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Russian Bishop Accepts $106K SUV, Uses Jesus to Defend It

'Jesus Christ Himself wore expensive clothes gifted to him'

(Newser) - A Russian Orthodox bishop is tooling around in a new Land Cruiser he was given, and he's got kind of a unique defense against critics who say he shouldn't have accepted the $106,000 gift: Per a rep from Bishop Nektary's archdiocese in Oryol: "Jesus Christ... More »

Under Remarkable 17th-Century Corpse: a Secret Body

Fetus was tucked at Peder Winstrup's feet after death in 1679

(Newser) - Peder Winstrup is remarkably well-preserved for a man who died in 1679, and while researchers expected the mummified corpse of the former bishop of Lund would yield fascinating information on the 17th century, they didn't expect a CT scan to reveal another body. But when his coffin was removed... More »

After Man Tells Bishop He Smells, Vatican Takes Action

3 public showers to be installed

(Newser) - Pope Francis made headlines last year when he said that he would like a "poor church, and for the poor." Now, after a man declined an invitation to dine with a bishop because, the man said simply, "puzzo"—or "I smell"—the pope is... More »

US' 1st Openly Gay Bishop: I'm Getting a Divorce

Gene Robinson, husband were together for more than 25 years

(Newser) - Gene Robinson became the nation's first openly gay bishop in 2003, formed a civil union with his longtime partner, Mark Andrew, five years later, and eventually married him after New Hampshire legalized gay marriage. Now, he writes today in the Daily Beast , that marriage is ending after the couple'... More »

'Bishop of Bling' Steps Down

Pope Francis accepts Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst's resignation

(Newser) - A German bishop temporarily expelled last year by Pope Francis has now left his post for good. The pope has accepted the resignation of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, the Vatican says. Tebartz-van Elst had reportedly spent some $43 million on renovating church buildings, including his own residence, the... More »

Gunmen Seize 2 Syria Bishops

Prominent Christian clerics abducted in rebel-held region

(Newser) - Unknown gunmen abducted two prominent Syrian bishops as they traveled through rebel-held territory from the Turkish border, according to both state media and the opposition leadership. Christians make up around 10% of Syria's population and the kidnapped pair—the Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim... More »

Catholics Question Bishop's RNC Role

New York cardinal set to deliver benediction

(Newser) - New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan is headed to the Republican National Convention to deliver a benediction, a rarity in modern times: Not since 1972 has an out-of-town bishop flown in to bless a party convention. While observers at first called it a win for Mitt Romney, now some Catholics are... More »

Vatican Sacks Bishop Who Wanted Women Priests

William Morris also argued church should consider ordaining married men

(Newser) - An Australian bishop claims the Roman Catholic church sacked him because he advocated the ordaining of women and married men. The Vatican confirmed today that Bishop William Morris had been "removed from pastoral care" by Pope Benedict XVI, and Morris claims the ouster was a result of a 2006... More »

Sorry Kids, No 'Booty' in New Bible

US bishops replace chuckle-inducing word with 'spoils'

(Newser) - No longer will young Catholics snicker in Sunday school every time the word "booty" comes up in a Bible verse: In the newest translation of the New American Bible, Catholic bishops have ordered the word "booty" replaced with the word "spoils." It's just one of many... More »

1st Openly Gay Bishop to Retire

Eugene Robinson says the experience has taken its toll

(Newser) - Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopalian whose election to bishop reverberated through the religious world, will take early retirement in 2013, reports the Boston Globe. "The last seven years have taken their toll on me, my family, and you,” Robinson told an annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese... More »

On Health Care, Nuns Are Right

Bishops allow abortion bias to cloud judgment

(Newser) - Catholic bishops used to be some of the biggest supporters of universal health care—now, thanks to controversial abortion provisions, those same bishops could play “a major role in its demise”…that is, unless the nuns have their way. The bishops are upset that the Nelson-Casey anti-abortion amendments... More »

Smears Against Catholic Editor Linked to Vatican

Chief of Berlusconi paper says church figure provided fake dossier

(Newser) - The source of a bogus dossier that ousted the editor of a Catholic paper is now rumored to be the Vatican itself. Dino Boffo was forced to step down as editor of the Italian Bishops' Conference daily paper after a Bersluconi family paper printed a story labeling him a "... More »

Brit Bishop Sorry for 'Praising' Taliban

Venner: Remarks were 'incredibly insensitive'

(Newser) - A British bishop has apologized for suggesting that the Taliban have some admirable qualities. Stephen Venner, the newly appointed bishop to Britain's armed forces, had warned against portraying the Taliban as pure evil and said their "conviction to their faith and their sense of loyalty" could perhaps be admired,... More »

Brit Military Bishop 'Admires' Taliban Loyalty

Gordon Brown does not agree

(Newser) - The Taliban's faith and loyalty to one another can be regarded as admirable, according to a British military bishop, who is urging an approach to them that recognizes they're not all bad. The Church of England's bishop to the Armed Forces, Stephen Venner, made his comments as Prime Minister Gordon... More »

Irish Bishop Quits Over Child Sex Scandal

Vatican mum about scathing report, government furious

(Newser) - The bishop of Limerick is offering his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI today in the wake of a damning report on the church's cover up of multiple child sexual abuse cases. Donal Murray acted "inexcusably" in one case and handled others badly, the report concluded. The report has caused... 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 »

Anti-Abortion 'Extremists' Got Nothing on Prez

Zealous Notre Dame protests will further hurt their cause

(Newser) - Randall Terry and other “Catholic extremists” will lead protests against President Obama’s speech at Notre Dame today—but their anti-abortion zealotry will only continue to hurt their cause, writes Frances Kissling in Salon. “The idea that anything goes in fighting abortion died” in the ‘90s when... More »

Bishops Scorn Obama, but Pope Is a Fan

The Vatican takes softer stance on Notre Dame debate

(Newser) - While conservative Catholics rage over President Obama's upcoming commencement speech at Notre Dame, one man has remained silent: the Holy Father. Indeed, American Catholic leaders and the Pope have staked out dramatically different positions from the Obama administration's, Amy Sullivan observes in Time. Yet the Vatican’s response to the... More »

Third Woman: Paraguay Prez Fathered My Kid

Paternity scandal grows, but so far no political fallout

(Newser) - The paternity scandal surrounding Paraguay’s president, a former bishop, has reached new heights: A third woman says he fathered her child, McClatchy reports. Fernando Lugo recently acknowledged paternity of a 2-year-old; soon after, another woman said he was her 6-year-old’s dad. She filed an official paternity claim yesterday,... More »

Paraguay's Bishop-Turned- Prez Admits Fathering Child

(Newser) - The president of Paraguay admitted today to fathering a child with a 26-year-old woman while he was still a Roman Catholic bishop, the Daily Telegraph reports. Fernando Lugo, 57, left the church to pursue political office in December 2006; a son was born five months later, according to the paternity... More »

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