Yes, a New York luxury condo building has received approval for a special door for lower income folks to use. Mark Driscoll is back on Twitter, sorta.

Mark Driscoll photo

Mark Driscoll photoPhoto courtesy of Mars Hill Church via Wikimedia

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

Tom Petty has a protest song about clergy sex abuse. And in an upstate New York diocese, lay people can no longer preach.

But first, the latest on the Middle East …

Islamic militants in the nation formerly known as Iraq continue to “cleanse” Mosul and the surrounding areas of Christians who have been there since the early days of Christianity, and before Islam. Ancient monasteries are reportedly being converted into mosques.

Christians United for Israel

The pro-Israel group, led by the conservative pastor John Hagee, wraps up its annual summit in Washington today in a nifty bit of timing. The speakers all seem to be trying to outdo each other in expressions of support for the Jewish state in its battle with Hamas in Gaza. If you’re not following Dave Weigel and Jason Horowitz on Twitter, you’re missing the nest bits. To wit:

The toll in Gaza  continues to rise

As of this morning, the death toll among Palestinians — including women and children and noncombatants — is approaching 600 while nearly 30 Israelis have been killed, with one Israeli soldier reportedly missing.

The toll of Israelis has been unexpectedly high and is darkening the nation’s mood, reports the AP.

At least they are now bringing out the bodies in Ukraine … Though Tim Teeman thinks we need to see the corpses on TV first.

In Japan, Yahoo takes care of all your post-mortem needs

A new service from Yahoo Japan helps you prepare for the inevitable by, among other things, letting you send emails to loved ones from beyond the grave.

“Yahoo Japan’s job has been to solve social problems through the power of the Internet and to provide services from the cradle to the grave,” said Megumi Nakashima, a spokeswoman for the company. “We had services for the cradle part but not the grave part.”

Here at the Roundup, only live people will email you, and that’s a promise.

Heard on Twitter

Pope Francis looks beyond the headlines of carnage and violence:

And his Anglican counterpart takes the humble route:

I guess you had to spell this out for some folks:

Facebook & Infidelity

Speaking of social media, Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention tells the NY Post that he “can’t think of a single recent instance of infidelity in which social media did not play some role.” Facebook in particular, he says, “accelerates opportunities for human depravity.”

No wonder Dr. Moore won’t respond to my “friend” request.

Pastor Mark Driscoll is back on social media, sorta …

If anyone should get off the Internet it’s probably the florid, controversial pastor with 478,000+ Twitter followers, and in fact that’s what he did — announcing a social media break 131 days ago. But as our own Cathy Grossman tells me, his Twitter feed suddenly sprang back to life! But he informs us that it’s his staff tweeting for him. Which is how Jesus would do it. Definitely.

Luxury condo gets “Poor Door”

Yep, just when you thought the Upper West Side of Manhattan couldn’t get anymore UWS, this:

New York City has approved a developer’s Dickensian plan to include a “poor door” in a luxury apartment complex in the Upper West Side.

There will be 55 affordable housing units in the 33-story condo, with views of the street. Those tenants will have a separate entrance. The 219 upscale units for the wealthy will have views of the Hudson River, and their occupants will presumably enter the building through the eye of a needle.

No wonder Mayor Bill BeBlasio went to Italy, where he met the Vatican Secretary of State and expressed confidence that Pope Francis would visit New York on his U.S. trip in September 2015. No word on where the pontiff will stay, or what door he’d use.

No lay preaching for you!

That’s the word from the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, Salvatore Matano, one of the more conservative members of the U.S. hierarchy, who Pope Francis named to replace longtime Bishop Matthew Clark, one of the most — and last — liberal prelates.

Lay folks had been preaching at Mass since the 1970s, though it is in fact against canon law. Time for the law to change?

The clergy sex abuse crisis is now a rock song

Thanks to Tom Petty, via the HuffPo:

The song — “Playing Dumb” — addresses the victims of the Catholic Church’s sex abuses over the last several decades and will appear as a bonus track on the new album’s vinyl release.

