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Supreme Court leans in favor of requiring taxpayer funding for some religious schools

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court justices sounded ready Wednesday to rule for a Maine couple seeking state taxpayer funds to send their children to a church-sponsored school because no public ones are available in their area.

The case of Carson vs. Makin poses the latest test of the line between church and state, and it comes at a time when the ...Read more

Supreme Court poised to further open the door for taxpayer funding of religious schools

Religion / Religious News /

WASHINGTON — After imposing a strict church-state separation for decades, the Supreme Court appears poised to allow — and in some cases even require — more government funding of church-run schools.

Legal experts say that could open the door to church-sponsored charter schools operating with public funds in many cities.

The court's shift ...Read more

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

More than 1,000 horseback riders journey to shrine for start of pilgrimage

Religion / Religious News /

Central Road in Des Plaines, Illinois, normally whizzing with fast cars, was empty just after noon Saturday, save for the police cars blocking entry. There was only the sound of honking geese.

Then, soft clomps came from the east, steadily growing in volume and soon accentuated with neighing. Over the horizon, a cadre of horseback riders ...Read more

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Can former Scientologists take the church to court? Or are religious tribunals the only recourse?

Religion / Religious News /

After Chrissie Bixler told the LAPD that Scientologist and actor Danny Masterson had raped her, strangers showed up at her home, filmed her family and peeked in her windows. Two of her dogs mysteriously died, one by eating meat laced with rat poison. Her security system was hacked. Someone posted ads in her name on Craigslist soliciting men for ...Read more


Light Notes: Let our legacy of beauty, goodness and truth be self-evident

Religion / Religious News /

“Lorna” was 102 years old when she died. A member of her church congregation from childhood, over the decades she had become one of their matriarchs in faith and ministry.

Lorna’s legacy of gentleness, kindness and grit was well known across several generations of family and church friends. She was quite short, but her stature was upright...Read more

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Commentary: No, Michael Flynn, America doesn't need one religion

Religion / Religious News /

There was a time, not so long ago, when Michael Flynn’s latest pronouncement would have been considered outrageous, but I’m afraid we’ve reached the point of outrage fatigue.

“If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion,” Flynn declared at a right-wing rally this month at Cornerstone ...Read more


Light Notes: Ouch! Life can hand us a pair of 'cruel shoes'

Religion / Religious News /

Not too long ago I visited a friend’s new home, and I got lost ... in her clothes closet.

A place equivalent to the size of an airplane hangar — and filled from top to bottom with enough shoes to make Imelda Marcos gasp, even at 92 years of age.

Of course, the array of pointy-toe, rounded-toe and open-toe designs weren’t all women’s ...Read more

Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Church honors 30,000 sailors lost in Great Lakes, 46 years after Fitzgerald

Religion / Religious News /

DETROIT -- The tolling of 10 bells echoed through Mariners' Church of Detroit on Sunday, to memorialize 30,000 men and women lost in shipwrecks across the Great Lakes.

The annual service was held 46 years after the Great Lakes saw its latest shipwreck. On Nov. 10, 1975, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, nicknamed the "Fitz," was headed to Detroit when ...Read more


US bishops to seek 'middle way' on Holy Communion at annual conference in Baltimore

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — One of the controversies facing the Catholic church in recent months has been the question of Holy Communion — specifically whether it should be offered to Catholic politicians, including President Joe Biden, who advocate for abortion rights.

Some Catholics say it shouldn’t, on the grounds that an abortion rights stance ...Read more

Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press

Michigan COVID-19 survivor says vision of the Blessed Solanus Casey saved his life

Religion / Religious News /

Nolan Ostrowski felt as if death was close at hand.

"I felt a lot of despair and a lot of darkness over me," said Ostrowski, 52, who was hospitalized in late July with COVID-19 at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. "When I closed my eyes, it was like death was coming."

He began to pray, thinking of his wife, Kathleen, and their three children. That'...Read more

Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press/TNS

If canonized, Father Solanus Casey, a Detroit priest, would be a rarity among saints

Religion / Religious News /

Father Solanus Casey, the Capuchin friar who co-founded the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit and was beatified in 2017, is known to many as an inspiration and is a miracle away from being declared a Catholic saint.

If canonized, Casey would join a rare group of American saints. While there are more than 10,000 saints in the Roman Catholic ...Read more

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Bishop known for speaking at royal wedding headlines forum on civil rights

Religion / Religious News /

COLUMBIA, S.C. — After Michael Curry gained world-wide attention for giving the sermon at the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, he often heard the same refrain.

People said they didn't know Christianity was about love.

He was shocked.

Curry brought a similar message of love to conquer social ills to Columbia on Saturday at the ...Read more

Taylor DeVille/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

Two LGBTQ-affirming churches -- one historic and one young -- unite with installation of new pastor

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — A service held Sunday at St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church signifies a new partnership between one of Baltimore’s historic churches and a fledgling congregation, both rooted in LGBTQ affirmation and inclusivity, generations apart.

The Rev. Emily Scott, who leads both congregations, was installed through a Rite of ...Read more

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Commentary: COVID vaccine mandates test the limits of religious exemptions

Religion / Religious News /

In extending a temporary restraining order on mandating COVID-19 vaccines for New York health care workers who raised religious exemptions, a judge made clear that the court did not determine that the health care workers qualify for a religious exemption. Rather, the court found, the workers have a federally protected right to seek such an ...Read more


Religious exemptions pose new challenges to COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS — A recent post on Kate Lincoln's neighborhood website caught her by surprise. A neighbor had written "Need a vaccine exemption? … Holy Trinity Church in South St. Paul is helpful."

Lincoln called the church and left a message inquiring about the exemption. Her call was returned by a woman who confirmed that the church had a ...Read more

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Mormon president says church leaders speak 'pure truth'

Religion / Religious News /

The president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called on members of the congregation to listen to faith leaders in the pursuit of “pure truth” while thanking those who have followed health guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Russell M. Nelson said that while the world is “still dealing with the ravages of ...Read more

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

'It's a competition of Catholic values:' Suburban Catholic school conflicts over gender pronouns, same-sex marriage highlight tension between church and flock

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO — Ora Amber, a 16-year-old ex-Catholic, stood across the street from St. Francis High School in suburban Chicago last week lofting a yellow, white, purple and black flag that represents people whose gender identity is outside the male/female binary.

Amber, who uses they and them as pronouns, was part of a small crowd rallying against ...Read more


Brooklyn Bishop DiMarzio resigns after 18 years as spiritual leader for 1.5 million Catholics

Religion / Religious News /

NEW YORK — Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, leader of the Diocese of Brooklyn for 18 years, announced his resignation Wednesday — with a native New Yorker named as his replacement.

DiMarzio, 77, stepped down weeks after a Vatican investigation cleared him of allegations from two men charging they were sexually abused by the priest when he was ...Read more

Barbara Haddock Taylor/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Years into attorney general investigation of Maryland's Catholic Church, abuse survivors wonder where it stands

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — Three years after it became public that Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh was investigating child sexual abuse in the Catholic church, abuse survivors are wondering: Is he building a case, or has the probe stalled?

In September 2018, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori told clergy the archdiocese was under investigation by ...Read more


Light Notes: Your name? There may be more to it than you imagined

Religion / Religious News /

How did you get your name? Most of us know the answer. Most are proud of their given name and of the story behind it (excepting a certain “boy named Sue”).

For reasons beyond the scope of this article, in many cultures one marriage partner may adopt the surname of the other. In other situations, one may move the family name to a middle name...Read more