Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup: Halloween’s real message. Saint James Bond? Is the Reformation over?

As Hurricane Sandy retreats, many stop to ponder the meaning of such devastation. What is a religious response? Proof of God’s judgment? Or God’s absence? Sandy has cast a pall over Halloween this year, in some places. Is the Reformation over? Or reigniting? The Vatican floats the idea of setting up a special Lutheran church inside the Roman Catholic Church.    

RNS photo by Tracy Simmons / Spokane Faith and Values

Lesbian answers bishop’s call for dialogue on gay marriage

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) The Catholic bishop here has asked for an honest dialogue about same-sex marriage, so Charlene Strong was happy to take him up on his offer, telling a Catholic campus why the state's domestic partnership law was insufficient when her partner of 10 years was dying. By Tracy Simmons.

RNS photo courtesy the Library of Congress

Library of Congress exhibit celebrates Jewish history, artifacts

WASHINGTON (RNS) A 19th-century copy of the U.S. Constitution in Hebrew, a 15th-century Hebrew book that had been censored during the Inquisition and a copy of “Curious George'' in Yiddish are all part of a Library of Congress exhibit celebrating one of the world's largest collections of Jewish artifacts. By Debra Rubin.

RNS photo by Tracy Simmons/Spokane Faith and Values

Woman crusades to save sister’s life, end the death penalty

SPOKANE, Wash. (RNS) Victoria Ann Thorpe's sister has been on death row for 18 years for a crime she says she didn't commit. Now Thorpe is leading a grass-roots campaign to abolish the death penalty in Washington state, saying Jesus would never tolerate it. “Nothing that he did or said can be manipulated into harshness,” she said. By Tracy Simmons.