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Commentary: Faith-based communities have a role to play in strengthening democracy

Religion / Religious News /

There is an old joke about making decisions in the Jewish community: three people, 10 opinions. And that is how it is inside houses of worship, schools, and faith institutions across America, as they routinely meld the diverse opinions as they do the work of negotiating, compromising, forging consensus, and fostering a sense of purpose. The same...Read more

Amanda McCoy/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS

Fort Worth diocese alleges drugs in monastery where nun is accused of sex with priest

Religion / Religious News /

ARLINGTON, Texas — An attorney representing nuns from the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity who are suing Bishop Michael Olson and the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese said he believes photos showing drugs were staged by the diocese.

Matthew Bobo said Thursday that there is no proof that photos showing piles of bottles that appear to be marijuana...Read more

Amanda McCoy/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS

Fort Worth diocese alleges drugs in monastery where nun is accused of sex with priest

Religion / Religious News /

ARLINGTON, Texas — Arlington police said this week they have begun investigating a dispute between the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese and a reverend mother who says she was wrongly accused of “sexual misconduct” with a priest.

The diocese, meanwhile, told the Star-Telegram it has alerted police of “serious concerns” of marijuana and ...Read more

Nun's lawyer says police now investigating her dispute with Fort Worth Catholic bishop

Religion / Religious News /

FORT WORTH, Texas — The lawyer representing a North Texas nun in a legal dispute with the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese over allegations of sexual misconduct with a priest said Wednesday that police are reviewing the matter.

In a statement, Fort Worth lawyer Matthew Bobo said Arlington police “opened a criminal investigation” into Bishop ...Read more

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Pope Francis hospitalized for another abdominal surgery

Religion / Religious News /

Pope Francis was again admitted to a Roman hospital Wednesday, this time for another abdominal operation, the Vatican announced.

The 86-year-old pontiff was scheduled Wednesday afternoon to undergo a “laparotomy and abdominal wall surgery” at the A. Gemelli University Hospital, where he’s expected to remain for several days, according to ...Read more

Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Ex-Maryland state Sen. Robert 'Bobby' Zirkin advertises legal assistance under Child Victims Act, which he once testified against

Religion / Religious News /

Former Maryland state Sen. Robert “Bobby” Zirkin, a personal injury lawyer, has joined the growing and pervasive number of law firms advertising services to abuse survivors under the Child Victims Act.

Zirkin once testified in opposition to the law on behalf of the Catholic Church, but now finds himself in a position to bring in business ...Read more


These 60 Michigan churches are disassociating from United Methodist Church

Religion / Religious News /

Five dozen Michigan churches will disassociate from the United Methodist Church on Saturday, a move that stems from a rift over LGBTQ+ issues and adherence to doctrine.

The Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church adopted a motion to disaffiliate 60 assemblies, about 8% of the state's United Methodist Churches, from its denomination, ...Read more

Shelia Poole/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Most United Methodists in Georgia plan to stay with the denomination

Religion / Religious News /

ATLANTA — The Rev. Sharon Coley grew up Southern Baptist but found her spiritual home among United Methodists.

And that’s where the pastor of Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church-Summerville plans to stay “until I draw my last breath.”

For Coley, it’s about the mission of creating disciples for God, serving outside the walls of the ...Read more

Jonathan Pitts/Baltimore Sun/TNS

Methodists overwhelmingly vote to allow the departure of 23 churches over LGBTQ+ issues

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE -- In a move their leader described as both “emotional” and “a very serious matter within the life of the church,” delegates of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church voted Thursday to approve the disaffiliation of 23 congregations over questions around how the denomination should handle LGBTQ+ ...Read more

Amanda McCoy/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS

Fort Worth bishop dismisses Carmelite nun accused of breaking chastity vow with priest

Religion / Religious News /

FORT WORTH, Texas — A nun accused of breaking her vow of chastity with a priest from outside the Diocese of Fort Worth has been dismissed from the Order of Discalced Carmelites.

Reverend Mother Teresa Agnes Gerlach has 30 days to appeal the decision, according to a decree of dismissal from the diocese. She oversaw cloistered nuns at the ...Read more

Sara Nevis/The Sacramento Bee/TNS

California bill would allow Sikhs to ride motorcycles without a helmet

Religion / Religious News /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sikhs and other people whose faith requires them to wear a turban or patka could soon be allowed to ride motorcycles in California without a helmet as mandated by state law.

