19 Stories

Vatican Cracks Down on 'Liberal' US Nuns

They're not hard enough on gays, abortion, women priests, says Rome

(Newser) - The Vatican is launching a massive crackdown on US nuns for their failure to attack gay marriage, female ordination, and abortion. Officials blasted the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an umbrella group that oversees some 55,000 American nuns, for sponsoring conferences that feature "radical feminist themes incompatible with... More »

Presbyterians Vote to Allow Gay Clergy

Celibacy requirement to be scrapped

(Newser) - The Presbyterian Church USA has, after 33 years of debate, voted to allow the ordination of openly gay and lesbian ministers. A majority of the church's 173 governing bodies nationwide voted to scrap a requirement for clergy to live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a... More »

Angle: Let Clergy Endorse Candidates From Pulpit

Senate hopeful opposes gay adoption, all abortions

(Newser) - Sharron Angle wants to do away with a law banning political endorsements from tax-exempt places of worship, according to a questionnaire obtained by AP . The Nevada Senate hopeful—whose views on the separation of church and state have become an issue in the race—said clergy should be allowed to... More »

US Clergy: Overweight, Depressed, Burned Out

Pastors, rabbis, imams really need a vacation

(Newser) - They have higher rates of obesity, hypertension and depression than the general population, their life expectancy is shrinking, and many of them wish they had a different job. The clergy, once a profession associated with happiness and health, has a growing problem with burnout. Even the most immediate remedy—a... More »

Lutheran Branch Allows 'Monogamous' Gays as Clergy

Branch is US' largest, with 4.8M members

(Newser) - The largest US Lutheran denomination will allow gays in “life-long, monogamous” relationships to serve in clergy and other leadership positions, the Washington Post reports. Delegates at the convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America approved the measure 559-451; the denomination, which has 4.8 million US members, previously... More »

Episcopal Church Lifts Ban on Gay Bishops

Deeper rift with conservatives looms

(Newser) - Leaders of the Episcopal Church voted overwhelmingly yesterday to allow the ordination of gay and lesbian bishops, risking further fissures with conservative parishes and the Anglican Communion. The new policy reverses a 2006 compromise that prohibited the consecration of homosexual clergy, in line with other Anglican churches. Episcopalians will vote... More »

Episcopal Splinter Group to Ban Gay, Female Clergy

Ex-Pittsburgh bishop to lead new church

(Newser) - Hundreds of former Episcopal parishes are meeting to form the Anglican Church in North America this week, parting ways with their previous church to ban women and gays in the clergy. Robert Duncan, the former bishop of Pittsburgh, is leading the congregation of 300—including 50 bishops—and is expected... More »

Vatican Can Be Sued for Abuse: US Court

Ruling finds that Vatican can be held responsible for priests' actions

(Newser) - A federal court has ruled that the Vatican hierarchy can be sued for sexual abuse committed by priests, the Los Angeles Times reports. Judges decided that a man—who says he was molested by a priest in the '60s—can proceed with his lawsuit against the Vatican, even though it's... More »

Lutheran Panel Backs Gay Unions, 'Married' Gay Clerics

Task force seeks compromise on issue of non-celibate gay clergy

(Newser) - A task force from the nation's largest Lutheran denomination has recommended the church give its blessing to same-sex unions, reports the Los Angeles Times. The panel also recommended that the Evangelic Lutheran Church in America allow gays—currently only permitted to serve as clergy if they are celibate—to serve... More »

Pope Names Bishop Who Lauded 'Punishing' Katrina

Hurricane destroyed nightclubs, abortion clinic, notes pleased Austrian

(Newser) - Days after welcoming back to the church a bishop who denies the Holocaust existed, Pope Benedict has sparked controversy again for promoting a controversial Austrian ultra-conservative cleric. Gerhard Maria Wagner claims the Harry Potter series spreads satanism and that Hurricane Katrina was punishment for New Orleans' lax morals. More »

Protestants Hold Inauguration Monopoly

Priests, rabbis have been missing from ceremony for 20 years

(Newser) - Barack Obama's swearing-in will be the sixth straight inauguration where rabbis and Catholic priests will be absent from the dais, reports Time. For decades it was traditional to have Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish representatives at the ceremony, but Billy Graham’s invocation (and benediction) at George Bush’s 1989 inauguration... More »

Critics Rip Pope's 'Homophobic' Speech

Pontiff's call for defense of gender roles seen as stoking homophobia

(Newser) - Gay and Christian groups have slammed Pope Benedict XVI's remarks that defending the “natural order” of man and woman is as important as protecting the rainforests, the Times of London reports. British Catholic leaders have countered that the pontiff didn’t explicitly mention homosexuality in his annual Christmas speech,... More »

Pope Apologizes for 'Evil' Clergy Sex Abuse

Pontiff tells Australia child abusers have damaged the church

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI used unusually strong language today in condemning the sexual abuse of children by Australia's Catholic clergy, reports the AP. The pontiff said the clergy's "grave betrayal of trust" had damaged the Catholic church. "I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have... More »

Pope to Church: Pedophilia Was 'Badly Handled'

He urges bishops to 'foster healing' and work to improve trust

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI had strong words for America's Roman Catholic bishops today, asserting that the clerical sexual molestation scandal had been "very badly handled" in many cases, the AP reports. "It is your God-given responsibility as pastors to bind up the wounds caused by every breach of trust,... More »

$500M Bush Library Deal Expected Today

Southern Methodist University trustees voting on controversial project

(Newser) - Southern Methodist University's trustees are expected to vote today to bring George W. Bush's presidential library to the Texas institution, reports the Dallas Morning News.  The agreement will be "a great day for SMU," said the university's president. But the road to a final agreement at Laura... More »

In Shift, Clergy Gives More Dollars to Dems

Donations favor Obama, Clinton over Huckabee

(Newser) - In a shift from 2004, Republican presidential and congressional hopefuls are losing clergy support as measured by campaign donations, Politico reports. According to FEC data, clergy and religious groups have given Dem candidates $367,000 but the GOP just $288,000. Of the Dem haul, Barack Obama leads with $107,... More »

NY Diocese's Coloring Book Warns of Abuse

Angel tells kids not to be alone with an adult; priest not mentioned

(Newser) - A coloring book handed out by the Catholic Church to kids in New York warns them not to be alone with an adult in a room with the door shut, Newsweek reports. It doesn't specifically name priests as a risk, but it does depict an angel warning an altar boy... More »

Stacy Told 3 Drew Had Killed Ex

Peterson bragged of getting away with murder

(Newser) - Before her disappearance, Stacy Peterson revealed to three people, including a clergyman, that her husband had bragged of killing his ex-wife and making it look like an accident, a source tells the Chicago Sun-Times. Drew Peterson, now a suspect in his fourth wife’s disappearance, was already living with a... More »

Anti-Franco Fights Erupt at Vatican Ceremony

Anger over church role supporting Spanish dictator as it honors clergy

(Newser) - Old wounds were ripped open and fights erupted yesterday as the Vatican beatified 498 priests and nuns killed in the Spanish Civil War. Scuffles between Catholics and leftists broke out near the Vatican's largest-ever beatification ceremony in St. Peter's Square. The Vatican, which supported dictator Francisco Franco during the war,... More »

19 Stories