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Church of England bishops refuse to back same-sex marriages

Religion / Religious News /

Bishops of the Church of England said Wednesday they will continue to refuse to perform same-sex marriages, reaffirming that “holy matrimony is between one man and one woman for life.”

The announcement comes after a six-year period of “listening, learning and discernment” on issues related to sexuality, relationships and marriage.

...Read more

Ana Ramirez/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Persecuted in Russia for her faith, Jehovah's Witness wins asylum in San Diego

Religion / Religious News /

SAN DIEGO — When a San Diego immigration judge told Olga Ponomareva that she would be allowed to stay in the United States, she wanted to leap in the air.

She and her 72-year-old mother had just won asylum because of the religious persecution they experienced as Jehovah’s Witnesses in their home country of Russia. She maintained her ...Read more

Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Minister Steve Pieters endured the AIDS crisis. He's a beacon of faith battling new virus

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- Minutes before KABC-TV’s nightly news show 330 went on the air, the Rev. Steven Pieters wasn’t in the studio chatting with the other panelists. He’d been exiled outside, to a dark alley next to the AIDS Project Los Angeles office in Hollywood.

It was 1986, and Pieters was scheduled to participate in a five-member panel to ...Read more

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Supreme Court appears set to expand workers' right to time off for religious observance

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Friday to rule on extending federal civil rights law to protect workers who seek to take time off for religious observance.

The justices voted to hear an appeal from a former U.S. postal worker and evangelical Christian who was disciplined and eventually quit because he refused to deliver packages on ...Read more

Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS

The minister and trauma psychologist bridging the worlds of spirituality and psychology

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES — The men's choir had just brought down the house with the gospel classic "Miracle Worker" when Thema Bryant danced up to the lectern at First AME Church in South L.A.

Rising to the full height of her slim, 5-foot-7 frame, the 49-year-old ordained minister and psychologist smiled wide at the congregation before launching into her ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Editorial: Jehovah's Witnesses abuse scandal is a reminder to end cover-up culture

Religion / Religious News /

Locked inside the Jehovah's Witnesses world headquarters are secret files detailing sexual abuse by members of the religious denomination. Some of those files are slowly coming to light thanks to a grand jury investigation by state Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro's office that was spurred by The Inquirer.

With Shapiro scheduled to be...Read more

Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS

How a retired LA television executive became publisher of the National Catholic Reporter

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES — In his first column as publisher of the National Catholic Reporter, former television executive and journalist Joe Ferullo declared that the Roman Catholic Church is at a crossroads, pulled between two radically different visions for its future.

Writing in early December, Ferullo explained that a series of synods, or listening ...Read more

Ana Ramirez/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Facing prison in Russia, Jehovah's Witnesses are waiting in San Diego to see if US will protect them

Religion / Religious News /

SAN DIEGO — Twice a week, Olga Ponomareva dresses in some of her nicest clothing to stand on a sidewalk in La Jolla Shores with a display of pamphlets about the Bible.

Most of the pamphlets are in Russian or Ukrainian. Ponomareva smiles and waits. She does not approach anyone but welcomes conversations from passersby.

For Ponomareva, these ...Read more

Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

Maryland state senator signals support for bill Catholic church lobbied against, giving hope to childhood abuse survivors

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — Legislation that would give childhood victims of sexual abuse a chance to sue their abusers, regardless of when it happened, has the support of a key Maryland state senator.

Sen. Will Smith, the Democratic chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee, told The Baltimore Sun he would support what’s previously been known as the “...Read more

Vashon Jordan Jr./Chicago Tribune/TNS

St. Sabina's Fr. Michael Pfleger reinstated after child abuse investigation

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO — The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago reinstated influential Faith Community of St. Sabina leader Fr. Michael Pfleger on Saturday following an investigation into abuse allegations against the priest.

