New book tries to dispel the “Black Legend” of the papacy’s most scandalous dynasty

VATICAN CITY (RNS) With hundreds of movies and novels devoted to their crimes and intrigues, the Borgias are probably the most controversial family in the history of the papacy. But a new book, drawing on documents from the Vatican Secret Archive, tries to cast the Renaissance dynasty in a new light and dispel the “black legend” surrounding it. By Alessandro Speciale

Church of England rejects women bishops

LONDON (RNS) In a surprise move that shocked both sides of a years-long debate, the Church of England on Tuesday (Nov. 20) rejected an expected move to allow women bishops, preserving the church's status as one of the last bastions of male privilege in the United Kingdom. By Trevor Grundy.

Vatican says it hasn’t lost the gay marriage fight

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Despite recent setbacks in the U.S. and Europe, the Catholic Church is not losing its fight against gay marriage. On the contrary, according to the Vatican newspaper, its resistance is alerting many to the dangers of threatening the “foundation” of human society. By Alessandro Speciale.

RNS photo courtesy Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Convicted bishop is Catholic hierarchy’s elephant in the room

(RNS) As the nation’s Catholic bishops gather in Baltimore next week, they will be facing questions about how they will cope with the re-election of President Obama. But also looming is the question of how they will deal with Bishop Robert Finn of Missouri, who in September became the first bishop found guilty of covering up for a priest suspected of child abuse.

RNS photo by Kevin Eckstrom

S.C. Episcopalians say split goes beyond gay debate

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (RNS) The Diocese of South Carolina has seceded from the national Episcopal Church, but little else is clear. Will all the congregations go along with the split? What about individual worshipers? And what do they call themselves now? By Amanda Greene