The state Senate this week voted to grant a religious exemption for the headwear. The measure, Senate Bill 847 from Sen. Brian Dahle, a Bieber ...Read more

Sex abuse survivors dreaded priest's return to KC. They weren't told he never arrived

Religion / Religious News /

Survivors were outraged last fall when they learned that a retired Wyoming bishop and former Kansas City priest facing numerous sexual abuse allegations would be moving back to the Kansas City area.

And now, The Star has learned, Bishop Joseph Hart did not move back to the metro area after all — bringing more outrage to the survivors who were...Read more

Amanda McCoy/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS

Vatican gives Texas bishop authority to investigate report that nun broke chastity vow

Religion / Religious News /

FORT WORTH, Texas — The Vatican issued a decree Wednesday giving Bishop Michael Olson governing authority over a Carmelite monastery in Arlington embroiled in a legal battle against the bishop and the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese.

Bishop Michael Olson is investigating allegations that the Reverend Mother Superior Teresa Agnes Gerlach violated ...Read more

Heather Charles/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Commentary: I received restorative justice from the Catholic Church after surviving clergy abuse

Religion / Religious News /

I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by clergy in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Bringing justice to abuse survivors is a main goal of the attorney general’s efforts, and I certainly agree with that. I hope to add to that conversation by introducing a key element of justice for survivors that I think is missing in the conversation.

I am a ...Read more

Eileen T. Meslar/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Survivors: Illinois AG's report on clergy sex abuse is more detailed and transparent than Maryland's

Religion / Religious News /

A new report by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in that state is too long for most readers to absorb in a day or two, but that didn’t stop Liz Murphy from zeroing in on what she most wanted to find out.

Murphy, an abuse survivor who lives in Baltimore, flipped through the report’s 696 pages one ...Read more

Eileen T. Meslar/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Latest report on clergy sex abuse within Catholic Church gives 'voice to survivors'

Religion / Religious News /

The 11-year-old boy was an altar server at St. John Vianney in west suburban Northlake during the early 1960s, when a popular priest began inviting him out to dinner, drive-in movies and even sleepovers at the rectory.

His parents were pleased.

“Where could you be safer?” they remarked at the time.

The Rev. Thomas Francis Kelly offered ...Read more

Sabrina LeBoeuf/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

In latest fallout from Baltimore Catholic Church sex abuse report, some of those identified leave their roles

Religion / Religious News /

BALTIMORE — The director of the Maryland State Boychoir has resigned after he was identified as one of the 156 Catholic Church staff named in a Maryland Attorney General’s Office report on child sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

The Baltimore Sun on Friday named Frank T. Cimino Jr. as one of 10 alleged abusers whose names were ...Read more

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Archbishop of St. Louis closes 35 parishes, reassigns 155 priests in Catholic church reorganization

Religion / Religious News /

SHREWSBURY, Mo. — The Archbishop of St. Louis will close 35 parishes and reassign 155 priests in the most sweeping reorganization of the Catholic church in St. Louis history.

After 18 months of waiting, Catholics learned on Saturday the fate of their priests and parishes in the downsizing of the archdiocese called "All Things New."

The ...Read more

Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Editorial: Attorney general's report on Catholic clergy child sex abuse lays out a shameful chapter in Illinois history

Religion / Religious News /

The Illinois attorney general’s gut-wrenching 696-page report on Catholic clergy child sex abuse in Illinois is illustrated, incongruously but perhaps necessarily, with aspirational images of the Prairie State: cornfields at sunrise, the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan, sunsets over lakes and barns, gorgeous stained glass windows.

But the...Read more

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Hundreds more Illinois Catholic clerics abused children than had been reported, AG report says

Religion / Religious News /

CHICAGO — Hundreds more Catholic clerics abused children in Illinois than were previously reported by church leaders, according to a scathing 700-page report released Tuesday by the Illinois Attorney General’s office following a roughly four-year investigation.

State investigators revealed the names and details of 451 Catholic priests and ...Read more