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Health & Spirit

Vatican emissary squashed Archbishop Nienstedt investigation, memo says

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ramsey County dropped criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for failing to protect three boys from an abusive priest Wednesday and released documents that disclosed a social connection between that priest and former Archbishop John Nienstedt.

One of the documents is a memo written by an archdiocese ...Read more

Mixed messages at all-female Islamic schools

Religion / Religious News /

KARACHI, Pakistan -- At 22, Wahabba Husain had never worn a headscarf. As she walked into the classroom at Al-Huda, an all-female Pakistani institute for Islamic studies, on a December afternoon in 2014, she felt a pang of worry.

Would the other women judge her immodest? A bad Muslim?

Husain exhaled when she saw many of her classmates had ...Read more

Catholic League president accuses Philly mayor of 'personal war' against church

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA -- The head of the Catholic League on Thursday accused Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney of "misusing his public office" to wage a war on the Catholic Church.

Bill Donohue, president of New York-based, conservative anti-discrimination group, was responding to a tweet from Kenney saying Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput's ...Read more

Philly archbishop: No Communion for sexually active gay, unwed or divorced couples

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA -- Divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, as well as cohabitating unmarried couples, must "refrain from sexual intimacy" to receive Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has asserted in a new set of pastoral guidelines.

Released Friday, the guidelines instruct clergy and other ...Read more

Study: Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON -- Christians are the most persecuted of any religious group around the world, facing harassment in 108 countries.

A study by Pew Research Center found that harassment of Christians in 2014 by both governments and society as a whole increased from 102 countries in 2013. The study considered harassment to be both verbal and physical ...Read more

Presbyterian delegates 'deeply regret' past treatment of gays

Religion / Religious News /

U.S. Presbyterians approved a statement expressing regret for a history of marginalizing gays and other sexual minorities while also lamenting the loss of members who left the denomination over its eventual approval of ordaining and marrying gays.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s top legislative body, meeting in Portland, Ore., this week, ...Read more

Pope issues new guidelines for removing bishops in sexual-abuse cover-ups

Religion / Religious News /

ROME -- Catholic bishops guilty of covering up cases of child sex abuse should be subject to removal said the Vatican Saturday as it laid out new legal guidelines, part of Pope Francis' attempts to clean up the church's tarnished image after years of scandals.

A bishop "may legitimately be removed from office for acts committed or omitted by ...Read more

Woman is first consecrated virgin in Diocese of Fresno

Religion / Religious News /

FRSENO, Calif. -- Victoria Selkirk on Sunday became the first person within the Diocese of Fresno to join a special order within the Roman Catholic Church for people who promise to live a life of chastity.

Those within the Order of Virgins continue to live "in the world" and do not reside in convents, like nuns. It's estimated there are fewer ...Read more

Amid growing tension, Muslim convention aims to dispel 'destructive myths' about Islam

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE -- Amid a presidential campaign season that has seen increased anti-Muslim rhetoric, and in the wake of Islamic State-inspired attacks in California and abroad, a national Muslim-American organization is bringing its annual convention to Baltimore this weekend. It expects to draw tens of thousands for programs aimed at "dispelling ...Read more

Twin Cities Archdiocese files plan to settle with abuse victims

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS--The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed its financial reorganization plan in bankruptcy court Thursday, offering a strategy for regaining financial stability while compensating an expected 400 clergy abuse claims.

The plan calls for the creation of a $65 million trust fund for victims, which could increase if further ...Read more

Pastor at Saddleback Church turned his life around while serving 25-to-life terms for double murder

Religion / Religious News /

LAKE FOREST, Calif. -- Danny Duchene dropped to his knees as pastor Rick Warren led a prayer over him, the recently named pastor for Saddleback Church's prison ministry.

"The greatest feeling in life is being used by God for something larger than yourself," Warren said after announcing Duchene's new job. "God can use anybody because of his ...Read more

United Methodists approve commission to study sexuality issues

Religion / Religious News /

The United Methodist Church's top legislative body meets only once every four years, so the stakes were high as its General Conference met over the past 10 days in Portland, Ore.

Faced with about 100 legislative proposals on sexuality -- to the backdrop of floor protests and growing defiance of the church's bans on gay marriage and ordination -...Read more

United Methodists approve commission to study sexuality issues

Religion / Religious News /

The United Methodist Church's top legislative body meets only once every four years, so the stakes were high as its General Conference met over the past 10 days in Portland, Ore.

Faced with about 100 legislative proposals on sexuality -- to the backdrop of floor protests and growing defiance of the church's bans on gay marriage and ordination -...Read more

Kansas pastor could still face trial as Methodists review gay clergy ban

Religion / Religious News /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The decision Wednesday by Methodist bishops to call for a full review of church policy toward gays and lesbians has been hailed as historic and could deter growing talk of a split in the denomination.

But the action at the Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore., left a big question unanswered: What happens in the ...Read more

Father of Scientology's leader: 'I lost my family'

Religion / Religious News /

One day in 1969, a father took his son to a South Jersey restaurant to see a man about Scientology. Decades later, the revelations that unfolded there steered the father and son into hinterlands of dysfunctions.

Ron Miscavige Sr., 80, doesn't regret taking his second son, David, to Ogle's Cafeteria in Woodbury, N.J., that day. David, then 9, ...Read more

Atheist group's anti-Noah's Ark billboard rejected

Religion / Religious News /

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A group of atheists based in Northern Kentucky raised $10,000 for a billboard protesting the soon-to-open Ark Encounter amusement park, a place where Christian scripture is taken so literally that a Noah's Ark replica is being built using ancient measurements called "cubits."

But two billboard companies have rejected the Tri-...Read more

Woman blazes path to train Catholic priests

Religion / Religious News /

MUNDELEIN, Ill. -- On the bucolic Mundelein campus that houses a theological university and the largest Roman Catholic seminary in the U.S., there are 220 men studying to be priests -- plus one woman about to join a small cadre of female faithful blazing new paths.

On Saturday, Dawn Eden Goldstein was expected to graduate from the campus' ...Read more

For Hindus far from home, online religious services can be a valued connection

Religion / Religious News /

NOIDA, India -- Four Hindu priests sat cross-legged on the floor in front of silver trays of rice, flowers and vermillion powder, chanting in low baritones that reverberated off the bare walls of the old brick temple.

An iPhone propped on a chair captured the service -- known as a puja -- and beamed it via Skype to a home in San Francisco, ...Read more

Religious convictions drive state legislation

Religion / Religious News /

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When Tennessee lawmakers approved making the Bible the state book, Kira Marshall could only shrug. She was chagrined, yes -- surprised, no.

Faced with a changing state, a changing nation -- men can marry men, and women can marry women -- Tennessee lawmakers decided to make a stand, she said.

"They feel that all this is an ...Read more

Thousands flock to 'miracle' icon at south suburban Chicago church

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO--As millions of Orthodox Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Easter this Sunday and the miracle of Jesus Christ's resurrection, thousands across the Chicago area are flocking to a southwest suburban parish to see what they believe to be a different miracle.

Since July, tiny droplets of fragrant oil have trickled down an ...Read more