In Galileo’s hometown, Vatican promotes science

Alessandro Speciale |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Four centuries after the Roman Catholic Church branded Galileo a heretic for positing that the sun was the center of the universe, the Vatican is co-hosting a major science exhibition in Galileo's hometown. By Alessandro Speciale.

New saint’s work started small, left big legacy

Renee K. Gadoua |

(RNS) Barbara Koob moved from Utica, N.Y., to nearby Syracuse in the summer of 1862, when she was 24, to enter the convent of the Sisters of St. Francis. Twenty-one years later, the woman the world now knows as Saint Marianne Cope left Syracuse to work as a missionary among the lepers in Hawaii. Even […]

Thursday Godbytes: Church of File Sharing; Santorum’s Jewish Fraternity?; Fun With Spellcheck

Digital file sharing is now a sacred activity…In Sweden. The Missionary Church of Kopimism (yes, that’s “Copy Me-ism”) is now officially recognized as a religion in Sweden. The group asserts “communication is sacred,” and uses “Ctrl+C” and “Ctrl+V” as holy symbols. It was also reportedly created to provide legal protection for file sharers, although that […]

Church says N.Y. woman is source of sainthood miracle

Renee K. Gadua |

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (RNS) A 65-year-old woman from Chittenango, N.Y., was inexplicably healed of pancreatitis in 2005, Catholic leaders say, and is the source of the second miracle that will make Blessed Mother Marianne Cope a new U.S. saint. “I’m very happy to be here and I thank the Lord,” Sharon Smith said Tuesday (Dec. 20) […]

Pope certifies miracles for two U.S. saints

Francis X. Rocca |

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A 17th-century Native American woman who cared for the sick and elderly, and a Catholic nun who worked with lepers in Hawaii, are on the verge of becoming the newest American saints, after Pope Benedict XVI certified miracles due to their intercession, the Vatican announced Monday (Dec 19). The decrees concerned Kateri […]

On Dec. 25, Atheists celebrate a different birthday

Kimberly Winston |

(RNS) Deck those halls with boughs of apples and top that tree with a finger puppet of Sir Isaac Newton. At least that’s what Robin Zebrowski does at her home in Beloit, Wis., where she and her husband, Joshua, observe the birthday of the great 17th-century English scientist and mathematician, Dec. 25, 1642. They send […]