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Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Survivors object to Archdiocese of Baltimore's proposed abuse claims cut-off date in church bankruptcy case

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — Survivors are pushing back against a February deadline proposed by the Archdiocese of Baltimore for potential victims to provide proof of claims of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church’s bankruptcy case.

In a filing Wednesday, attorneys for the creditors committee, a group of seven abuse survivors selected to represent the ...Read more

Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/TNS

Pope returns to Vatican residence after canceling audiences due to light flu, undergoing CT scan

Religion / Religious News /

Pope Francis canceled his Saturday appointments after experiencing “slight flu-like” conditions, but a CT scan revealed no pulmonary issues, the Vatican said.

The 86-year-old pontiff went to Rome’s Gemelli hospital early Saturday afternoon to undergo a CT scan on his lungs “to rule out the risk of pulmonary complications,” the Holy ...Read more

Man sues Denver Archdiocese, former priests after he says he recovered repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse

Religion / Religious News /

A 53-year-old man is suing the Archdiocese of Denver and two former Catholic priests, alleging he suffered extensive sexual abuse while attending Notre Dame Catholic Parish in Denver throughout the late 1970s and ’80s, but repressed those memories for decades.

The Colorado Supreme Court struck down a law earlier this year that created a ...Read more

United Methodists vote to approve emotional split over LGBTQ issues

Religion / Religious News /

ATLANTA — The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church voted Saturday to allow hundreds of its churches to split from the denomination because of an ideological divide over LGBTQ issues.

At a special called session in Athens, the conference ratified the disaffiliation requests, allowing those churches who want to leave the ...Read more

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Illinois religious order to pay $2.9 million to settle sexual abuse claims against former teacher at Mount Carmel

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO — A Catholic religious order has agreed to pay $2.9 million to settle claims of child sexual assault by a Catholic brother and former teacher that allegedly continued occurring after the student brought the claims to the attention of upper administration at Mount Carmel High School.

The settlement with the Order of the Carmelites, ...Read more

Shelia Poole/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Divided Georgia congregation illustrates heartbreak of United Methodist split

Religion / Religious News /

ATLANTA — Kelly Garrett Glanton was christened at Carrollton First United Methodist Church in 1963.

Sixty years later, she watched her 3-month-old granddaughter get baptized in the family church.

Her granddaughter will probably be one of the last family members to be baptized at Carrollton First UMC, which voted to leave the denomination. ...Read more

Ethan Daniels/Dreamstime/TNS

A historic Black church's new gospel in Oakland: Fight the high housing costs

Religion / Religious News /

Four decades ago, during the heyday of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in West Oakland, California, hundreds would show up for worship on Sundays. The grand sanctuary of the historic Black church, with its stained glass windows and elegant wooden pews, got so full, if you arrived five minutes late it was standing room only.

These days, as many Black ...Read more

Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/TNS

How the nonreligious in Congress view Speaker Mike Johnson

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON — As a congressman of faith, Mike Johnson is hardly alone. Like the new Republican speaker, 88% of House members called themselves Christian at the start of the 118th Congress. Like him, a majority are Protestants. Breaking it down further, Johnson is one of 57 Baptists, making it the second largest denomination in the House, behind...Read more

Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Ban on Catholic school, parish lawsuits remains as attorneys for abuse victims, Baltimore archdiocese continue bankruptcy talks

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — A court-ordered ban on lawsuits against Baltimore-area Catholic schools and parishes will remain in place indefinitely as attorneys for sexual abuse victims and the Archdiocese of Baltimore continue to work through the early stages of the archdiocese’s bankruptcy.

The extension of the injunction, which has been in place since ...Read more

Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Crown jewels: Emeralds and diamonds among property of Archdiocese of Baltimore

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — Diamonds and emeralds, marble busts and oil paintings, sterling silver flatware and an ivory crucifix — these are just some of the things the Archdiocese of Baltimore possesses in its treasure chest of valuables.

