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A Muslim leader from South Jersey connects communities and builds bridges

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA — A word common to Arabic, Persian, and Urdu — three of the languages Muqqadas Ejaz uses in addition to English — aptly describes her mission. The word is muhsen, and it means “doing good.”

Muhsen also is the name of one of the half-dozen local and national American Muslim organizations to which Ejaz — an advocate, ...Read more

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Defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick criminally charged with sexual assault of teen nearly 50 years ago

Religion / Religious News /

Former U.S. Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy nearly 50 years ago, court documents show.

McCarrick, who was defrocked by the Vatican in 2019 over sexual abuse allegations, was charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, according to The Boston...Read more

Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

'A bridge between college and the working world': Faith-based program offers grads jobs, housing

Religion / Religious News /

PITTSBURGH — Ryan Brownfield grew up in a small town and elected to go to Waynesburg University in Greene County — just two blocks away from his family’s home. When he graduated in 2020 with a business degree, he was slightly apprehensive about traveling 50 miles north to work in the big city of Pittsburgh.

Despite the challenges of COVID...Read more

Rebeccca Slezak/TNS

Faithful gather in Lebanon, Kansas -- center of mainland US -- to pray for America

Religion / Religious News /

Christians from around the country gathered in the geographic center of the 48 contiguous U.S. states near Lebanon, Kansas, Friday to pray for America.

The event, called Prayer at the Heart of America, was organized by P. Douglas Small, president of Project Pray.

The website for the event states “Prayer At the Heart is a call to the family ...Read more

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Light Notes: 'Clogs' can block what matters most in life

Religion / Religious News /

“Ouch!”

I banged my head once again while under the sink trying to figure out why the faucet flow was reduced to a trickle. After a number of efforts and not a little consternation on my part, the source of the clog was found and full flow was restored much to my satisfaction, sore forehead notwithstanding.

Clogs. I’m referring to ...Read more

Filippo Monteforte/AFP/AFP/TNS

Commentary: The pope cracks down on the Latin Mass, putting traditionalists in a bind

Religion / Religious News /

The news that Pope Francis will reimpose limits on the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass will disappoint and even enrage devotees of that ritual. But traditionalist Catholics who appreciated the revival of the old form encouraged by Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, are caught in a couple of contradictions.

The first is that ...Read more

Francine Orr/TNS

New Lady of La Vang statue expected to attract faithful from around the Vietnamese diaspora

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES — A canvas drape covered the statue, but that did not stop tourists from filming themselves in front of it.

With a selfie stick decked in images of the old South Vietnamese flag, Vinh Hoang of Houston narrated for a Facebook post.

After it is unveiled this weekend, the 12-foot-tall Virgin Mary, as she is believed to have looked ...Read more

Amir Hoso/TNS

Light Notes: Shake it off and go about God's business

Religion / Religious News /

Heat waves shimmied in rhythm from the basalt lip of rock. It was hot, I was bone tired and — with 21 miles behind me — I still had eight more to go.

A moment’s rest wouldn’t do any harm.

I eased around a wide lip of rock on the bank of a rushing river. Looking for a semi-flat surface to plant my bottom and feet, I said out loud, “...Read more

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Uninvited to serve on Christian group's board after coming out, Seattle man starts nonprofit for queer youth of faith

Religion / Religious News /

SEATTLE — It was Alex Churchman's mother who found Beloved Arise first. She was searching for a way to help her 13-year-old, who had been questioning his gender identity and hospitalized after an attempt to harm himself.

Ashley Churchman, who lives in Arkansas with Alex, saw an Instagram post by the Seattle-based organization, started last ...Read more

Vatican Media/IPA/IPA via ZUMA Press/TNS

Pope Francis hospitalized for scheduled surgery

Religion / Religious News /

Pope Francis was taken to a hospital in Rome Sunday afternoon for a scheduled surgery, the Vatican announced.

