GUEST COMMENTARY: Southern Baptists, change thy name

Jonathan Merritt |

CHAMPION, Wis. (RNS) Philip and Barbara Hesselbein came to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help to pray for a grandson who has an inoperable brain tumor. Darlene Searcy prayed for her family and for herself; she has cancer. Mary Spakowicz, who also has cancer, came “because God will hear me here.” The afflicted […]

Monday Godbytes

Daniel Macguire over at Religion Dispatches asks if there is a Catholic “turnabout” on abortion. In other Catholic news, Tom Beaudoin over at America Magazine wonders what would happen if “Occupy Wall Street” happened within the Catholic Church. Meanwhile, CNN reports that the trial of Youcef Nadarkhani – a Christian pastor recently sentenced to death […]

Crisis pregnancy group reflects Jewish divide on abortion

Debra Rubin |

SILVER SPRING, Md. (RNS) Saraleah was 19 and a part-time student when she discovered she was pregnant. She didn't know how it could have happened — until she flashed back to a party nine weeks earlier where she was given a drink, realized it was vodka and then passed out. Saraleah had been raped. “i […]

Monday’s Religion News Roundup

Some possibly good news for Mitt Romney‘s fledgling 2012 campaign: two-thirds of Americans say his Mormonism doesn’t matter, including 58 of evangelicals. But he could still face a tough road threading the eye of the needle in the evangelical-heavy early primaries: Evangelicals, more than any other group, say they’d be “less likely” to support a […]

Think you’ll need last rites? Better plan ahead

Michael O'Malley |

CLEVELAND (RNS) In days long gone, Roman Catholic priests regularly made deathbed house calls, even in the middle of the night with little notice, to pray over the dying and anoint them with holy oils. The candlelight ritual, popularly known as last rites, continues in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice houses and private homes. But it […]

Thursday’s Religion News Roundup

Kevin Eckstrom |

All eyes are on Capitol Hill today as the House Committee on Homeland Security opens hearings on homegrown Islamic “radicalization.” The hearings are being live-streamed here, with a handy WaPo guide to the witnesses here. Chairman Peter King (left) opened the show by saying there’s nothing “radical or un-American” about either the hearings or his […]

Vatican to draft guidelines for Catholic hospitals

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Controversies over bioethical standards at U.S. Catholic hospitals show the need for greater Catholic education for health care workers, Vatican officials said Thursday (Feb. 3). Church leaders said a new set of biomedical guidelines will be published later this year, as well as a separate document on AIDS prevention after last year’s […]

Vatican says no change to teaching on condoms, prostitutes

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI’s recent comments about condoms do not mark a change in “Catholic moral teaching” or “pastoral practice” on AIDS prevention or contraception, the Vatican said Tuesday (Dec. 21). The statement by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the Catholic Church’s highest doctrinal body, represents a rare official clarification of […]

Lutheran leader seeks Communion agreement with pope

Luigi Sandri |

ROME (RNS/ENInews) The president of the Lutheran World Federation is calling on Lutherans and Catholics to issue a common statement on Holy Communion to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017. “Our intention is to arrive at 2017 with a common Roman Catholic-Lutheran declaration on Eucharistic hospitality,” Bishop Munib Younan told the […]

10 minutes with … Laura Hobgood-Oster

Cecile S. Holmes |

(RNS) The full force of Christian compassion and hospitality should be applied to all creatures — including animals, university professor Laura Hobgood-Oster argues in a recent book. Taking her cues from Christian scripture, history and tradition, Hobgood-Oster strives to alert Christians to the modern plight of animals. Her book, “The Friends We Keep,” is a […]