Health & Spirit

Bay Area churches are building housing in God's backyard

Religion / Religious News /

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- There's a new acronym floating in the alphabet soup of California housing parlance: YIGBY, or "yes in God's backyard."

Congregations in the Bay Area and beyond are taking steps to build affordable housing on their properties to shelter some of the many local residents who can't pay the region's sky-high rents. Housing ...Read more

After year of scandal, US Catholic bishops approve measures to hold themselves accountable

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE -- The nation's Roman Catholic bishops overwhelmingly -- though not unanimously -- approved a new framework Thursday for policing their own conduct, hoping it would be enough to stanch a series of scandals that brought to light sexual misconduct and inaction within their ranks over the last year.

The measures include a new code of ...Read more

Religious communities consider how much faith to put in marijuana

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA -- On June 2, at a Philadelphia synagogue, Karen Michaels attended a conference about cannabis and various religions' views on it. She knows she was there because she has the notes she wrote. But she can't recall a minute of it.

The former community health administrator from Fairmount has no short-term memory. It was violently ...Read more

Spiritual Life: There's a voice crying in the wilderness. Listen and respond

Religion / Religious News /

"Did you hear that?"

"Yeah," my friend responded. "I think so."

We stood stock-still, straining to hear the sound again.

The sun was setting over one of the most breathtaking scenes imaginable. We were just below the Wenatchee Guard Station standing on a basalt spine in the Umatilla National Forest. The gulf below us broke away with a steep, ...Read more

Petition, evidence being gathered to ask Vatican to remove Fort Worth Bishop Olson

Religion / Religious News /

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Hundreds of parishioners from across the Diocese of Fort Worth have begun the process to ask Pope Francis to remove Bishop Michael Olson.

Philip Gray, a canon lawyer and president of The St. Joseph Foundation, is advising the groups, gathering evidence and writing the petition. There are nine cases being brought against ...Read more

Facing new scandals, US Catholic bishops try again to devise ways to police themselves on sex abuse

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE -- Amid a clergy sex abuse scandal that has shown no sign of abating, America's Roman Catholic bishops began their annual spring conference Tuesday with pledges to implement a series of first-ever measures aimed at holding each other accountable for misconduct.

Up for debate are new protocols for investigating prelates accused of ...Read more

Attorneys for La Luz del Mundo leader accused of sex abuse claim 'high-tech hit job'

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- Attorneys for the leader of the La Luz del Mundo church said Friday that the so-called apostle of Jesus Christ is innocent of the multiple sex abuse charges he faces and is instead a victim of attempts by his enemies to disgrace his reputation.

Standing next to church officials and family members of Naason Joaquin Garcia in front...Read more

California attorney general seeks potential victims in La Luz del Mundo sexual abuse case

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- Following the arrest this week of the leader of La Luz del Mundo church on sexual abuse and charges, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Thursday said that Naason Joaquin Garcia's unprecedented $50-million bail amount was merited.

At a news conference in Sacramento, the state's top prosecutor said Garcia's high bail ...Read more

Catholic bishop: No communion for Democratic leaders for supporting 'abominable' Illinois abortion rights bill

Religion / Religious News /

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton have been banned from receiving communion in Springfield-area churches because of their support for legislation that expands abortion access.

The decree barring Illinois' two highest-ranking lawmakers -- both Catholic Democrats from Chicago -- from taking the sacrament ...Read more

La Luz del Mundo faithful say 'the Apostle' did not abuse children

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- Within hours after news broke that "the Apostle" had been arrested on human trafficking, rape and child pornography charges, bishops of La Luz del Mundo exhorted church members via video to start praying for their leader, and not stop.

The doors of Naason Joaquin Garcia's church in East Los Angeles -- one of about 40 in Southern ...Read more

US, Mexico shaken by child porn charges against La Luz Del Mundo church leader

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- The arrest of the leader of the La Luz Del Mundo church following allegations that he sexually abused children and solicited sexually explicit photos of minors has sent shock waves through Mexico and the United States.

Naason Joaquin Garcia, 50, and co-defendants Alondra Ocampo, Azalea Rangel Melendez and Susana Medina Oaxaca -- ...Read more

Jailed Australian Cardinal Pell appeals child sex abuse convictions

Religion / Religious News /

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Australian Cardinal George Pell, who is serving a six-year sentence for sexually abusing two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral in the mid-1990s, appeared in court Wednesday to appeal his convictions.

The former Vatican treasurer and onetime close adviser to Pope Francis appeared in the Victoria Supreme Court flanked by ...Read more

Leader of La Luz Del Mundo religious group arrested on suspicion of rape, child pornography

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- California prosecutors on Tuesday announced that a top leader of the La Luz Del Mundo religious organization based in Mexico was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, production of child pornography, forcible rape of a minor and other felonies.

Naason Joaquin Garcia, a leader of the organization that claims more than 1 ...Read more

Cricket in full swing on Ramadan nights

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- By 1:30 a.m. the cricket matches at the West Covina ballpark were in full swing. Farrukh Zafar stood in front of the wicket and gripped the flat bat made of willow wood, his eyes glued on the bowler who stood 22 yards away.

It was Zafar's job to protect the wicket, the bowler's job to hit it. The bowler hurled the ball, Zafar ...Read more

Should California force priests to report child-molestation confessions?

Religion / Religious News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The law has long treated confession of sin to a priest as sacred. Even clergy who hear a fellow priest's confession to sexually abusing a child generally can't be compelled to report it to authorities.

But should they be?

California lawmakers are considering that fundamental question amid heightened scrutiny of the child ...Read more

5 Catholic priests charged in Michigan sex abuse investigation

Religion / Religious News /

DETROIT -- As part of her investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Friday criminal sexual conduct charges against five priests in Michigan.

"Some of these clergy ... preyed on young children," Nessel said at a news conference of the five men who were priests at the time of the abuse. ...Read more

Prejudice and progress: Women with hijabs talk about what it's like to wear the Muslim headscarf

Religion / Religious News /

Wrapped tightly around her head, with no softly draping fabric to distract her during meetings at her tech startup, Dilara Sayeed's hijab is American in more ways than one.

Her hijab, or Muslim headscarf, has a sleek, professional profile that is mostly seen in the U.S.

And the spirit with which Sayeed, a former Democratic candidate for the ...Read more

Minnesota Muslims shift toward eco-friendly practices during Ramadan

Religion / Religious News /

As the clock approached midnight, volunteers in the kitchen of the Islamic Center of Minnesota's women-only clubhouse washed cutlery and ceramic plates to be used for the next iftar dinner in the days to come.

It made more work, but that meant less trash after the traditional evening meal to break the fast during Ramadan.

"A few years ago, ...Read more

Agnostic Minneapolis painter gives the Old Testament a colorful, surreal new look

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- The idea came to Samuel Robertson at a moment of artistic aimlessness. He was painting -- but haltingly. And his works didn't have a theme or deeper purpose. Robertson considered whether to illustrate one of his favorite books, which might help him tap an existing fan base. He weighed one title, then another.

Then it hit him: the...Read more

Ramadan fasting can conflict with diabetes and other medical concerns

Religion / Religious News /

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is integral in the lives of Muslims, but it's not always safe for everyone to participate.

Some health-care providers may not understand the religious importance of fasting during Ramadan, which this year spans from May 5 to June 4. At the same time, some Muslim patients may be inclined...Read more


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