The fragment of papyrus that offers fresh evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus was married.  Photo courtesy Karen L. King

The fragment of papyrus that offers fresh evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus was married. Photo courtesy Karen L. King

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Welcome to our Cinco de Mayo edition! This story from the Boston Globe seems like an apropos way to start the roundup:

Future of U.S. Catholicism depends on young Latinos

And battle for their hearts and minds is going to be tough, as a new three-year study from Boston College shows: “The secularization of Hispanics is the biggest threat to the future of the Catholic Church in America,” Hosffman Ospino, an assistant professor of theology and ministry at Boston College and lead author of the report, tells the Globe. “We run the risk of losing a whole generation of Catholics.”

A U.N. committee on torture grills the Vatican

No, it’s not about heretics on the rack, but about the sex abuse crisis — again. The Vatican’s envoy to the Geneva hearing wasn’t really buying the whole premise, however, and said the U.N. committee on torture risked overreaching, much as he said another U.N. committee did last February when it questioned Vatican ambassador, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi. But he said the Vatican was going to stick with it. “We can take a few knocks, especially for the sake of people’s welfare,” Tomasi told the Globe’s John Allen.

Cardinal O’Malley: “So much denial” in church on abuse

“In many people’s minds it” — the abuse of minors — “is an American problem, an Irish problem or a German problem,” the Boston archbishop said over the weekend as Pope Francis’ blue-ribbon abuse commission wrapped up its first meeting. “The church has to face it is everywhere in the world. There is so much denial. The church has to respond to make the church safe for children.”

Pope Francis blasts “church climbers”…

Meanwhile on Monday, the pontiff used his off-the-cuff morning homily to blast who give alms or fast “just to be seen doing it,” as well as the “climbers” and those “who presented themselves as church benefactors, but took a lot of money and not always clean money.” Read Vatican Radio’s report here.

Former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican accused of sex harassment?

Shocker: Inside Higher Ed breaks news that Miguel Diaz, a theologian who in fall of 2012 left his post as Obama’s ambassador to the Vatican for a job at the University of Dayton, is leaving that post amid charges that he sexually harassed a married couple there. Inside Higher Ed obtained a memo from the provost outlining the charges: “The married couple – husband and wife professors who teach in the humanities – accused Diaz of making various sexual requests and references to sexually explicit feelings.” No response yet from our inquiries to Diaz and Dayton. Diaz and his wife — they have four children — are headed to new jobs at another Catholic school, Loyola University of Chicago.

Looks like Jesus’ marriage really is on the rocks

The NYT’s Laurie Goodstein has the clearest recounting of new evidence that “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” may not be all it was supposed to be — plus a comment from Harvard’s Karen King that reveals as much as the latest revelations: “This is substantive, it’s worth taking seriously, and it may point in the direction of forgery,” King said. “This is one option that should receive serious consideration, but I don’t think it’s a done deal.”

Gay marriage, gay divorce: Bishop Robinson splits with longtime partner

And in more marital tremors for the apostolic succession, here’s our story breaking the news that Gene Robinson, who retired in 2013 as the Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, and his partner of 25 years, Mark Andrew, are divorcing. They were married in a private civil union in 2008. Stay tuned for fallout.

Christian artists Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken split

To complete the divorce trifecta, the Christian musicians announced they are ending their 13-year marriage, raising questions about Christian celebs as role models, and the persistence of divorce in the evangelical Christian cosmos. Sarah Pulliam Bailey has more from her new “Divorce Court” beat…

Could evangelicals eventually embrace same-sex relationships?

The Dish points to Randy Potts’ review of Matthew Vines’s new book, “God And The Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.” Potts writes: “If character assassination won’t work and the theological debate comes across as splitting hairs, Vines wins by default, resetting the debate as a member of the tribe – as a voice from within, not from without.” Interesting.

Judge Roy Moore: “First Amendment only applies to Christians”

Yeah, good ol’ Roy is low hanging fruit for the Quote of the Day, but then you remember he is the CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE ALABAMA SUPREME COURT. And he says stuff like the First Amendment only applies to Christians because “Buddha didn’t create us, Mohammed didn’t create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures” who created us. (So Jews are cool too, no?)

The path to Hell, good intentions…

Heaven is all the rage these days, but Sully also points to a number of stories about Hell — one of them Qasim Rashid’s on the Islamic version of the Inferno as empty. Indeed, Rashid presents seven arguments for his claim that “Islam does not teach eternal damnation for anyone.”

Plus: Damon Linker at The Week on “what Christians get wrong about Hell,” and our own Jonathan Merritt on three reasons we are afraid to talk about Hell, and Peter Berger on Julian of Norwich on Hell.

To which one can only add: “And all will be well. And every manner of thing will be well.” Or so we hope.

David Gibson

Categories: Culture

David Gibson

David Gibson

David Gibson is a national reporter for RNS and an award-winning religion journalist, author and filmmaker. He has written several books on Catholic topics. His latest book is on biblical artifacts: "Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery," which was also the basis of a popular CNN series.


  1. Eternal damnation was not always held by Christians. St Maximus (in bothe the western and eastern churches) taught that “no one is saved until all are saved.” Apparently repentence was available after death. His teaching, though opposed by the Emperor in Constantinopele, was supported by Pope Stephen. Unfortunately the Emperor had the Pope beheaded for supporting Maximus and had Maximus arrested and put on trail. Eventually Maximus was cleared by the bishops and his teaching allowed.

    St Mechtilda of Magdebourg, one of the great German mystics, in her conversations with Jesus asked him how many were in hell. He kept saying he didn’t want to answer because it might encourage people to sin. She was probably influenced by the teaching of St Maximus, which remained a force in astern Europe and in parts of Germany among Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox.

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