Pfleger was forced away from the church in mid-October after a man in his 40s alleged the priest sexually abused him in the late 1980s, ...Read more

Seattle Archdiocese pays $2.3 million to settle five claims of sexual abuse

Religion / Religious News /

SEATTLE —The Archdiocese of Seattle has paid nearly $2.3 million since August to settle five claims brought by people who alleged they were sexually abused decades ago by clergy and parish school personnel.

The settlements, for allegations of abuse occurring in the 1950s, 1970s, and 1980s, were announced by the archdiocese in November. Three ...Read more

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Some Georgia pastors push back against spread of Christian nationalism

Religion / Religious News /

ATLANTA -- The way the Rev. Will Dyer sees it, if pastors aren’t speaking out against Christian nationalism, then they’re making a huge mistake.

Dyer, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Augusta, Georgia, has addressed the ideology in his sermons and in private conversations with members, cautioning against the philosophy that some say...Read more

Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Catholic church paid Maryland lobbyists more than $200K to help limit, prevent abuse lawsuits

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — For years, the three Roman Catholic dioceses operating parishes in Maryland have successfully lobbied lawmakers to keep sexual abuse survivors from filing lawsuits against the church, a review of lobbying records shows.

Over the past five years, the Maryland Catholic Conference, the church’s public policy arm for the three ...Read more

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

Lawyer for anonymous Catholic group previously pushed for investigation into Baltimore archdiocese

Religion / Religious News /

A lawyer the Catholic Church is paying to represent a group of people named in the Maryland attorney general’s report into clergy sexual abuse previously urged government investigators to look into the church’s past.

Gregg Bernstein, who was Baltimore state’s attorney from 2010 until 2014, met with a group of Catholic abuse victims in ...Read more

Pastors who counseled Johnny Hunt say he should return to ministry

Religion / Religious News /

ATLANTA — Four pastors who spent months counseling Johnny Hunt are drawing criticism from victim advocates and some Southern Baptist Convention leaders for saying the disgraced evangelical leader is restored and ready to return to ministry.

Hunt, a former SBC president, was named in a landmark third-party investigation by Guidepost Solutions ...Read more

Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS

'Keepers' survivors expand arguments on why Maryland AG report into Catholic clergy sexual abuse should be public

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — Women featured in “The Keepers,” a 2017 Netflix documentary series about clergy sexual abuse at a Baltimore-area Catholic girls school in the 1960s and ‘70s, expanded on their request Friday for the full public release of a report examining sexual misconduct by clergy throughout the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Teresa Lancaster...Read more

Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS

'Keepers' survivors file court motion to seek full release of Maryland AG report on Catholic Church abuse

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — Abuse survivors who were featured in “The Keepers,” a widely viewed 2017 Netflix documentary about clergy sexual misconduct at a Baltimore Catholic girls’ school in the 1960s and ’70s, have filed a court motion calling for the full release of a report by the Maryland attorney general on sexual abuse by clergy and other ...Read more

Sacramento Diocese/Sacramento Diocese/TNS

Late Sacramento priest newly accused of child sex abuse as Catholic Church lawsuits pile up

Religion / Religious News /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A late clergyman who served the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento for four decades has been accused for the first time of sexually assaulting a child, joining dozens of Sacramento clergy previously implicated in the Catholic Church’s decades-old abuse scandal.

In a lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court, a 60...Read more

Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

Baltimore archdiocese paying attorney costs for members of group seeking to seal court proceedings in clergy abuse investigation

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — After saying it would not oppose the release of a report detailing decades of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Maryland, the Archdiocese of Baltimore is helping to pay lawyers for an anonymous group that’s asked a city judge to keep secret arguments over whether to make the document public.

A spokesperson for the ...Read more

Alejandro A. Alvarez/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

This church just honored its iconic past. Now a dynamic young pastor wants to help it move forward

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA — The Rev. Dr. Chauncey Pierre Harrison looked barely older than a teenager when he stepped into the pulpit at Zion Baptist Church for the first time as a guest preacher at age 26.

But Harrison, now 32, and in his fourth year as Zion’s senior pastor, has shown no fear about taking a position once held by the late Rev. Leon H. ...Read more