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Sex slavery and forced labor charges lodged against La Luz del Mundo church

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- When leaders of La Luz del Mundo church said they needed money, she turned over all her earnings.

When they wanted sex, she gave them her body, beginning at age 9.

And when they wanted her to recruit other children to be groomed for sexual slavery, she did that too, she said -- until the weight of it all, combined with brutal ...Read more

Man sues Archdiocese of LA, Cardinal Mahony and ex-priest at center of abuse scandal

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- A 32-year-old man filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony and an ex-priest who was returned to parish duties even after admitting to molesting children.

Mahony went on to reassign Michael Baker to several other Roman Catholic parishes, where he abused more boys, many of them ...Read more

Pope Francis refuses to open door to married priests in the Amazon

Religion / Religious News /

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis did not endorse a proposal to let married men serve as priests in the Amazon region, in what would have been a special exception to a long-standing celibacy rule for clergy.

The exception, albeit limited to the Amazon region, would have likely enraged traditionalists, who already see Francis' papacy as too liberal. ...Read more

Light Notes: Have the 'heart' to be a light in today's world

Religion / Religious News /

"Don't be discouraged by your incapacity to dispel darkness from the world; light your candle and step forward."

This wisdom from contemporary Hindu spiritual teacher Amma hangs on my fridge as a constant reminder of how to live in this troubled world.

For at least 100 years writers have used some version of the proverb "It is better to light ...Read more

Michigan Episcopal diocese welcomes first female, openly gay bishop

Religion / Religious News /

DETROIT -- Since its formation in 1836, no woman or openly gay priest has ever been elected to lead the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.

That changed Saturday, when the Rev. Bonnie Perry was ordained and consecrated as the body's 11th bishop, overseeing more than 16,000 baptized members across the state.

She succeeds the Right Rev. Wendell N. ...Read more

Spiritual Life: Find your 'happy place' in the person of Christ

Religion / Religious News /

If you could be anywhere right now, where would that be? Would you rather be someplace else?

Recently, I asked that question to open a sermon. Uh-oh.

Because what if your honest answer, even during church is, "Yes, I'd rather be at the football game!" Or, "I'd rather be on a cruise, or in the mountains, or at the Oregon Coast -- reading, ...Read more

A year after high-profile split, chapel revamps, and Pastor James MacDonald sues radio host 'Mancow'

Religion / Religious News /

It has been a year since the relationship between Harvest Bible Chapel and Pastor James MacDonald began to dissolve.

Since MacDonald's ouster, Harvest has completely revamped its leadership team, replacing the single senior pastor model with an executive leadership team. By next month, two churches, one in Naples, Florida, and another in Niles,...Read more

Minnesota priest apologizes for criticizing Islam in sermon

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Rice County, Minn., Catholic priest apologized Wednesday for describing Islam as "the greatest threat in the world," both to the United States and Christianity itself, in a recent sermon.

"My homily on immigration contained words that were hurtful to Muslims," the Rev. Nick VanDenBroeke said in a statement posted on the website...Read more

In Sunday homily, Rice County priest called Muslim immigrants a threat

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Muslim organization is calling on the Minnesota Catholic Conference to repudiate a sermon by a Rice County priest in which he describes Islam as the "greatest threat in the world" both to the United States and Christianity itself.

The Rev. Nick VanDenBroeke, pastor of the 100-year-old Church of the Immaculate Conception in ...Read more

Spiritual Life: Tis the season for believers to put this into practice

Religion / Religious News /

"Tis the season!" was said over and over during December.

"To everything there is a season. ..." said the wise one in ancient Holy Scripture (and wrote Pete Seeger nearly six decades ago).

"Four Seasons" describes many things from a hotel chain to a symphony by Vivaldi.

Aside from a term for spices, season is mostly used in two ways related ...Read more

Nelson Perez greets Philadelphia faithful day after being named the next archbishop

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA -- While Nelson Perez was a priest in Philadelphia more than a decade ago, he often came to confess his sins at the Shrine of St. John Neumann, the fourth bishop of Philadelphia, whose body is entombed inside the shrine in the city's Northern Liberties section.

At the time, Perez had no idea -- he'd one day succeed Neumann himself....Read more

Cleveland Bishop Nelson Perez is named Philly's next archbishop

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA -- Pope Francis on Thursday named Cleveland Bishop Nelson Perez as the next head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, making him the first Hispanic archbishop to lead the region's 1.3-million-member flock.

Born in Miami, raised in New Jersey and ordained at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., Perez, 58, ...Read more

Light Notes: Quiet please! God would like to speak

Religion / Religious News /

I love to talk. That's why I married a man of few words ... a guy who likes action. Bill can paint the house, mow our five acres of pasture and drive to the "other Washington" in the time it takes me to get to the point of a conversation.

Which is exactly my point. I want to bend his ear when I have his full attention.

So, when I found him ...Read more

Trump courts religious groups with rules that worry LGBTQ groups

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump unveiled a slew of rule proposals Thursday intended to expand the ability of religious groups to get federal money and to loosen restrictions on how they spend it, courting a valuable political constituency as the Senate began a critical phase of the impeachment process.

The nod toward Trump's evangelical ...Read more

Bill would replace Bible courses in Ky. schools with 'variety of religious texts'

Religion / Religious News /

Approximately 10 to 15 school districts in Kentucky are currently offering Bible literacy courses, but a bill introduced in the 2020 General Assembly would replace them with classes on "various religious texts" of the many religions practiced in the state.

State Rep. McKenzie Cantrell, D-Louisville, said she introduced House Bill 243 this week ...Read more

Benedict XVI disowns co-authorship of controversial celibacy book

Religion / Religious News /

VATICAN CITY -- Retired pope Benedict XVI never agreed to appear as the co-author of a controversial book on priestly celibacy, his personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, said Tuesday.

It was a remarkable disavowal of a work seen by many as both an attack on Pope Francis' authority and a serious breach of Benedict's promise to remain "...Read more

Spiritual Life: Follow Jesus in speaking and living truth in love

Religion / Religious News /

Thinking back on my boyhood in West Richland, Wash., I sometimes wonder how growing up during the Cold War shaped my worldview.

Probably not much.

My eyes were filled with wonder when I saw thousands of army troops covering our whole area in war games. But even though news accounts of the day spoke of our U-2 spy plane being shot down over ...Read more

Can this church be saved? Split on LGBTQ issues, United Methodists consider divorce

Religion / Religious News /

SAN DIEGO -- Sexual issues lead to many divorces. That includes the threatened split in the United Methodist Church. Divided on same-sex marriage and the status of LGBTQ believers, the nation's third largest Christian denomination -- after Catholicism and the Southern Baptist Convention -- may soon break up.

"No one celebrates separation. I ...Read more

In a church of their own, Latino atheists fear no God. But Mom? That's another matter

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- Once a month, a very particular Sunday service unfolds on a patio outside a Starbucks in El Monte. When jets fly overhead, members of the congregation have to shout across the table at one another.

Some days, there's a small crowd, and the conversation lasts for hours. On other days, Arlene Rios waits alone.

It's not easy being ...Read more

Light Notes: No malarkey! There are mistakes I never want to make

Religion / Religious News /

I like to learn from mistakes ... especially other people's. And from my experience that dates back to typewriters and dinosaurs roaming the Earth, it's a sure-fire way to avoid trouble.

That's why, when my husband and I were thinking about getting a new bicycle rack come spring, a device that would mount on top of our Jeep, I had misgivings; ...Read more