Supreme Court agrees to hear case of religion vs. gay rights over fostering

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide another clash between religion and gay rights, this time involving Philadelphia's refusal to contract with Catholic Social Services over the group's refusal to place foster children with same-sex couples.

The court agreed to hear an appeal from religious-rights advocates who argue that ...Read more

Minnesota pastor leads campaign to try to shift evangelical vote

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rev. Doug Pagitt jumped on stage at his former Minneapolis church with a message that he and his entourage are repeating across the country: Evangelical voters, you can stay true to your Christian faith but not vote for President Donald Trump.

Their "Vote Common Good" campaign, conducted from a bright orange bus making stops ...Read more

Sex abuse cases push Harrisburg Catholic Diocese into bankruptcy

Religion / Religious News /

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, facing sex abuse claims it says it may not be able to pay, filed for bankruptcy protection, citing changing laws and an increasing number of victims.

The church "has struggled to remain financially viable while funding compensation for survivors and continued litigation by survivors," the Pennsylvania ...Read more

Spiritual Life: We all might benefit from a little more gravity

Religion / Religious News /

Gravity can really pull you down. Gravity is serious, or frightening, or critical, or dignified.

Gravitation is a natural pull on things; it can be attractive, but not in a way you might think. You can grave or engrave (sculpt or inscribe) a piece of wood or stone. Gravity has a certain heaviness to it, because it comes from a Latin word for "...Read more

Nelson Perez installed as Philadelphia's archbishop

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA -- As Nelson J. Perez ascended to the archbishop's throne-like ceremonial chair Tuesday, the thousands gathered in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul erupted in cheers, whoops and uproarious applause for the new head of the Philadelphia archdiocese.

"The church of Philadelphia receives a new shepherd, Nelson Perez," ...Read more

Sing a new song unto the Lord: the transgender, nonbinary Rev. Kori Pacyniak

Religion / Religious News /

SAN DIEGO -- The conversation began in typical fashion, with a question many grandparents ask: "When you grow up," Kori Pacyniak's grandmother wondered, "what would you like to be?"

At that point, the chat took an atypical turn.

"I want to be a priest," said Kori, then an 8-year-old girl from a devout Polish Catholic family.

Grandmother: "...Read more

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

Minnesota church Facebook page explodes — with requests for the Illuminati

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rev. Mike Lotzer became pastor of a Burnsville, Minn., church in 2017, and quickly discovered its Facebook page was wildly -- and strangely -- popular.

"There was a steady stream of people (posting) who wanted to connect to the Illuminati," said Lotzer, referring to an ancient secret society that remains a hot topic among ...Read more

Detroit Catholic church parishioners sue to get back ousted priest accused of molestation

Religion / Religious News /

DETROIT -- After 41 years in the priesthood, Father Eduard Perrone wasn't prepared for the hellfire that tore through his parish last summer: He was accused of molesting an altar boy decades earlier, and ousted from his church.

The sex abuse claim blindsided the pastor's loyal flock, though they believe he is innocent -- and have launched an ...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