In an interview with Billboard preceding the album’s release, Petty said:

“I’m fine with whatever religion you want to have… [But] if I was in a club, and I found out that there had been generations of people abusing children, and then that club was covering that up, I would quit the club. And I wouldn’t give them any more money.”

Pay it forward, folks. And be sure and check out our home grown offerings on our home page, and check back for updates on the news throughout the day.

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. The Southern Baptists had the highest divorce rate – and presumably adultery rate – way before there were social media. There are many instances of approved infidelity in the Bible. The fundamentalist Family in DC has used the example of David to let the powerful know that they have a special exemption form the fidelity thing.

    But, just in case, perhaps Baptists churches should start forbidding the internet and stop using it too.

    • Eric Kuykendall

      There is a whole lot of generalizations in this post.
      Sentence one: can you back that up?
      Sentence two: “many”? Another broad generalization
      Sentence three: who are you talking about and is there a source?
      Sentence four: dumb, worthless conclusion

  2. It would be nice if the pope came to NYC and visited the low incomes in that luxury condo through the poor door. Maybe Cardinal Dolan could do so. But at least NYC is requiring low income residence when developers seek to build luxury buildings.

    • This is a horrible situation to see the senseless loss of life for both sides. However, this conflict would stop immediately if Hamas would talk & stop firing missiles/rockets into Israel. Please take time to educate yourself concerning Hamas’ documented purpose and intent for Israel. I’m ashamed and It’s beyond comprehension people would condemn an individual or country for simply defending itself. I

      • I think its obvious they are not just defending themselves.

        By the casualty metrics so far, hamas is a far superior “pinpoint” war machine than the idf,which was the idfs original claim going into this operation protective edge.

        Besides, we pay for their iron dome system that successfully knows the bottle rockets out of the sky.

        I don’t think they should be lobbing the rockers into israel. Its wrong. But they are treated horribly. I have to ask myself at what point is fighting back justified? You cannot reasonably expect a person to be massively and purposefully oppressed for long before they fight back.

        And guess who initiated the gaza blockade? Its a scenario where Israel is claiming they need to defend themselves (kill thousands) because the victim finally fought back.

        I am still ashamed of america and the christians here for any assistance we give israel.

    • Ashamed? For years Hamas has been bombing Israel. The hatred the middle east has for Israel is off the chars, tell me, what choice does Israel have but to fight back these murderous thugs?

  3. I assume that when you said “an eye for an eye would be an improvement,” you meant that it’s somehow unfair that only 30 Israelis have been killed, not that you want another 570 dead to “improve” the score. And yes, I know that the Roundup is meant to be tongue in cheek. But I don’t assume – I conclude – that you take the view that one of the Torah’s most important ethical statements is immoral. An eye for an eye simply means that retribution must be just. We can argue forever about whether Israel is doing the right thing in Gaza, but it’s not a numbers game.

  4. David Gibson

    David Gibson

    Article author

    Mr. Abuita: No, your assumption is off. I think the loss of life is terrible, whoever they are, and yes, that’s bit of editorial opinion I’ll stand by. I don’t think it’s that off-base, and if it is, well, I’ll take my lumps.

    As for the “eye for an eye” rule, I’d always understood that it was an advance in ethical thinking developed by ancient Judaism and so was in fact a good thing. So I wasn’t disparaging it; on the contrary.

    Jesus in the Gospels of course tried to take it to another level, but that’s a different discussion. And there’s Hillel too.


  5. David Gibson

    David Gibson

    Article author

    Though on further reflection, I have removed the “eye-for-an-eye” reference because it’s true, it’s a complicated concept and deploying it in such supercharged circumstances isn’t helpful.

    Peace. DG

  6. Israel means God’s people. Christians are God’s people after Christ. The only reason God allowed the Jews to be back in Jerusalem is for the setup of the AntiChrist system and to give them a last chance to repent before He comes back, on Pentecost Sunday. Saturday eve California time.

    • All beings on earth — humans, animals, plants, minerals — are “people” of God, Goddess , All That Is. We are all loved unconditionally. And as we grow spiritually, we come to realize, that we too, are coming to love all beings unconditionally.

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