VATICAN CITY (RNS) Five centuries after its inauguration, the Sistine Chapel is visited by around 5 million visitors a year. Some worry this number is unsustainable without damaging Michelangelo's frescoes, but the Vatican wants to keep the iconic chapel open to all. By Alessandro Speciale
ST. GEORGE, Utah (RNS) Most U.S. Mormons share Mitt Romney's GOP party affiliation, but there are liberal-leaning members of the church who are finding their voice and supporting President Obama. By Brian Passey / USA Today.
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.
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.
LOS ANGELES (RNS) The Sultans of Satire stand-up comedy show aims to challenge stereotypes and sensitivities about Muslims and Arabs while bringing people together through a few laughs — even though much of the material couldn't be printed by a family-friendly newspaper. By Megan Sweas.
(RNS) Breaking a longstanding personal pledge, Southern Baptist leader Richard Land has endorsed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, saying next week's election is the most important since Abraham Lincoln's win in 1860 and he can no longer stay silent. By David Gibson
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) Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a non-religious family that's challenging the mandatory daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in their children’s classrooms. By Kimberly Winston.
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.
(RNS) While fewer Muslims are supporting Obama this year, Muslim support for Mitt Romney, at 7 percent according to a recent poll, is more than triple the 2.2 percent of Muslims who voted for John McCain in 2008. By Omar Sacirbey.