Gay bishop Gene Robinson sets sights on D.C. as retirement looms

CONCORD, N.H. (RNS) When Gene Robinson became the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in 2003, his election triggered shock waves and fears of schism worldwide. Now, as this lighting-rod figure prepares to retire Jan. 5, he’s leaving New Hampshire for a city that knows polarization all too well: Washington, D.C. By G. Jeffrey MacDonald.

New book tries to dispel the “Black Legend” of the papacy’s most scandalous dynasty

VATICAN CITY (RNS) With hundreds of movies and novels devoted to their crimes and intrigues, the Borgias are probably the most controversial family in the history of the papacy. But a new book, drawing on documents from the Vatican Secret Archive, tries to cast the Renaissance dynasty in a new light and dispel the “black legend” surrounding it. By Alessandro Speciale

Church of England rejects women bishops

LONDON (RNS) In a surprise move that shocked both sides of a years-long debate, the Church of England on Tuesday (Nov. 20) rejected an expected move to allow women bishops, preserving the church's status as one of the last bastions of male privilege in the United Kingdom. By Trevor Grundy.