Mural of slain Salvadoran Archbiship Oscar Romero by Juana Alicia. Photo of mural by Franco Folini via Flickr

Mural of slain Salvadoran Archbiship Oscar Romero by Juana Alicia. Photo of mural by Franco Folini via Flickr.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston bombing suspect, has reportedly told investigators that he and his brother were motivated by religion but not tied to groups abroad.

CNN talks to members of the Boston-area mosque where the elder Tsarnaev brother had objected to the imam’s comparison between Muhammad and MLK Jr.

The White House says Tsarnaev will not be tried as an enemy combatant because he is a U.S. citizen.

The forgiveness question. Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley seems ready. Rabbi David Wolpe says not so fast.

Mark Silk suggests that it is counterproductive for Muslims who abhor the actions of the Tsarvaevs to deny — on the grounds that true Muslims could never commit such an act – that the brothers are Muslim.

Writes Silk: “Better, I think, to acknowledge that faith traditions with centuries of history, complex scriptures, diverse and mutually antagonistic sub-groups, and millions of followers encompass examples of the worst as well as the best that humanity has to offer. To own the worst as well as the best is to put your enemies in a position of having to recognize the best as well as the worst.”

Here is Asra Q. Nomani’s take on the question. The Muslim former Wall Street Journal reporter writes that other scribes were nervous about asking the Tsarnaev family about its faith, and she praises the suspects’ uncle for not flinching after she asked him about their religion: “We are Muslims,” he said.

Sainthood is a step closer for both Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Oscar Romero.The latter’s case had seemed stalled. But the prelate spearheading the case of the Salvadoran — who was gunned down while celebrating Mass in 1980 — said the process has been “unblocked.”

Alessandro Speciale takes us behind the scenes at the Vatican to Pope Francis’ 7 a.m. homestyle celebration of the Mass — “a far cry from the lengthy and highly intellectual public homilies of his predecessors.”

In keeping with his populist bent, Francis has cancelled $32,500 bonuses for five cardinals who sit on the board of the institution best known as the Vatican bank.

U.S. Catholic bishops are worried that opponents of immigration reform will try to derail it by pointing out that U.S. immigration officials let the foreign-born bombers into the country. David Gibson reports.

The New York Times profiles as a Brooklyn priest ministering to imprisoned drug kingpins in Mexico.

Prosecutors suggest 45 years in prison for the Virginia man who planned a mass killing at the Washington headquarters of the Family Research Council. He wounded a security in the attempt in August.

Today federal judges will hear a most unusual asylum case involving a Christian family that doesn’t want to return to Germany because they won’t be allowed to home-school their children there. U.S. Christians have their backs.

Kidnapped: The Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Archbishops of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, were seized on Monday in the village of Kfar Dael, Al Jazeera is reporting. The news heightens fears among already nervous Syrian Christians, who are unsure of their place in a future Syria.

In response to sequestration and other threats to U.S. foreign aid, World Vision is planning a half billion dollar fundraising campaign to benefit impoverished children abroad.

In the wake of a scandal involving France’s chief rabbi, French Jews are pondering the new direction French Jewry might take. Will the successor to disgraced Rabbi Gilles Bernheim’s move toward greater inclusiveness, as Bernheim had urged? Or will the community turn in upon itself?

The Forward reports that Reform Jews are grappling with the reality of rabbinical students dating and marrying non-Jews.

- Lauren Markoe

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Categories: Beliefs, Culture

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe covered government and features as a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years before joining the Religion News Service staff as a national correspondent in 2011. She previously was Washington correspondent for The State (Columbia, S.C.)


  1. On Monday 22 April 2013, two prominent Aramean (Syriac) Archbishops from the Syriac and Greek Orthodox Churches were abducted near Aleppo in Syria.

    Presrelease by the WCA-NGO:

  2. If you knew the whole story behind Romero instead of believing the “official’ line you might not be so fast in judging him. He was killed by his gov’t for doing the works of his faith including trying to protect those targeted for death by the government. Wake up and realize that very often official tales by any gov’t are often just that, lies.
    Today’s RNR was full of info, another great column by Ms. Marcoe!

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