to Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, who will be beatified in November. Thing is, it took 14 years for the Vatican to conclude that the miracle was legit.

Hanukkah, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Tisha B’Av … Tisha wha? Lauren Markoe explains the Jewish holiday that mourns the destruction of The Temple(s), which starts today, and how some rabbis are trying to give the otherwise unloved holiday a makeover.

The Telegraph’s Charles Moore sits down with newly minted Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and quickly uncovers this gem: Welby speaks in tongues (“It’s just a routine part of spiritual discipline – you choose to speak and you speak a language that you don’t know. It just comes.”) but says it’s “absolutely not” necessary for a Christian to have a conversion experience.

Speaking of Brits shaking things up, Britain’s Channel 4 is airing the Muslim call to prayer at 3 a.m. every day for the month of Ramadan.

CNN’s Eric Marrapodi poses a provocative question: “Is Pope Francis the Catholic Princess Diana?” Y’all can decide for yourself, but Marrapodi sums up his argument this way: “He is learning to shine the megawatt spotlight of his popular papacy on issues dear to his heart.”

Vaticanista Sandro Magister takes stock of Uncle Frank, a “pope like none before,” saying that “one key element of Francis’ popularity is his personal credibility.”

More evidence of Uncle Frank’s (literally) down-to-earth style: He escaped to Castel Gandolfo for the day and chatted with the locals at his front door, not from the traditional papal balcony.

Fellow Vaticanista Stefania Felasca says Uncle Frank’s decision to canonize Pope John XXIII without the requisite second miracle is the last piece of unfinished business from John’s watershed Second Vatican Council.

That cross carved into the pitcher’s mound at Busch Stadium in St. Louis? Yeah, it’s gone now.

Our pal Peggy Fletcher Stack (official acronym PFS) goes inside the Mormons’ Missionary Training Center, where “young Latter-day Saints are molded and mentored. It’s the place they are built up and, sometimes, dressed down.”

And our own Jana Riess says Mormons could do a bit better with dealing with grief and death than a steaming helping of funeral potatoes.

A new documentary on Orthodox (Jewish) arranged marriages manages to hit “a minor miracle of empathy.”

The Forward profiles Israel’s new ambassador to Washington: (Miami Beach native) Ron Dermer, a man with a “reputation as a pugnacious and hard-charging defender of Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Hillel, the campus Jewish organization, has a new president: Former Ohio congressman Eric Fingerhut.

And with that, it’s on to the week ahead. Two more weeks ’til vacation, inshallah. The RNS Roundup never (well, rarely) goes on vacation and you can get it in your inbox, for free, every day by signing up below:



  1. Have you thought of a tweet button for the RNR site? That way as we read and like articles we can tweet and recommend them to our followers as well. More exposure for the RNR site. Just a thought.

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