Health & Spirit

Diocese of San Jose, Calif., lists 15 priests accused of abusing children

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Jose on Thursday released the names of 15 priests accused of sexually abusing children, becoming the latest of several California dioceses to release such lists in recent weeks.

Of the 15 priests, nine are dead and the rest have been permanently banned from the ministry. Four of the men had been ...Read more

Federal authorities launch probe into Pennsylvania Catholic church

Religion / Religious News /

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- On the heels of the scathing grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, the U.S. attorney's office in Philadelphia has subpoenaed all eight Roman Catholic dioceses in the state for its records, according to two sources familiar with the inquiry.

The subpoenas cast a wide net, seeking information for crimes ...Read more

Light Notes: Was it just a coincidence? A timely phone call revealed the answer

Religion / Religious News /

Was it a surprising coincidence or a "small miracle" -- a mystifying moment in time when it seems two lives have been brushed with heaven's touch?

It happened to me on a typically cold January morning almost a decade ago when an unexpected call jingled my cell phone -- one that would ordinarily have been silent in the awakening gray.

This ...Read more

'I want this day to heal me': For thousands, the canonization of Oscar Romero was deeply personal

Religion / Religious News /

VATICAN CITY -- In life, Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was persecuted, shot in the heart by a single bullet while he celebrated Mass.

In death, his legacy was politicized, calumniated -- all but silenced.

So for many Sunday, it was extraordinary to see Pope Francis at last declare Romero a saint in St. Peter's Square.

Tens of ...Read more

Couple spent years guarding slain archbishop's legacy; now their wait is over

Religion / Religious News /

ROME -- After he was killed, they burned his photographs and nearly every memento they had of their friend. The rest they buried in their garden, just beneath their guava tree.

Maria Hilda and Guillermo Gonzalez feared saying his name, even to their closest relatives.

It was 1980, and a brutal war grabbed hold of El Salvador soon after ...Read more

Washington archbishop resigns in wake of US clergy sex abuse scandal

Religion / Religious News /

VATICAN CITY -- U.S. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, accused of covering up sex abuse crimes by priests, has stepped down as archbishop of Washington, the Vatican said Friday.

The high-profile resignation was another blow for Pope Francis, who in recent months has been confronted with mounting clergy sex abuse scandals across the globe.

Francis ...Read more

Texas Catholic dioceses to release names of clergy accused of sexual abuse

Religion / Religious News /

AUSTIN, Texas -- As pressure mounts on Catholic dioceses across the country to come clean about how they handled abusive priests, the 15 Catholic bishops in Texas announced Wednesday that they will soon publish the names of clergy who have been "credibly" accused of child sexual assault.

"My hope in releasing these names is to be transparent ...Read more

Light Notes: They said the breast cancer was hopeless, but a faith moment upheld her

Religion / Religious News /

The doctor didn't hold any hope. Advanced breast cancer meant the young woman would need to say her final good-byes.

"I was given two months to live," said Gwen Monteney of Kennewick, Wash., who was diagnosed when she was barely 43 years old. "The Seattle doctor told my family they'd send me home because I had only a short time to live."

...Read more

A #MeToo moment for India as nun speaks out

Religion / Religious News /

KURAVILANGAD, India -- For two years the nun said nothing, quietly dreading the nights that the stocky, bearded Catholic bishop would spend at her small convent in the southern Indian hills.

Early last year she confided in another member of her congregation: "The bishop is compelling me to lay with him."

Soon afterward, the nun reported to ...Read more

Catholic churches move to name molesting priests, but victims say it's too little, too late

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- Over the last two decades, Roman Catholic dioceses across California have paid out massive settlements to parishioners who say they were molested by priests; acknowledged institutional breakdowns that facilitated abuse; and wrestled with followers who said they had lost faith in church leaders.

Now, after a Pennsylvania grand ...Read more

Pope Francis' popularity in the US drops amid widening priest sex abuse scandal, poll shows

Religion / Religious News /

Amid the biggest sex abuse scandal of his five-year papacy, support for Pope Francis has declined sharply among U.S. Catholics, according to a new survey.

Just 3 out of 10 American Catholics say the pope has done an "excellent" or "good" job handling the church's sex abuse crisis.

While 7 out of 10 Catholics still give the pope an overall ...Read more

Symbolic string traps Florida city in religious controversy, but solution may be near

Religion / Religious News /

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- A symbolic ring of string would free Orthodox Jews trapped inside their Hallandale Beach homes every Sabbath, unable to venture outside carrying a bottle, a cane or even a baby in observation of Judaic law.

But that ring of string, known as an eruv, isn't held up by magic.

A series of wooden posts, some up to 16 feet ...Read more

Pope Francis defrocks priest at center of Chile abuse scandal

Religion / Religious News /

ROME -- Pope Francis has defrocked Fernando Karadima, the disgraced Catholic priest at the center of a yearslong abuse scandal in Chile, the Vatican said on Friday.

The pope said the decision was "for the good of the Church," according to the Vatican statement.

The decree was signed by Francis on Thursday and went into force immediately. ...Read more

Pope tells priests to be 'welcoming' to unmarried couples

Religion / Religious News /

VATICAN CITY -- Unmarried couples must not be turned away from the Catholic Church, Pope Francis said Thursday in a meeting with parish priests.

The pastoral work of priests should be include "meeting and welcoming also those young people who choose to live together without marrying," the pope said.

"We need to show them the beauty of marriage...Read more

$210 million St. Paul archdiocese bankruptcy settlement approved

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Nearly four years after the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved a settlement plan that includes $210 million for more than 400 victims of clergy sex abuse.

The settlement would move the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and ...Read more

Atlanta woman writes about her escape from Scientology

Religion / Religious News /

Michelle LeClair was just a teenager when she was first introduced to the Church of Scientology. She had moved from Norman, Okla., to Los Angeles where she felt adrift and alone, the perfect conditions, she said, for being recruited into what she now identifies as a cult with diminished power.

"Nobody cares what the Church of Scientology has to...Read more

Spiritual Life: Time in a 'wilderness' may allow for reflection on life

Religion / Religious News /

So there you are, moving along just fine.

Maybe you're hiking in nature or strolling in the city. It could involve a long process or a fleeting awareness. Perhaps it's about your career trajectory or your retirement plans. You know where you are, what you are doing, what is helping you get to where you are going, and so forth.

And then it ...Read more

Light Notes: She feared for her life and her son. And then her guardian angels suddenly appeared

Religion / Religious News /

It was futile to run or scream. With the thundering sound of the approaching train, the young woman knew in an instant she was helpless.

"I remember it vividly," Karyl Stoutenburg said, recalling how a summer morning walk with her 4-year-old son more than two decades ago took a frightening turn. "Jay wanted to take his tricycle and go for a ...Read more

This Life: Children who attend religious services are happier adults

Religion / Religious News /

For some time now, the percentage of U.S. adults who say they regularly attend religious services has been declining.

Studies by the Pew Research Center reveal as much as a 4 percent drop in the last four years -- from 39 percent in 2013 to 35 percent in 2017 -- but if attending church, mosque, synagogue or some other service is a regular ...Read more

Spiritual Life: Wrestling with God is a no-win contest. But even in defeat, you come out ahead

Religion / Religious News /

The buzzing chatter around the rodeo arena went still.

Everything slowed down except my heart rate. All I could hear was the leather creaking in the saddle and a slight jingle as I gently tugged on the big bay horse's reins and backed him into the chute.

The summer sun was hot. Sweat ran down my face as I tried to mentally review the 52 things...Read more