Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS

Final Mass comes for dozens of Catholic parishes across the St. Louis region

Religion / Religious News /

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — Longtime parishioners of St. Andrew Catholic Church in the Lemay area gathered in the pews Wednesday night to share memories and a prayer of lament.

“In a land where faith was strong, stood a parish proud and long. Named for St. Andrew’s guiding light, a beacon shining through the night. ... As we bid farewell in sorrow...Read more

Why do some Christians so clearly denounce drunkenness as a sin rather than a disease?

Religion / Billy Graham /

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: Aren’t there some positive aspects of alcohol, and if alcoholism is a disease that plagues a person’s mind and body, why do some Christians so clearly denounce drunkenness as a sin rather than a disease? – A.D.

A: The Bible — not man — says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler,...Read more

The God Squad: Take my liver, please

Religion / God Squad /

I am getting bored with the cremation vs. in-ground burial debate we have been having these past few weeks because it has mainly become an argument about money…

Q: You refer to the “few hundred dollars” a family can scrape together. May I respectfully advise you, we are discussing the “few big thousands of dollars.” Big difference.”...Read more

How can we come out of the dark world and still make an impact for Christ?

Religion / Billy Graham /

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: The phrase, “‘Come out from among them and be separate,’ says the Lord God,” is troubling to me as a Christian. Can we only be righteous if we have nothing to do with others who also need the righteousness of God? We are to be the light in a dark world. How can we come out of the dark world ...Read more

Is vile speech acceptable, particularly if a person is simply quoting someone else?

Religion / Billy Graham /

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: I was raised by my grandmother after my mother died of alcoholism. Grandma instilled in me a love for Jesus by leading me to Christ and teaching me how to read and understand the Scriptures. When I would try out a nasty word on her, emulating my friends, instead of slapping my mouth, she opened the ...Read more

Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Pope Francis tells trans youth that 'God loves us as we are' -- even 'if we are sinners'

Religion / Religious News /

Pope Francis told a young transgender person that “God loves us just as we are” in a new podcast released Tuesday by the Vatican.

Francis’ comments were featured in the second episode of Vatican Media’s “Popecast” ahead of World Youth Day — a global event set to take place in Lisbon, Portugal, from Aug. 1 to 6.

The leader of the ...Read more

Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS

A church rises from racism to celebrate a centennial of triumphs in Pasadena

Religion / Religious News /

PASADENA, Calif. — Bishop John H. Taylor followed a glimmering golden cross beyond the white bricks and into St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, where dozens had gathered to mark the Pasadena church’s century-long march through history.

The angelic sounds of choir members draped in lavish robes and colorful stoles reverberated off stained glass...Read more

In a vile environment filled with hatred and corruption, filling hearts with fear, how can one extend kindness?

Religion / Billy Graham /

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: There isn’t much said these days about “the pure-hearted.” We are surrounded by a vile environment filled with hatred and corruption, filling hearts with fear. When I go just about anywhere, it’s hard to find many smiles or acts of kindness. If I extend kindness to someone, it seems ...Read more

Are we to be in a constant state of mourning over the sick and the dead?

Religion / Billy Graham /

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: Most people feel that Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is filled with beauty and sound advice, but I’m not sure I properly understand the Beatitudes, and I’m most troubled when Jesus gives blessing to those who mourn. Are we to be in a constant state of mourning over the sick and the dead? – P.M. ...Read more

Amanda McCoy/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS

Group says Fort Worth bishop overstepping his authority, asks Vatican for his removal

Religion / Religious News /

FORT WORTH, Texas — A group upset with decisions made by Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson has sent a petition to Rome calling for his removal or resignation.

Steve Knobbe, president of the Laity in Unity Foundation said in an interview Friday that the petition and letter were sent to the Vatican and to the the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S...Read more

The God Squad: Still trying to bury the cremation debate…

Religion / God Squad /

Writing this column for almost three decades with, and now without, my pal Father Tom Hartman has been a life-changing opportunity to teach and to learn. One of the main things I have learned is that with every opinion I state I run the risk of hurting the feelings of a dear reader. My defense of in-ground burial has been widely supported by my ...Read more

The God Squad: ‘Thou shalt not cream thy parents’

Religion / God Squad /

I am enjoying the flood of emails on the cremation controversy (or if you prefer, “Turning Mom into Mulch.” However, I still do not understand what is driving the pro-cremation point of view. Since “follow the money” has always seemed to me a prudent investigatory strategy, perhaps it is true that cremation is significantly cheaper than ...Read more

Lord's Prayer is 'problematic' due to 'oppressively patriarchal' reference, says Church of England leader

Religion / Religious News /

The language in the Lord’s Prayer might be “problematic” for some people, the archbishop of York said Friday during his address to a meeting of the Church of England’s ruling body.

The Most Rev. Stephen Cottrell, the archbishop of York, was specifically referring to the words “Our Father,” which opens the prayer that Jesus taught ...Read more


Pope taps US priest known for LGBTQ advocacy to join Vatican meeting on mission of Catholic church

Religion / Religious News /

Pope Francis has selected a Jesuit priest known for his LGBTQ advocacy to take part in a weeks-long gathering of bishops and laypeople later this year.

The Rev. James Martin was one of several high-profile U.S. clerical leaders to be appointed by Francis to participate in the synod of bishops, a closely watched and likely consequential meeting ...Read more

The God Squad: Turning Mom into mulch

Religion / God Squad /

My column last week defending in-ground burial definitely touched a spiritual nerve among many of my dear readers. Most were appreciative of my full-throated defense of traditional Jewish and Christian in-ground burial practices.

Q: Dear Rabbi Gellman, Is cremation more acceptable nowadays? I was taught in the Jewish religion if you are buried...Read more

The God Squad: Dust to ashes, not dust to dust

Religion / God Squad /

Q: I am a woman 74 years young, brought up in a Jewish home. I do not go to the synagogue for holidays but celebrate in my own way at home. I have always tried to share holidays and traditions with my now teenage grandchild. I have recently begun to think about cremation. I have read about what my religion believes about cremation. I believe ...Read more

The God Squad: More little miracles

Religion / God Squad /

Q: Every heartbeat, all 110,000 each day is a modern miracle. Meeting your spouse for the first time is a modern miracle. Each time a car accident is averted is a modern miracle. Finding relatives you never knew you had is a modern miracle. Considering the thousands of years they have sustained us, our sacraments are modern miracles. That�...Read more

The God Squad: Modern miracles?

Religion / God Squad /

Q: You have written about Passover and Easter miracles, citing the plagues of Egypt, the splitting of the Red Sea, and (for Christians) the resurrection of Jesus. One might add that we witness small miracles every day -- in a sunrise, the spontaneous healing of a child, or a sudden unexplainable turn of events.

I have often ...Read more

The God Squad: I don’t need God

Religion / God Squad /

Q: I would like your advice on how to explain to family and friends that I do not relate to or use the term “God.” The main reason is so many people use the term to mean “God” is a person. They speak of “he” or “his” or “him” as if “God” were a person, and a male person at that.

I believe that much of life is out of our...Read more

Meditation 4/17 - 4/23: Be Filled With Joy - Rms 15:7-13 NASB

Religion / Bible Verses /

May you be filled with joy

Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.

For I say that Christ has become a servant to the circumcision on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers, and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written,

"THEREFORE I WILL ...Read more