The Slingshot: Hi-Yo Francis! Gay marriage in Mississippi. E-bracelets for Hajj.


Need to know: 07/01/2016

Out on a limb

Is Pope Francis a Lone Ranger on apologizing to gays?

The pontiff’s comments that the Catholic Church should ask forgiveness for bias against gay people were hailed in headlines. But not so much in the hierarchy. Why? More from Religion News Service

Coming out

In memoirs, ex-Pope Benedict says Vatican ‘gay lobby’ wielded power

The book, called “The Last Conversations,” is the first time in history that a former pope judges his own pontificate after it is over. It is due to be published on Sept. 9. More from Religion News Service

No accommodation

Mississippi law protecting opponents of gay marriage is blocked

Federal judge rules that the law unconstitutionally “put its thumb on the scale to favor some religious beliefs over others.” More from

Dangerous calling

Coptic priest gunned down by ISIS in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula

Militants claim the 46-year-old cleric was guilty of "combating Islam," and in separate incident a bombing attack left a policeman dead. More from

Crowd control

Saudi Arabia introduces e-bracelets for safety at Hajj 2016

After last year's stampede that killed hundreds, Riyadh introduces new safety measures to monitor pilgrims' movements. More from

Bonus tracks

Feed your neighbor

They were about to break their Ramadan fast. But first, they fed others.

After suicide bombers attacked an airport in Istanbul and a man inspired by ISIS killed 49 people at a gay club in Orlando, reaching out to the community with a public iftar was important. More from

Seeking death

Palestinian teen who murdered 13-year-old Jewish girl hoped to die a martyr

The party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas praised the attacker who allegedly killed the girl while she was asleep in her bed. More from The Forward

Pray to live

Church attendance linked with reduced suicide risk among women, especially for Catholics, study says

Religious services are seen “a form of meaningful social participation” that buffer women against loneliness and isolation. More from

Church and space

Should NASA have given $1.1 million to a theology institute?

It took more than a year for anyone to object to the government agency’s grant to the Christian-oriented Center of Theological Inquiry. More from Religion Dispatches

Sine qua non?

Atheist minister defends her views at United Church ‘inquisition’

The Rev. Gretta Vosper is now waiting to hear if a review panel will recommend she be defrocked for violating her ordination vows. More from