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Cardinal George Pell, cleared of child sex abuse allegations, will reportedly return to Vatican

Religion / Religious News /

Cardinal George Pell is expected to return to the Vatican Tuesday for the first time in three years after an Australian judge overturned his conviction on five counts of child sexual abuse in April.

Pell, the former Vatican treasurer, is returning in the middle of a scandal over finances, just days after Cardinal Angelo Becciu was fired from ...Read more

COVID took a harsh toll on South Florida houses of worship. A priest and 2 pastors died

Religion / Religious News /

MIAMI - Like many things since the coronavirus pandemic took hold, South Florida houses of worship have had to make dramatic changes. In the Miami Archdiocese, parishioners don't hold hands as they recite the Lord's Prayer, pews are emptier and the holy water has been put away.

The archdiocese also says that in the earlier days of the pandemic ...Read more

Minnesota bishop-elect resigns after allegation of sexual abuse

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS - A Rapid City, S.D., priest who was set to become the next Catholic bishop of Duluth has resigned following an allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the 1980s in South Dakota.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop-elect Michel Mulloy, the Diocese of Duluth said Monday in a statement posted on its website.

The...Read more

Navy cancels Catholic Masses at Sand Diego-area bases while other religious services continue

Religion / Religious News /

SAN DIEGO - Catholic Masses at San Diego-area Navy bases have ended because the Navy, in what it says is a cost-cutting move, has declined to renew its contracts with Catholic priests, and there are not enough Catholic chaplains on active duty to fill the void.

Protestant services on bases, which are led by active duty chaplains, will continue,...Read more

Pope set to travel for first time since pandemic began

Religion / Religious News /

Pope Francis is preparing to visit Assisi next month, on his first trip outside Rome since Italy was put in a strict coronavirus lockdown in early March.

On Oct. 3, the day before the Feast of St. Francis, the pope will travel to the small central Italy town to sign a new encyclical, the Vatican announced Saturday.

Assisi is located about 110 ...Read more

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Editorial: Religious freedom is not a license to ignore civil rights laws

Religion / Religious News /

During the term it completed in July, the Supreme Court decided several important cases involving religious liberty and one that expanded legal protection for gay Americans. In the term that begins next month, the justices will hear a case that purportedly pits those two interests against each other. But the real question in the case is simpler:...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

La Luz Del Mundo leader held on all counts of rape, child pornography and sex trafficking

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES - One after another, the agents from the California Department of Justice took the witness stand and related what the teenage girls and young women had told them: Naason Joaquin Garcia, the leader of La Luz Del Mundo, an international church headquartered in Mexico, had raped them.

After five days of testimony, Los Angeles Superior ...Read more

Faith leaders fight their own trauma as they minister to families of those killed in Chicago violence

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO -- There he stood again, centered in his pulpit, trying to make sense of yet another life lost to violence in Chicago's streets.

Dressed in a gray pinstripe suit, the Rev. Ira Acree glanced at his notes, then skimmed the crowd searching for the right words to comfort the grieving eyes staring back at him.

"Her life mattered," Acree ...Read more

Agent details child rape, pornography case against La Luz Del Mundo church leader

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- Since the day he stepped off a private jet at Los Angeles International Airport and was arrested last June, Naason Joaquin Garcia, the leader of an international church headquartered in Mexico, has been held on charges of raping children and possessing child pornography, among other felonies.

The case against Garcia, whose ...Read more

Baha'is say racial justice is 'an integral part of our faith'

Religion / Religious News /

AUSTIN, Texas -- Aliyah Marandiz, who grew up a member of the Baha'i faith, said that her religion influences her actions, her perspective and how she treats other people, much the same way any religion would.

Yet while many religious communities are grappling with how to talk about race in the wake of recent protests against racism and police ...Read more

Archdiocese of Detroit bars 2 LGBTQ Catholic groups

Religion / Religious News /

DETROIT -- For more than 45 years, Dignity Detroit has been a haven for LGBTQ Catholics looking to practice their faith in a respectful space for those with different sexual orientations.

The group held Masses in Detroit with the help of several Catholic priests, including even some bishops who would preside over their services, first held at ...Read more

Trump 'is so much anti-life,' Kentucky Catholic bishop says in abortion discussion

Religion / Religious News /

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Rev. John Stowe has long been critical of President Donald Trump, and the Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Lexington did not hold back in recent comments about what it means to be pro-life.

In a live video chat July 31 with the International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs, Stowe said Trump is "so ...Read more

Judge hikes bail for La Luz del Mundo leader to $90 million

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- A judge on Thursday set bail at $90 million for the leader of La Luz del Mundo church, all but ensuring that the religious leader, Naason Joaquin Garcia, will remain jailed as he awaits trial on charges of raping children and possessing child pornography, among other crimes.

The bail amount, set by Los Angeles Superior Court ...Read more

Could COVID-19 inspire the faithful? Scholars predict spirituality surge in our future

Religion / Religious News /

During the Black Death, which originated in Asia and terrorized Europe from 1347 to 1352, artists captured the macabre zeitgeist with depictions of mocking skeletons wielding scythes and leading townsfolk to their painful deaths.

Between 25 million and 30 million people perished, and, historians say, the medieval mind blamed the plague's boils ...Read more

In California's 'Bible Belt,' churches find ways around state's coronavirus lockdown orders

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- Jennifer Trujillo made a 30-minute trip from her home in San Diego County to the country roads of Wildomar in Riverside County for the first time in weeks.

For the last year, the Pala resident had made the trek up every Sunday to attend the service at Bundy Canyon Christian Church, a complex of colorful old-timey buildings along ...Read more

Camden's Roman Catholic diocese suspends payments to clergy abuse victims, citing COVID-19 financial stress

Religion / Religious News /

Citing financial losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden in New Jersey said Friday that it would halt payments from a clergy sex-abuse victim fund that has paid out nearly $7.6 million.

In a statement, the diocese said it had suffered a "precipitous decline in revenue" and was rapidly approaching a ...Read more

Pilgrimage 'by proxy': Coronavirus spurs new technologies for age-old hajj

Religion / Religious News /

BEIRUT -- In the best of times, it's hard to land one of the slots Saudi Arabia parcels out for the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are duty-bound to make at least once in their lives. In the worst of times -- cue the novel coronavirus -- it's well-nigh impossible, with the numbers for this year's event, now underway, ...Read more

Muslim pilgrims begin curtailed Hajj in Saudi Arabia

Religion / Religious News /

AMMAN, Jordan -- Muslim pilgrims started performing the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, although Islam's largest gathering has been significantly curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A few thousand people are taking part, a fraction of the usually 2.5 million people from all over the world who usually gather annually ...Read more

With ouster of priest accused of pedophilia, Coptic Church mobilizes against sexual abuse

Religion / Religious News /

LOS ANGELES -- The Coptic Orthodox Church in the U.S., shaken by recent accusations of sexual abuse, has vowed to eradicate inappropriate behavior in its cloistered communities following the defrocking of a priest accused of pedophilia for decades.

The 2,000-year-old church, which was started in Egypt by the Apostle Mark and grew in the U.S. ...Read more

Twin Cities Black clergy hope to seize power of the moment

Religion / Religious News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Rev. Edrin Williams, pastor of one of the most racially diverse churches in the Twin Cities, quickly launched an emergency food distribution center when rioting after the death of George Floyd destroyed neighborhood stores. Now he's taken on another role as well: dispensing food for thought to white faith leaders grappling ...Read more