Stories

St. Louis Catholics react to native son Bishop Finn’s conviction

Jesse Bogan and Tim Townsend / St. Louis Post-Dispatch |

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (RNS) Bishop Robert Finn, a St. Louis native who was ordained in the St. Louis Archdiocese, is the first U.S. bishop convicted of failing to report criminal sexual activity by a priest. Local Catholics were polite but not subtle about the court ruling. By Jesse Bogan and Tim Towsend.

One Psalm, two causes, two meanings

David Van Biema |

(RNS) For decades, Psalm 139 has been a byword of the anti-abortion movement that has used its line about being “knit together in my mother's womb.” Now, its other verse about being “fearfully and wonderfully made” has been embraced by gay and lesbian Christians. By David Van Biema

Pope meets with Fidel Castro, urges more freedom

Alessandro Speciale |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI called for more religious freedom for the Catholic Church on his last day in communist Cuba. Around 300,000 people turned up for a papal Mass in Revolution Square in Havana, just before an unscheduled but much-anticipated meeting with Fidel Castro. By Alessandro Speciale.

Muslims call new religious freedom appointee a ‘puppet’ for Islam foes

Lauren Markoe |

WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Commission for Religious Freedom just got two new members, both darlings of conservatives: Princeton University philosopher Robert P. George and Zuhdi Jasser, who describes himself as an alternative voice to established Muslim civil rights groups. By Lauren Markoe.

Pope arrives in Cuba, blasts economic ‘selfishness’

Alessandro Speciale |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) On his arrival in Cuba, Pope Benedict XVI renewed the Catholic church's pledge to work with the Communist government in order to help the island look at the future, and criticized the “ambition and selfishness” which engendered the global economic crisis. By Alessandro Speciale.

Pope to find mixed political messages in Mexico trip

David Agren / USA Today |

SILAD, Mexico (RNS) Times have changed to such a degree in Mexico that politicians now seek out the pope and prelates for support. Even so, the hostility of some in Mexico City shows how far the relationship has yet to go between Mexico and the Catholic Church. By David Agren.

Anti-Shariah movement loses steam in state legislatures

Omar Sacirbey |

(RNS) One year ago, more than 20 state legislatures had either passed or were considering bills that prohibited judges from considering Islamic law, known as Shariah, in their decisions. But the anti-Shariah juggernaut has stumbled in recent weeks. By Omar Sacirbey.

Turkey, key U.S. ally, cited for religious freedom woes

Lauren Markoe |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Turkey stands as a new and controversial addition to an annual list of the worst offenders of religious freedom released Tuesday (March 20) by the U.S. Commission on International Religious. By Lauren Markoe.