SAN DIEGO -- A legal group and six parents have filed a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of a San Diego Unified School District plan to protect Muslim students from bullying.
"It's our position that the anti-bullying policies should protect all students regardless of ethnicity and affiliation, and they shouldn't be singling out any...Read more
CHICAGO -- Harold Katz didn't require a crash course in Hebrew before his bar mitzvah next week in Wilmette, Ill. He started preparing 76 years ago, and his skills never got rusty.
Katz, 89, who lives in a North Side retirement home, was to have celebrated the occasion in Czechoslovakia back in 1941. But that plan -- like so many others -- was ...Read more
LOS ANGELES -- A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against an Irvine synagogue by a group seeking to protect poultry.
The suit alleged that accepting donations to slaughter chickens as part of the ancient Yom Kippur atonement rite known as Kaparot constitutes an unfair business practice.
United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit dedicated to ...Read more
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- The controversy began, as many do these days, with an online petition.
A senior at Mercy High School in Middletown, an all-girls Catholic school, wanted to bring another girl as her date to the prom. The school's longstanding policy was clear -- girls go with friends or bring a boy as a date.
More than 1,800 signed the ...Read more
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Who will be the next Billy Graham?
The Charlotte-born Graham is now 98, lives quietly in his mountain home in Montreat, N.C., and hasn't preached to a packed-stadium crusade in 12 years.
Yet no "next Billy Graham" has emerged -- that is, no American religious figure who commands as much fame, impact, and respect as Graham ...Read more
MILWAUKEE -- A Capuchin friar born in Wisconsin in 1870 was beatified Thursday by Pope Francis, the third of four steps to becoming a saint.
Father Solanus Casey co-founded the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit in 1929, which continues to provide food, clothing and human development programs, including as many as 2,000 meals each day.
He was ...Read more
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Each Wednesday, the Latzke family heads to their Bloomington church for an evening of religious education and a worship service. Sunday is too packed to squeeze in church, so now Wednesday is their day -- as it is for thousands of busy Minnesotans.
"Wednesday is the new Sunday," is what some clergy call this trend ...Read more
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Josh Stewart differs from most atheists. He'll tell you there is no God.
But when he gets together with other faithless folks in the Kansas City Atheist Coalition, they color code their name tags. One hue for those who are proudly public about their beliefs, another for whom photographers are asked to avoid.
"It is an issue...Read more
Secret of the Warlock's CryptTom Hayes
Cryptic drawings, maps, strange symbols. This is what Mike Hilliard discovers as he investigates the long-dead millionaire Titus Morley. The strange symbols & drawings hover in Mike’s dreams as he rambles through the summer with Billy, a photography intern at the historical society ...
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Saying that Girl Scouts is "no longer a compatible partner in helping us form young women with the virtues and values of the Gospel," the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas is severing ties with the organization and switching its support to a Christian-based scouting program.
"I have asked the pastors of the Archdiocese to...Read more
CAIRO -- Pope Francis left Egypt charmed Saturday after a two-day visit during which he embraced Muslim leaders and challenged religious extremists.
"Everyone was really touched with his sincerity," Vivian Gobran of Cairo said after attending a Mass that Francis celebrated at the suburban Air Defense Stadium Saturday. "He brought his blessing ...Read more
CAIRO -- Pope Francis on Friday won over the Egyptian audience with his first few words, spoken in Arabic: "Peace be with you."
"There is no justification for violence," he said to applause during a peace conference in Cairo, adding that it's the responsibility of clerics and other religious leaders to expose those responsible for extremist ...Read more
CAIRO -- In video posted online this week by the Vatican, Pope Francis sounds excited about his two-day trip to Egypt starting Friday, despite recent terrorist attacks.
"As salaam alaikum -- peace be with you! ... Thank you for having invited me to visit Egypt, which you call Umm al Dunya, Mother of the World," the pope read from prepared ...Read more
WICHITA, Kan. -- People at Wichita Oasis start showing up at around 10 on Sunday morning, drinking coffee and chatting before the music begins.
Once children are safely in the large playroom -- complete with a chalk wall, a tent and plenty of toys -- the adults and youths find their seats, ready for music and announcements.
But when the music ...Read more
ST. LOUIS -- Catholic educators greeted a grim reality Tuesday at the start of their annual convention in St. Louis: they face a Catholic school enrollment that has shrunk 19 percent in a decade.
The National Catholic Educational Association convention, the largest private education gathering in the country, drew almost 8,000 attendees in St. ...Read more
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte attorney Noah Allen had always been able to endure, even mask, a lot of pain. But by the fall of 2016, severe muscle cramps were waking him up in the middle of the night, leaving him writhing, crying and dripping with sweat.
It felt like his locked muscles were going to snap his bones.
His wife, Haley, eight months...Read more
BALTIMORE -- When the longtime organist at St. John's Episcopal Church in Havre de Grace, Md., announced her retirement last fall, the leaders of the small 200-year-old congregation faced a bigger challenge than they knew.
Music -- particularly the music of the organ -- is central to the life of the church. Members say the instrument's rich ...Read more
RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina pastor John Pavlovitz is no stranger to controversy.
Pavlovitz, who lives in Wake Forest, N.C., and works as a pastor at North Raleigh Community Church Downtown, has a blog called "Stuff that needs to be said" in which he writes about a myriad of topics and has garnered criticism for his politics and preaching.
FORT WORTH, Texas -- A Texas inmate has won a 12-year battle with the state over access to kosher meals in prison.
Inmate Max Moussazadeh dropped his federal lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice after persuading the state to provide kosher food not only to him but to all Orthodox Jewish inmates in Texas.
The 5th U.S. ...Read more
PHILADELPHIA -- A New Jersey teenager pleaded guilty Monday to plotting to assassinate Pope Francis during his 2015 visit to Philadelphia, court records show.
Seventeen-year-old Santos Colon, of Lindenwold, N.J., confessed to soliciting a sniper whom he asked to shoot the pope during his homily at the World Meeting of Families closing Mass, and...Read more
LOS ANGELES -- Varun Soni straightened his shoulders and grasped the lectern, his dark suit flanked by the stately white robes of priests and ministers.
A beloved professor had been stabbed to death. As USC's head chaplain, it fell to Soni to help the hundreds gathered outside that day to process their loss.
And so he spoke to them of the ...Read more
- Parents sue San Diego school district over Islamophobia bullying policy
- Judge rules against group that sued California synagogue over ritual chicken slaughter
- Delayed by Nazis, bar mitzvah to now be celebrated by 89-year-old Holocaust survivor
- Catholic schools try to find balance on LGBT issues
- Kansas archdiocese severs ties with Girl Scouts and urges end to cookie sales