Quote of the Day: Pope Francis

“I try to maintain the same way of being and of acting that I had in Buenos Aires, because if I were to change at my age it would certainly be ridiculous.”
— Pope Francis, in a letter to a priest friend in his native Argentina, quoted by the Zenit news agency.


RNS Names Yonat Shimron Managing Editor

Award-winning journalist Yonat Shimron has been named managing editor at Religion News Service (RNS), reporting to Kevin Eckstrom, the editor-in-chief.  Shimron will join the news team on June 3, where she will help develop online religion coverage and work with staff, freelancers and bloggers to shape stories. For the past two years, she has served as development director at RNS where she raised foundation and individual support for the nonprofit subscription-based news wire and website. Before joining RNS, Shimron was the religion reporter for The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., for 15 years. While there, she won numerous awards from the Religion Newswriters Association and was a nine-time winner of the Duke Divinity School Award for Excellence in Religion Reporting. She served as president of the Religion Newswriters Association from 2006-2007.

This image is used with permission of Shutterstock.com. (http://tinyurl.com/pdmuej5)

Writing Out Loud

People tend to assume that because I blog regularly and have published books and whatnot, I actually enjoy writing. As if. But since I purchased an iPad, I’ve had a little more success in writing fearlessly and on time.


Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly Listings— May 31

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET. Visit www.pbs.org/religionandethics for additional information.   Show # 1639 will be fed over PBS at 5:00 p.m. EST on May 31. PROGRAM NOTE: Due to pledge, please check local listings. Garment Workers – The garment industry is Cambodia’s largest income earner, employing hundreds of thousands of workers who make garments for big-name retailers in the U.S. and Europe   As Fred de Sam Lazaro reports, despite agreements that establish labor standards for working conditions and minimum wages, labor organizations claim workers are exploited but the government says they aren’t and that paying them more would lead to the loss of jobs to other countries where labor is even cheaper. (Originally aired May 18, 2012) http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/may-18-2012/cambodia-garment-worker-justice/11033/

The Mission Continues – Lucky Severson reports on a rapidly growing organization that enlists veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Mission Continues, which was founded in 2007 by former Navy Seal and Rhodes Scholar Eric Greitens, provides opportunities for military veterans to continue to serve, an effort that aids both them and their communities.

Part of Nicholas Roerich's designs for Diaghilev's 1913 production of Le Sacre du printemps. Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NikolaiRoerichRite1.jpg

Happy Century, Rite of Spring

Today marks the hundredth anniversary of the premiere in Paris of the greatest religious musical composition of the 20th century, Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, Le Sacre du Printemps.

Supporters pray during the “Nuns on the Bus” kick-off rally on May 29, 2013 at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J. RNS photo by David Gibson

‘Nuns on the Bus’ kick off immigration tour

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (RNS) With the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, the “Nuns on the Bus” on Wednesday kicked off a cross-country tour for immigration reform aimed at giving a faith-based push to legislation that is hanging in the balance in Congress.

Cathleen Falsani's son, Vasco, left, and his half-brother, Juma, are reunited after three years during a visit to Blantyre, Malawi, earlier this month. RNS photo by Cathleen Falsani/Orange County Register

Finding hope and wholeness in my son’s return to Africa

BLANTYRE, Malawi (RNS) There was a time when my son was too sick to run and roughhouse with his brother and the other boys in this village where was born. But as we watched him play soccer with his cousins, we all knew it without having to say a word: They were, each and every one of them, an answer to a mother’s prayer.


Pope Francis’ Statement on Atheists – What’s the Big Deal?

Cambridge, MA – As the controversy and questions continue to arise around what Pope Francis really said last week regarding Heaven, Hell, atheism and salvation, writers for both secular and Catholic media outlets are still trying to determine whether atheists are destined for Heaven or doomed to Hades. The nation’s fastest-growing apologetics organization notes Pope Francis has not only said nothing new, but his remarks are far less extreme than those of his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. “Pope Benedict XVI taught that some atheists are actually closer to God than many Christians,” said Rachel McHugh, Chair of New Apologetics, a non-profit focused on fostering dialogue between Catholics and atheists. “If the average Catholic truly understood what the Church teaches on the idea of salvation, they’d realize it’s better to be an honest atheist than a Christian with empty piety.”

As evidence, Ms. McHugh referred to the September 25, 2011 open-air Mass in the German City of Freiburg, where Pope Benedict XVI updated the warning of Christ that “tax collectors and harlots” were closer to God than the religious leaders of the day. “Agnostics, who are constantly exercised by the question of God, those who long for a pure heart but suffer on account of their sin, are closer to the Kingdom of God than believers whose life of faith is ‘routine’ and who regard the Church merely as an institution,” said Pope Benedict XVI.


Gay Catholic priest comes out to an uncertain future

ST. LOUIS (RNS) “I have tried over the years to reconcile my silence as a gay priest with that of the Church’s increasingly anti-gay stance. I have been unsuccessful,” the Rev. Gary Meier writes in his book “Hidden Voices: Reflections of a Gay, Catholic Priest.”