Pope tweets a blessing and answers questions on faith

(RNS) At 5:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday (Dec. 12), Pope Benedict XVI reached out to the world of digital seekers — 140 characters at a time. He began with a blessing: “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” By Cathy Lynn Grossman / USA Today.

Martin Marty: Measuring religious intensity

Mainline Protestantism and Catholicism in America rise together, hold steady together, and decline together. The reasons for the decline may vary, from group to group, but few in church life have it easy today. “Decline,” it turns out, is contagious.

Some Jews can’t get jazzed over Hanukkah

(RNS) Ayelet Waldman isn't shy about sharing her true feelings about the upcoming Jewish festival of lights. “I loathe Hanukkah,'' she says. She's not alone: Some Jews, tired of the “December Dilemma'' and competing with Christmas, would prefer to avoid all the fuss. By Beth Kissileff.