RNS photo courtesy The Tibet Center

Dalai Lama taps American to bridge East and West at Tibetan monastery

NEW YORK (RNS) The Dalai Lama has given Nicholas Vreeland, director of The Tibet Center in New York, a daunting new assignment. On July 6, Vreeland will be enthroned as the new abbot of Rato Monastery in Southern India, one of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism. He will be the first Westerner to hold such a position. By Kim Lawton.

COMMENTARY: Ain’t no mountain high enough

(RNS) The horrendous ugliness of this year's political campaigns is a last-ditch effort to install hatred on the throne — all of it egged on by wealthy bigots whose goal, inevitably, is gaining more wealth. But it's last-ditch because times are changing. By Tom Ehrich.

RNS file photo courtesy Danny Bolin/Presbyterian News Service

Presbyterians to tackle gay marriage, divestment

(RNS) The Presbyterian Church (USA)'s biennial convention will revisit several thorny topics that have dominated church life for the past decade, including whether to allow same-sex blessings and whether to divest of companies that operate in Israel. By Gregg Brekke.

Vatican blames lack of priests on secularism, abuse, parents

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The sexual abuse scandal has tarnished the image of the priest and contributed to a crisis of priestly vocations in the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican said Monday (June 25), while also faulting a widespread “secularized mentality” and parents' ambition for their children. By Alessandro Speciale.

RNS photo by Omar Sacirbey

Pool of American imams too small to meet the demand

SHARON, Mass. (RNS) It will be at least 5 to 10 years before the pool of American imams becomes large enough to meet demand from mosques. In the meantime, Muslim communities will continue to depend on imams from abroad — and that creates challenges for a community that increasingly wants to assimilate. By Omar Sacirbey.