Gun Campaign

As bells toll, clergy push Congress on gun control

WASHINGTON (RNS) As bells tolled across the country on Friday (Dec. 21) in memory of lives lost in Newtown, Conn., religious leaders gathered outside the Washington National Cathedral to push congregants and Congress to prevent further gun violence. By Adelle M. Banks.

A painting of Pope Paul VI, who issued the Humanae Vitae encycical in 1968, at the Casa Santa Maria dell'Umilta of the Pontifical North American College, Rome. Religion News Service file photo by Rene Shaw.

Pope Paul VI inches one step closer to sainthood

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Paul VI, who guided the Catholic Church through a tumultuous period of change in the 1960s and 70s, took a crucial first step toward possible sainthood when Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday (Dec. 20) recognized his predecessor’s “heroic virtues.” By Alessandro Speciale.

GetGetReligion: Just call them Nones

Pew prefers to call them the “unaffiliated,” though in its report on the group back in October it overcame its misgivings and went ahead (sometimes with scare quotes) and periodically called them by what has become the preferred sociological term: Nones.


I pray for the apocalypse

I pray for the apocalypse, today. Here is one of the original meanings of Apocalypse:  Old English, via Old French and ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apokalupsis, from apokaluptein ‘uncover, reveal’, from apo- ‘un-‘ + kaluptein ‘to cover’. So yes, I pray for the apocalypse. I pray for the uncovering of falsehood. I pray for the discovery of all that is good and beautiful inside us, all that is currently hidden by ego and greed and injustice.

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan

“Like Jesus, Annie laid down her life for her friends. Like Jesus, Annie’s life and death brings light, truth, goodness and love to a world often shrouded in darkness, evil, selfishness and death.” — New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, speaking at the funeral of Anne Marie Murphy, a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., who died shielding her students from a gunman who killed 20 children and six adults. He was quoted by The Associated Press.

Sikh Shooter

From nuns to ‘nones,’ 10 ways religion shaped the news in 2012

WASHINGTON (RNS) From the nuns to the nones, religion dominated the headlines throughout 2012. Questions of religious faith took center stage in the presidential race, and deep questions of morality and ethics played out in budget debates, mass killings and an unexpected focus on “religious freedom.” Here are 10 ways religion played out in the news in 2012. By Kevin Eckstrom.

Mayan Calendar 2012

Mayans unfazed about the end of the world

(RNS) Folks seeking spiritual experiences are pouring into the Yucatan Peninsula for the end of the centuries-long Mayan calendar that some believe predicted the end of the world Friday. The Mayan people here appear to be bemused. By David Agren / USA Today.

Jindal teaches the Catholic Church a lesson

Bobby Jindal, the conservative Catholic governor of Louisiana, attracted some attention last week for a Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he advocated making oral contraceptives available over the counter without a prescription. And for his pains, he received a slap on the wrist from his local archdiocese. Jindal made his case on libertarian and partisan grounds: People should have a right to buy products free from government restrictions, and letting them do so in this case (as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommends) will take contraception out of the political arena (where the Democrats are using it to kick our butts). In response, the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ communications director told the Times-Picayune, “We disagree with the governor’s opinion because, as the Catholic Church teaches, contraception is always wrong.” And so, presumably, the more readily available it is, the greater the quantum of wrong in the world.


Gandalf and Goodness–today

I love spiritual mentors, wise old souls that see beyond, see that something in us that we don’t see in ourselves.      I love Yoda, love Dumbledore, love Gandalf. The Gandalf character has grown on me, bit by bit. In the Hobbit movie, there is a line that really spoke to me. He disagrees with his old friend (not yet nemesis) Saruman, about their views on how to confront evil. Here is what Gandalf says:

Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found.

Journalists vote for contraception fight as top 2012 U.S. religion story, pick Catholic bishops’ president as top newsmaker


COLUMBIA, MO—As the nation reeled from the Dec. 14 killing of 20 first graders and six adults in Newtown, Conn., religious leaders sought to console a stunned public and to discern religion’s role in future debates about mental health and gun control. The No. 1 U.S. religion story in December 2012 was, without a doubt, the school attack and the mournful search for meaning that follows. However, before the shooting, professional journalists who cover religion voted on the year’s other significant religious events.