Pope Francis' Argentinian passport and ID card. Image courtesy of Argentina's Ministry of the Interior.

Pope Francis’ Argentinian passport and ID card. Image courtesy of Argentina’s Ministry of the Interior. (Image source)

Aren’t you getting tired of all these stories about the pope acting like he’s just another guy? Me neither.

Pope Francis, regular ol’ Argentine

Francis wants to travel the world as an Argentine and not a special citizen of Vatican City. The former archbishop of Buenos Aires has asked the country of his birth to renew his Argentinian passport and ID. Said Argentinian Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo:

Francis specifically asked not to enjoy any privileges so his new identification card and passport have been processed through the usual administrative channels.

Oak Ridge nun to be sentenced today

Sister Megan Rice, who broke into a Tennessee nuclear facility and daubed Bible verses on it, will find out today if she will spend the rest of her life in jail. Two weeks ago she and two other Catholic anti-nuclear activists were ordered to pay $53,000 in damages to the plant.

"Isn't this wonderful," says Transform Now Plowshares activist Sister Megan Rice as supporters rally Monday, May 6, 2013, at Market Square. Jury selection began Monday for a trial in which Rice and fellow activists Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli answer federal trespassing and destruction of property charges for the July 28 intrusion at Y-12. Photo by Michael Patrick, courtesy of Knoxville News Sentinel

Breaking away?

A big, well-to-do Presbyterian church in Houston is considering splitting from the PCUSA over the gay marriage issue, with many congregants thinking that the mainline church’s stance on the issue — it allows local congregations to decide whether to ordain gay clergy — is too liberal. The vote is Sunday.

Indiana bucking trends on gay marriage

An amendment to the Indiana constitution banning gay marriage took one step forward, bucking a nationwide trend toward allowing same-sex couples to marry. Or does it? The amendment is advancing with watered down language — a sign, say gay marriage supporters, that the momentum toward gay marriage has moved even conservative Indiana.

Warming the cold peace between science and religion

Cathy Lynn Grossman reports on a new campaign from the American Association for the Advancement of Science to better relations between scientists and evangelicals, with the help of those who call themselves both. The concern is not whether “science and religion can co-exist. They already do,” said Elaine Howard Ecklund, a sociologist and director of Rice University’s Religion and Public Life Program. “The question is how to do it well.”

Jesus, the early years, the movie

Lifetime television and the producer of the Hatfields & McCoys have started work on “The One,” a movie about Jesus from ages 13 to 30, when his ministry began. It’s described as a coming of age story about Jesus discovering that he is the Son of God and destined for greatness. “The One” is expected to stay true to the spirit of Jesus’ image as chronicled in the Bible, according to Deadline Hollywood.

Satan in the miniseries "The Bible." Photo courtesy of The History Channel.

Satan in the miniseries “The Bible.” Photo courtesy of The History Channel.

This image is available for Web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Satan-who-looks-exactly-like-Obama cut from script

Don’t say we’re not keeping you up on the Jesus-in-pop-culture news today. Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, producers of the upcoming “Son of God” epic, have cut the actor who looks just like President Obama (and played Satan). “Son of God” is a reworking of Burnett and Downey’s History Channel miniseries, “The Bible.” (For the record, they said they did not intend for their Satan to look just like the president.)

Please don’t move to Spain, Isaac Mizrahi!

The American designer, singer Neil Sedaka, and the world’s other estimated 3.5 million Sephardic Jews (those who can trace their ancestry back to Spain) may now apply for Spanish citizenship. It’s the Spanish government is saying “sorry” for kicking all the Jews out of Spain in 1492. (Yep, Ferdinand and Isabella.) Spanish embassies and Sephardic associations around the world are drowning in inquiries from Jews seeking a second passport.

More news you should know about

Three days after the bombing of a tourist bus in Egypt that included at least three Christian pilgrims, an Islamist group has warned all tourists to leave the country by Feb. 20 or face attack. 

An Italian gay rights activist was detained in Sochi for a second time Monday by police. They had earlier told her she couldn’t wear clothing with gay rights slogans to the Olympics.

Gay rights activist Richard Kwa Bette was arrested in Cameroon after his name appeared on a list of presumed gay people given to police. Cameroon’s penal code calls for prison sentences of up to five years for homosexual acts and the country prosecutes sexual minorities more than any other in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the AP.

Secular kids club

Ending a standoff, a N.C. high school will allow the formation of a club for nonreligious students, Kimberly Winston reports. Pisgah High School in Canton now gets a chapter of the Secular Student Alliance, which freshman Kalei Wilson had tried but failed to found last semester. 

Join our club! We don’t care about your religious affiliation or lack of, except in a nerdy journo kind of way. But we do want you to read all the fascinating news of the world of religion. Sign up for the Religion News Roundup below please.

– Lauren Markoe

Categories: Beliefs

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe covered government and features as a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years before joining the Religion News Service staff as a national correspondent in 2011. She previously was Washington correspondent for The State (Columbia, S.C.)


  1. Why, oh why, do I have to go onto the Web to read this? It’s not that long, why not just send the full text to the contacts on RNS’s email list instead of sending us a link and making everyone delay and click through to a website to continue reading?

    • Lauren Markoe

      Lauren Markoe

      Article author

      Sorry you have to click on the roundup, but as a web-based document, the roundup isn’t static. We can add to it after publication. It gets tweaked as news is updated, pictures are added and corrections made if necessary. As a web-based document, there can also be a comments section.

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