The items, including rings, precious gemstones, gold and silver chains, and antique furniture, were disclosed as part...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

La Luz del Mundo leader indicted on new federal sex charges

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES — A federal grand jury in Los Angeles has indicted Naasón Joaquín García on two child pornography counts, in yet another legal challenge for the head of the Mexico-based La Luz del Mundo megachurch who is already serving a 17-year state prison sentence for sexually abusing girls from his congregation.

García was indicted this ...Read more

Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Jewish and Muslim faith leaders grapple with how to support congregants

Religion / Religious News /

ATLANTA — Roughly two weeks into the start of a war that has claimed the lives of thousands of people across Israel and Gaza, waves of pain keep washing over Americans, especially those with personal connections to the region.

Israeli and Jewish communities have united in sorrow. Palestinian-American residents are rattled and anxious.

At the...Read more

Evandro Inetti/Zuma Press/TNS

Lexington man who leads LGBTQ ministry says he was 'shocked' at personal message from the pope

Religion / Religious News /

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Lexington man who is dedicated to helping the Catholic Church reach out to the LGBTQ community says he has received a personal note from Pope Francis.

Stan “JR” Zerkowski, who works in local and national outreach efforts, said he wrote the pope earlier this month, and two days later received a handwritten response from ...Read more

Filippo Monteforte/AFP/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/TNS

Editorial: Pope Francis invites Catholics to speak up

Religion / Religious News /

One doesn't have to be Roman Catholic to appreciate the challenges facing Pope Francis or the courage he has shown in meeting them. Now the church is beginning a three-week synod in Rome, where participants will tackle such questions as the role of women in church governance, celibacy of the clergy and the church's stance toward the LGBTQ ...Read more

James Admans and Marge Erin Johnson/TNS

In some states they don't want drag queens to read to kids. In Connecticut, they are a beloved pastor

Religion / Religious News /

Being a drag queen isn’t a hobby for James Admans. It’s a religious calling.

Johnson, a drag queen who spends most of their life as James Admans, has started an “drag church” organization, Theology Queen, LLC.

Admans calls themselves a “queer minister,” preaches unapologetically and peppers business promotions with phrases such as,...Read more

Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS

More Kentuckians are choosing cremation over burial, but not in rural areas. Here's why

Religion / Religious News /

Kenneth Earl Wilson, who had worked at a bank and in the houseboat industry in Somerset, grew up in the days when it was unheard of in Appalachian Kentucky to consider anything besides a traditional burial when someone died.

His daughter, Kendra Wilson, said he had bought a cemetery plot, and she assumed he would be buried there. But late in ...Read more

Heather Khalifa/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Philly witches cast spells, bless mead, and can't resist the pull of the full moon

Religion / Religious News /

PHILADELPHIA -- The witches circled an altar in the shadow of Clark Park’s sycamores last month, orange street light illuminating their black hats and robes.

“By the anointing with this sacred oil, may your spirit come into attunement with the energies of the moon,” said Jim “Raven” Stefanowicz, high priest of the South Street Circle,...Read more

Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Catholic schools, parishes to pay survivors as part of Archdiocese of Baltimore bankruptcy

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore’s plan to pay sex abuse victims through bankruptcy became more clear Tuesday, with lawyers for the church saying parishes and schools would have to contribute funds to a larger settlement for survivors.

Those payments, along with money from the archdiocese itself and from insurance ...Read more

Christina Tkacik/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Baltimore archdiocese declares bankruptcy as sexual abuse lawsuits loom

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE -- Facing a mountain of potential lawsuits connected to its history of child sexual abuse committed by priests, America’s oldest Catholic archdiocese declared bankruptcy Friday, a move designed to limit its liability against potential damages and conserve its assets.

The bankruptcy petition, filed in federal bankruptcy court in ...Read more

Christina Tkacik/Baltimore Sun/TNS

As the Archdiocese of Baltimore faces potential bankruptcy, untangling its assets proves murky

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE -- A law making it easier for victims of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits goes into effect Sunday, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore is already preparing for how to pay survivors.

The Child Victims Act, passed in April on the heels of a state attorney general’s report that details the history of how Catholic ...Read more