The Slingshot: Green pope. Doubting saint. Mel Gibson’s Jesus sequel.


Need to know: 09/01/2016

Pontiff dons green

Pope Francis says care of environment a new ‘work of mercy’

The pope has called for urgent action to stop climate change, saying care of the environment should be added to the traditional seven works of mercy like feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless. More from Religion News Service

Sackcloth and reparations

Georgetown University plans steps to atone for slave past

Nearly two centuries after the Jesuit school profited from the sale of 272 slaves, it will announce steps to atone for the past, including awarding preferential status in admissions to descendants of the enslaved. More from

Canonization fodder

Mother Teresa is ‘Saint of the Doubters,’ says Jesuit author

The Rev. James Martin, author of the best-selling memoir ‘My Life With the Saints,’ talks about the canonization of Mother Teresa and sainthood in the modern era. More from Religion News Service

Maybe Matthew, Mark, Luke or John?

Mel Gibson talks ‘Passion of the Christ’ sequel at Harvest Crusade

‘You know, it’s not the ‘Passion 2.’ It’s called ‘The Resurrection,’ ‘ the controversial director said, adding that the film will only happen if he partners with a ‘brilliant’ writer. More from (beta)

Some good news

The Christian intellectual tradition is alive and well

So why have commentators bemoaned the absence of Christian thinkers as authoritative voices in American public debates? More from Religion News Service

On the other hand …

Son had 36 bruises; mom quoted Bible as defense

The mother said a parent who ‘spares the rod, spoils the child’ while citing Indiana's religious freedom law. More from Religion News Service

Bonus tracks

Giving peace a chance

Pope welcomes Colombian agreement with rebels

The groundbreaking agreement between the Colombian government and FARC rebels promises to end more than 50 years of violent conflict. More from Religion News Service

Giving idiots an excuse

Indonesian priest attack inspired by murder of French Catholic cleric

Police say the attacker was self-radicalized, but also working with an associate in the so-called Islamic State. More from Religion News Service

Step One: admit you have a problem

Some churches are forming ‘Racists Anonymous’ groups

As tensions grow amid police shootings of young black men and a presidential campaign rife with allegations of racism, one California pastor is offering a venue to get people talking — for those brave enough to join. More from

Yahweh or the highway?

Signs of God

How a mayor’s campaign to keep a Jesus sign brought discord to a God-fearing East Texas town. More from

Who you calling ‘mythical’?

Iceland unearths rock to appease angry elves

Iceland has been forced to bow to pressure from elves and uncover a supposedly enchanted elfin rock after highway workers accidentally buried it -- infuriating the mythical creatures. More from