COMMENTARY: What the Euro really means?

c. 1998 Religion News Service (Andrew M. Greeley is a Roman Catholic priest, best-selling novelist and a sociologist at the University of Chicago National Opinion Research Center. Check out his home page at or contact him via e-mail at agreel(at) UNDATED _ Someone should make a rule that journalists who pontificate about world events pass a comprehensive exam in history. Consider the coverage of the establishment of the European Central Bank last week. Three ideas dominated:”Last Minute Fight Jeopardizes Euro!,””Doubts about Monetary Union!”and”Monetary Union a Threat to American Power?”Op-ed pages were decorated with articles insisting the union wouldn’t work and that it shouldn’t work.

COMMENTARY: The delicate dance of mothering a man

c. 1998 Religion News Service (Dale Hanson Bourke is the publisher of RNS and the mother of two boys.) UNDATED _ This Mother’s Day will be different. This Mother’s Day I will be the mother of a man. Sure, he’s still a teen-ager; not yet old enough to drive. But at some point during the past year my son became less boy than man.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 1998 Religion News Service Old Calendarists Greek Orthodox group rejoins main church (RNS) A decades-old rift between an American faction of a Greek Orthodox splinter movement and the main church has been resolved, bringing about 30,000 of the separatists into the Greek Orthodox Church of America. The rift was formally healed Sunday (May 3) during a church ceremony in the Astoria section of New York City. The dispute originated in 1924 when the worldwide Greek Orthodox Church switched to the commonly used Gregorian calendar, prompting protests from some traditionalists in Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and the United States. The traditionalists insisted on retaining the previously used Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian.

NEWS STORY: Swiss Guard slaying shocks, saddens Vatican

c. 1998 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY _ An apparently disgruntled young member of the Vatican’s Swiss Guard _ the elite body charged with protecting the pope _ Monday night (May 4) shot and killed the force’s commander, the commander’s wife and himself, Vatican officials have announced. The killings came just hours after Pope John Paul II named one of the victims, Col. Alois Estermann, commander of the 100-member corps established in 1506 and most visible for their colorful, ceremonial garb. The Rev. Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman, said investigators recovered a service pistol from underneath the body of Lance Cpl. Cedrich Tornay, 23, indicating Tornay appeared to have killed the Estermanns and then taken his own life.

NEWS FEATURE: Christian Zionists embrace their faith’s Jewish roots

c. 1998 Religion News Service ORLANDO, Fla. _ Tears flowed from Jeanette Scott’s eyes as she draped a blue and white silk”tallit”_ a Jewish prayer shawl _ around her shoulders. Woven into the tallit was a depiction of Jerusalem’s Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site.”The Lord was really putting an anointing on me,”said the 29-year-old woman.”I felt like this was really mine. I’ll wear it when I pray.”

NEWS FEATURE: On Mother’s Day, healing the mother-son bond

c. 1998 Religion News Service UNDATED _ On Mother’s Day, the nation pays tribute to one of humankind’s most cherished relationships _ the tender caretaking a woman bestows upon her child. Beautifully rendered in religious pictures of the Divine Mother and Holy Child _ such as the Christian images of Mary and Jesus or the Egyptian portrayals of Isis and Osiris _ it is the sort of selfless devotion that comes closest to divine love. But though mother-love is a perennial ideal of mystics and poets, philosophers and theologians, the institution of motherhood has been rife with conflict and suffering and as some feminist thinkers in recent decades have argued, women have paid dearly for the sweet bliss of motherhood, enduring economic hardship and exclusion from power for their efforts. And despite the enormous strides modern-day women _ and men _ have achieved to right this wrong, vestiges of”mother prejudice”still remain, especially, say some feminist psychologists, when it comes to the mother-son bond, a powerful combination that, if close, threatens societal expectations of what it means to be a”real man.”

NEWS STORY: White House officials meet with atheist group

c. 1998 Religion News Service WASHINGTON _ The Clinton administration, which has made a point of reaching out to a wide spectrum of religious leaders, Monday hosted what is believed to be the first formal White House meeting between an organized atheist group and representatives of the president. Ron Barrier, national spokesman for American Atheists, the Austin, Texas-based group, called the meeting”a very positive”first step toward informing the White House about what his organization says are civil rights violations against nonbelievers.”Essentially, we wanted this as a beginning step,”he said.”Hopefully, this will open up lines of communication between the atheist community and this administration and any subsequent administration.” Barrier said it was the first time members of his organization had met with White House officials.”I think this was a historic meeting as far as the free-thought community in the United States is concerned,”he said. Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists, and Robert Zauner, the organization’s new Washington-based legislative director, also were among those at the 45-minute meeting.