NEW YORK (RNS) A Tony-nominated play with a controversial take on the Virgin Mary reflecting on her life closed far earlier than planned. Now the question is: Why? After all, biblically themed shows are all the rage on television and in the movies. Was “The Testament of Mary” too controversial – or not controversial enough?
JERUSALEM (RNS) Religious leaders are pressing for the release of two Orthodox bishops who were kidnapped outside war-torn Aleppo, Syria, saying their plight reflects the insecurity of Syria’s Christian population.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) In a sign of how much change Pope Francis may usher into the papacy, the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodoxy will attend Tuesday’s installation Mass — for the first time in more than 1,000 years.
(RNS) When aging religious leaders reach the top echelons of temporal and spiritual power, their followers have a certain expectation: Till death us do part. But Pope Benedict XVI’s surprise resignation has shifted that calculus, prompting introspection about when, if and how to let go of religion’s senior management.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Natalia Tsarkova originally intended to stay in Rome for a few months when she arrived in 1994, but has managed to forge a career as the Vatican’s official papal portraitist.
WASHINGTON (RNS) The National Council of Churches is moving its headquarters from the historic “God Box” in New York City to Washington, a change that the cash-strapped ecumenical group predicts will save as much as $500,000.
(RNS) The Harvard Theological Review is postponing publication of a major article on the papyrus fragment in which Jesus seems to refer to his wife, raising further doubts about a discovery that was set to turn Christian history on its head when it was announced last September. By David Gibson.
WASHINGTON (RNS) From the nuns to the nones, religion dominated the headlines throughout 2012. Questions of religious faith took center stage in the presidential race, and deep questions of morality and ethics played out in budget debates, mass killings and an unexpected focus on “religious freedom.” Here are 10 ways religion played out in the news in 2012. By Kevin Eckstrom.