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) […]

Tuesday Godbytes: (Mis)spelling Hanukkah; Merry Christmas in Klingon; Rob Bell’s Grammar

Today marks the first day of the eight-day Jewish celebration of Hanukkah. It also marks the beginning of a struggle journalists and bloggers know well – how do you actually spell Hanukkah? God only knows, right? Actually no. Apparently God doesn’t. Someone even wrote a song about it. (It’s ×Â?× ×Â?×Â?×Â?, by the way) Speaking of […]

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 […]

Poll suggests believers can be swayed on nukes, environment

Josef Kuhn |

WASHINGTON (RNS) Most Americans believers do not see preventing climate change or the spread of nuclear weapons as “spiritual obligations,” although they see both as important goals, according to a new poll. Among respondents who said they believe in God or in “spiritual obligations for behavior,” the importance of these issues ranked far behind reducing […]

UPDATE: N.J. hospital agrees not to force nurses to assist in abortions

David Giambusso |

NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) A teaching hospital will hire additional staff to help perform abortions after a group of nurses claimed they were forced to participate in the procedures despite religious objections. “No nurse is compelled to have direct involvement in a procedure to which she or he objects based on his/her cultural values, ethics and/or […]

Friday Godbytes

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been wracking your brain to figure out whether modern-day American Christmas traditions are anything like 18th-century Christmas services. What, you’re not like me? WeirdâÂ?¦Well, anyway, history.org has a whole webpage on just this topic in case you need your 18th century Christmas fix! Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is […]

Sexual abusers hard to profile or predict

Donna Leinwand |

(RNS) The grand jury report reads like a textbook profile of child sexual abuse. Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Penn State, allegedly bought one boy golf clubs and a computer, took him swimming at a hotel pool, wrestled with him and invited him to sleepovers at his home before sexually assaulting him, the […]

Nurses say they were forced to assist in abortions

Seth Augenstein |

NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) Twelve nurses on Monday (Nov. 14) accused the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey of abruptly forcing them to assist in abortion cases, despite religious and moral objections to the procedures. “In October, we were suddenly confronted with a choice between our faith and our jobs,” said Fe Esperanza Racpan […]