Pope Francis in Brazil, via Wikimedia Commons: http://bit.ly/1aSAgKu

Monday’s Religion News Roundup: Quotable Pope * Mideast Talks * Rick Returns

The quotable, retweetable pope delighted the 3 million-strong crowds in Rio de Janeiro, telling the youth, “I want a mess…I want trouble in the dioceses!”

On his way home from World Youth Day, Pope Francis gave a spontaneous interview with reporters that is gaining much attention. On gays, he said, “Who am I to judge them if they’re seeking the Lord in good faith?” On womenpriests, he says no, but he also says, “We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more.” Transcript (in Spanish). The Supreme Court might need to settle whether secular, for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby must provide contraceptive coverage to employees despite the owners’ religious objections. Megachurch pastor Rick Warren returned to the pulpit for the first time since his son’s suicide in April. “God knows what it’s like to lose a son,” he said.

Eric Metaxas took over some of Chuck Colson's roles after Colson's death, including part of BreakPoint, a radio show Metaxas wrote for in the late 90s. Photo courtesy Eric Metaxas

Is Eric Metaxas the next Chuck Colson?

(RNS) Eric Metaxas took over some of Coloson’s roles, including part of BreakPoint, a radio show Metaxas wrote for in the late ’90s. He took Colson’s place on the board of the Manhattan Declaration, a movement Colson helped found to focus Christians’ attention on life, marriage and religious freedom issues, too. But comparisons to Colson go only so far.

Pope Francis announces next WYD location

July 28, 2013
Atlanta – Pope Francis announced today that the 2016 World Youth Day will be in Krakow, Poland. The Catholic Pilgrim Office has itineraries for your perusal at this time as well as an opportunity to create a customized itinerary that you envision for your pilgrimage. Please visit the website at: http://wyd.catholicpilgrimoffice.com/

To learn more about this Pilgrimage, please contact:
 The CPO Team
Toll Free: 1-800-769-9466
Office: (404) 467-8041
Fax: (404) 467-8042



Why there should be humanist chaplains

This week the House of Representatives approved an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act to bar the military from hiring humanist chaplains — or, as the bill’s sponsor, Rep. John C. Fleming, R-La, put it, “atheist chaplains.”

President Obama hosting Ramadan iftar

Beyond #WhiteHouseIftar: 6 points towards a principled action of solidarity

Here are six concrete points and strategies to help us continue a principled and constructive conversation about #whitehouseiftars. In the last thirty years, we as Muslims have had intense conversations about our multiple and overlapping identities as Americans and as Muslims. What kind of America we want to belong to? An America that is an Empire, or a land of liberty and rights? If it is the latter, words will not suffice. We need to be participants in making that a reality.

N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory made some tweaks to a law that  critics say discriminates against LGBT people.

NC Muslims hope Gov. Pat McCrory vetoes anti-Shariah bill

(RNS) If Gov. Pat McCrory signs the bill, North Carolina would become the seventh state to have an anti-Shariah law, joining Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. In May, Alabama lawmakers approved a like-minded constitutional amendment that state voters will consider in 2014.

After the opening Mass, Pope Francis speeds away accompanied by armed police. Hundreds try to take a shot of the departing Pontiff. RNS photo Robson Coelho

Pope to Brazilians: Don’t ignore the periphery

(RNS) Maria da Penha dos Santos was waiting outside with her husband, daughter and granddaughter when the pope stopped in. She introduced him to 20 of her family members who squeezed inside the tiny shanty for about 10 minutes. “I said, welcome Pope Francisco,” Santos said. “The house is yours.”

Senator John Kerry

Prominent American Jews embrace Kerry peace talks

(RNS) In a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the 140 signatories — including former Sen. Joseph Lieberman; professor Alan Dershowitz; philanthropist Charles Bronfman; and Republican Jewish Coalition board member Morris W. Offit — said they appreciated the risks the government is taking to achieve peace.

Quote of the Day: Stephen Ward, Mormon missionary

“From a religious standpoint, I’d like to say that God has something in store for me and that there’s a reason I’m still here,” Stephen Ward said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “I count myself very lucky and very blessed to have been able to survive so many things.” –Stephen Ward, a Mormon missionary who survived cancer, also survived a train wreck that killed at least 80 people in Spain.