What has become of the roundup? What’s with all the perversion? Why all the sex stories? Fair questions. The religion news is just a little raw today.
- Who is the tougher judge, Simon Cowell or the Russian Orthodox Church?
It might be the Russian Orthodox Church, because it condemned the Eurovision Song Contest’s selection of a drag queen as its winner, saying it was a sign of the world’s moral decline and part of an effort to “reinforce new cultural norms.” But doesn’t the winner look like Jesus? Or Jesus’ knockout sister? Or a combination of the two?
“Black Mass” at Harvard
Our esteemed humanist blogger Chris Stedman (who also happens to be a Harvard chaplain, thank you very much) has a problem with this one. The Cultural Studies Club of Harvard’s extension school planned a “black mass” last night, led by the New York based Satanic Temple. Here’s the issue, Stedman writes:
This event, however, is not merely a “different cultural practice.” It is designed to specifically parody and mock a sacred Catholic ritual.
The club eventually dropped its sponsorship of the ceremony, but the Harvard Crimson reports that about 50 people gathered off campus last night for a black mass in Harvard Square’s Hong Kong restaurant.
A Christian path out of the sex industry
Bobby Ross Jr. profiles an ex-stripper turned Christian who helps other women escape the strip club, where — he reports — legal sex work is too often only part of a life that also includes prostitution and sexual abuse.
OK, time out. Let’s venture outside the underworld for some more traditional news . . . .
Pope Paul VI headed toward sainthood?
He banned contraception. He visited Israel before the Vatican recognized the Jewish state. And now Pope Francis has authorized the beatification of Pope Paul VI, less than two weeks after the canonization of two other iconic popes of the 20th century — John XXIII and John Paul II. So here’s the biggie question: will Francis waive the usually required second miracle for Paul, as he did for John?
Vatican gets tough with the American nuns, now the Rev. Michael Amaladoss
The Vatican is confusing some Vatican watchers. It’s investigating a Jesuit theologian from India for allegedly espousing unorthodox beliefs. This comes on the heels of a similar “get with the program” warning from the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, to a group of American nuns. It’s raising new questions, our own David Gibson writes, as to whether Pope Francis “is in fact moving the Catholic Church in a new direction.”
No need for Anglican women clergy to look dowdy
A London fashion designer has launched a new line of clerical clothing for women. They’re selling like hotcakes. I think I could wear that to work, minus the collar.
9/11 museum documentary under fire
Muslim scholars and civil rights activists want the Sept. 11 museum to edit a documentary that the New York museum plans as part of its exhibitions. They worry that the film unfairly links Islam and terrorism in a way that could exacerbate anti-Muslim feelings among the public. The museum is slated to open next month.
Protests over upcoming papal visit to Last Supper site
A group of fervently Orthodox Jews doesn’t want Pope Francis to pray at the Cenacle, the site believed to have been the location of Jesus Christ’s Last Supper. They say Christian prayers at the Jerusalem building conflict with Orthodox Jewish teachings. About 200 protested at the site, which is also the tomb of King David.
Amid anti-Muslim violence, Myanmar Buddhists gather
The state-sponsored governing body for Buddhist monks Monday held a conference that included Buddhism’s nine main local sects in Myanmar as international concerns mount over Buddhist extremism against the nation’s Muslim minority. The meeting brought together more than 2,500 monks, and was the first time the “all-sects” conference was held in 19 years, the Associated Press reported.
French Jews are feeling increasingly unwelcome in France, and emigrating to Israel in record numbers.
Muslim parties make a resurgence leading up to Indonesian elections.
The top cleric in the Russian Orthodox Church says he was refused entry to Ukraine.
– Lauren Markoe
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