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Archive for “Religion” news
The 2012 presidential election has been about many things. But there are many other things it hasn't been about. With a nod to one of my favorite political bloggers, Jonathan Bernstein, and his "Dogs, Not Barking" feature, here are 10 things that I'm surprised haven't become issues this year:
The Rev. Joseph DiGregorio has been returned to ministry, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said Monday, despite the fact that DiGregorio committed an unspecified act more than 40 years ago that the archdiocese now says violated its Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries. DiGregorio, who has spent most of his career as an Army chaplain, was nonetheless cleared to return to ministry because of "compelling evidence"—also unspecified—"that makes him suitable for ministry.” Church officials declined to offer details, saying they wanted to "protect individuals involved in this matter." "There is no evidence that he poses a danger to children and there is
A new Pew Research Center survey indicates that more and more Americans are not associating themselves with a particular religion. People were asked whether they consider themselves Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim and one in five adults said that they didn't associate themselves with a religion at all.
In the 1990s, Pew found fewer than one in ten American adults were religiously unaffiliated. Since that time it’s been on the rise to where it stands today, at 20 percent of adults saying they don’t belong to a specific religion. [CBS 3]
The Secular Coalition for America plans to launch its Pennsylvania chapter on Sunday. The group plans to directly lobby to lawmakers in the Keystone State for a strong separation of religion and government. Part of the motivation for the establishment of such a group was the "Year of the Bible" legislation that stirred up controversy earlier this year. By the end of the year, the Secular Coalition for America plans to have chapters in all 50 states. [Secular Coalition]
On September 4, 1923, Babe Ruth came to Philly for a matinee against the Philadelphia Athletics. After the game, he ditched his pinstripes for an Ascension of Our Lord uni and played ball in front of 10,000-some people at a parish baseball field at I and Tioga Streets in Kensington. The event was a fundraiser to help pay construction construction costs left over from building the field. Now, nearly 90 years later, Kensington's Ascension of Our Lord parish is closing on Sunday. Low Mass attendance, looming debt, and dilapidated buildings all factored into the decision to close the parish. [Inquirer]
A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School says that a Coptic passage on a scrap of papyrus from the fourth century contains the phrase, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …'” The New York Times reports that, until recently, the historian, Dr. Karen L. King, had only shown the scrap to a small circle of experts to determine the likelihood of the artifact's authenticity.The faded papyrus fragment is smaller than a business card, with eight lines on one side, in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. Just below the line about Jesus having a wife,
So: Mitt Romney apparently thinks it’s time we had a discussion of God in this presidential campaign. Does that mean he’s ready for a discussion—and maybe even a debate—about his own Mormon religious beliefs? Seems fair. After all, Romney took the stage Saturday at a political rally in Virginia—with the execrable old charlatan Pat Robertson at his side—and promised that, as president, he’d keep God at the center of American life.
Villanova University doesn't always have an easy time accommodating students who don't conform to the university's Catholic mission—remember last spring, when it canceled an appearance by a gay performance artist? But Villanova and other Catholic universities are home to growing population of Muslim students from foreign countries: It turns out that many of the new wave of students are comfortable in a religious, somewhat conservative setting—even if the religion isn't their own—than in more secular settings like state universities. “There’s no conscious effort” at recruiting Muslim students, said the Rev. Kail Ellis, Villanova's vice president for academic affairs. “It’s basically something
On Thursday, NBC's Rock Center will air an episode dedicated to the Mormon faith. NBC News had originally been denied an interview with Mitt Romney. But, since the Republican presidential candidate has seemed more open about his faith recently, the network tried again, but was rebuffed a second time. The show, sans Romney interview, focuses on the religion that he practices. An interracial couple, a gay person, a feminist, and a Mormon cast member of the Broadway show The Book of Mormon are all featured in the episode. [Philly.com]
Other than constantly feeling like I am going to get in trouble, the only thing Catholic school ever gave me is the ability to tell people I used to be Catholic. There are a lot of former Catholics out there. Granted, increasingly unpopular stances on issues like homosexuality and birth control, paired with the exposure of a massive sex-abuse scandal, hasn’t won the Church much support in recent years. But disappearing churches and churchgoers aren't unique to Catholicism—most Christian denominations are suffering from a loss of faith. Yet, despite cries that “Religion Is Dying in America!,” I argue otherwise. In the natural world, a species must adapt to changing conditions if it wants to survive. And churches across America are adapting—surrendering traditional values in the hopes of reaching modern audiences. Here are some of the new (and bizarre) effects this evolution is having on religion.