The 84-year-old pontiff is undergoing surgery for symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon, during which small bulges or sacs form from the wall of the large intestine. If left untreated and allowed to become more severe, ...Read more

Jessica Griffin/TNS

A young rabbi reveals to his flock that he has been in recovery from opioid addiction for a decade

Religion / Religious News /

Rabbi Michael Perice told his Burlington County, N.J., congregation Monday that he has been in recovery from opioid addiction for 10 years and hopes to help lift the stigma on people experiencing substance abuse disorder or other mental health challenges.

Perice, 35, of Philadelphia, made the disclosure during a Zoom call with more than 80 ...Read more

Saul Loeb/AFP/AFP via Getty Images/TNS

Commentary: Memo to Saddleback Church: Replacing Pastor Rick Warren is a minefield

Religion / Religious News /

Rick Warren’s announcement on June 6 that he plans to step away from his role as lead pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, raises the issue of succession in evangelical megachurches. It’s a fraught process, complete with cautionary tales from other congregations.

First, we should appreciate the scale of Warren’s ...Read more

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Light Notes: Welcome strangers as acts of radical hospitality

Religion / Religious News /

Welcome!

You’ve seen such signs on paper, carved in wood, and flashing in neon.

What a warm, inviting word, usually ending in an exclamation point rather than a period. When spoken, the body gesture is usually arms extended forward, palms up, the facial expression a smile. The eyes seem kind as they focus on those being greeted.

Turning ...Read more

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Kansas City diocese hasn't named all priests credibly accused of sex abuse, group says

Religion / Religious News /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese has failed to include nearly 20 priests on its list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse even though they are named elsewhere, a victim's advocate group said Wednesday.

Those priests — including one convicted in Texas of trying to hire a hit man to kill his victim— all had ties to ...Read more

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/New York Daily News/TNS

Editorial: Catholic bishops' threat to Biden over abortion is divisive and self-defeating

Religion / Religious News /

In targeting America’s second Catholic president with a threat to deny Joe Biden the Eucharist over his abortion rights support, U.S. bishops risk deepening what is already a destructive rift among the nation’s Catholics. It also puts the bishops at odds with a president who is far more aligned than his political opponents are with the ...Read more

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

A rabbi was having trouble with his vision. So, he created a Braille Sefer Torah

Religion / Religious News /

PITTSBURGH — Rabbi Lenny Sarko had a problem that was threatening to derail his career.

After spending years as an environmental scientist creating recycling systems for corporations nationwide, Rabbi Sarko realized he was done with all the travel and decided to pursue a job related to his one true passion: Judaism. That was 15 years ago, and...Read more

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/TNS

Biden says he doubts US bishops will deny him communion

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said he doesn’t believe U.S. Catholic bishops will adopt a policy denying him communion.

“That’s a private matter and I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Biden told reporters Friday at the White House.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted Friday at their annual spring meeting to create...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Light Notes: What is worth the risk? Step up to save what matters

Religion / Religious News /

Two soldiers waved our van to the side of the road, where a mangy dog finished his scratch before ambling out of our path.

I was drenched with sweat in the tropical heat and humidity, as were my traveling partners. Along with 11 other men, I had traveled to this area to make the first contact with an isolated hill tribe.

About that time, the ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Local priests group releases statement in support of same-sex unions

Religion / Religious News /

PITTSBURGH — A group representing some Pittsburgh priests and lay people issued its support for same-sex unions and LGBTQ people in response to the Vatican’s declaration this spring that the Catholic Church does not have the authority to bless same-sex unions.

In a statement released Monday, the Association of Pittsburgh Priests argued that...Read more

Ashley Landis/Dallas Morning News/TNS

The fight within the Southern Baptist Convention: Will an ultraconservative faction 'take the ship'?

Religion / Religious News /

As thousands of members of the Southern Baptist Convention gathered in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday to determine the future of the nation’s largest and most powerful evangelical Christian denomination, the Rev. Dwight McKissic Sr. got ready to consign the group to his past.

The 65-year-old Black pastor in Arlington, Texas, who has been ...Read more