Solar popes can be found in Rome among souvenirs. Photo by Sarah Pulliam Bailey for RNS.

Pope at commencement? * Firing squad * Missionary stabbed: Monday's Roundup

Support RNS

Solar popes can be found in Rome among souvenirs. Photo by Sarah Pulliam Bailey for RNS.

Solar popes can be found in Rome among souvenirs. Photo by Sarah Pulliam Bailey for RNS.

Coming back from a trip to Italy, I can tell you that love for Pope Francis appears to still be strong. You can even get your own solar powered pope blessing in the souvenir aisles.

Speaking of Pope Francis, students at the University of Dallas are spearheading efforts to invite the pontiff to speak at commencement in 2015.

If they're like the class of 2014, though, chances are his invitation might be rescinded. At Haverford College, William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton, called protesters' approach "immature" and "arrogant," and the earlier withdrawal as a speaker of Robert J. Birgeneau, former chancellor of the UC Berkeley, a "defeat" for the Quaker college and its ideals. 

Two pastors are no longer listed on a Reformed evangelical group’s leadership after a different pastor from their church confessed to covering up sex abuse claims. Pastors Joshua Harris and C.J. Mahaney have left the Gospel Coalition council after a trial involving child abuse in the church they have both overseen.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has halted gay marriages in the state while a judge in Oregon is expected to rule on the state’s same-sex marriage ban today.

The Utah Supreme Court has halted the issuing of birth certificates to same-sex adoptions.

In the wake of continued discussion about the death penalty, a Utah lawmaker has called for bring back the firing squad as a method of execution.

An American missionary was stabbed to death in Haiti on Friday in a suspected robbery.

Chile's child welfare service is investigating allegations that a Catholic priest was involved in giving babies up for adoption without their parents' knowledge, telling the biological mothers that their child had died.

A man drowned in a Puerto Rico river during a baptism.

In who's-running-in-2016 news, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, was courting Jewish donors, calling for a more aggressive foreign policy. The governor, who is Catholic, upset some after making mention of "occupied territories" in a recent trip to Israel.

Finally, a new poll suggests that many Americans skip church -- and then fib about it. It just sounds better. Read all about it.


  1. lol, in my neighborhood, if you go to church, you’d probably lie and say you didn’t. And in certain Christian neighborhoods if you’re Catholic and go to church, it’s best to say you don’t go to that church.

  2. Daniel Marsh
    6539 Linville drive
    Brighton, MI 48116-9531 USA

    To Whom may be concerned:

    I want to learn more about the scriptures. I am former US military. I share Jesus with anyone who will listen.

    I can not afford to purchase books as I am on a limited budget due to having to “retire” early due to health concerns(degenerative bone disease, cancer) and due to senior care giving responsibilities (Mary, Walt, Glades and Joyce).

    I need books(exegetical commentaries, background culture & history, controversial subjects) on the Bible, free of charge, please.

    My weakness is the Prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures. My goal is to study them in their original historical context as far as possible.

    Thank You

    PS Please pray that my relationship with Carol, Ashley and Alyssa be healed and that my mind be healed of memory problems — cognitive disorder.

  3. Sometimes I’m not sure how tongue-in-cheek the Roundup is trying to be, so just to make sure, the University of Dallas is a Catholic university. If they were to rescind the Pope’s invitation then the whole commencement speaker controversy will officially have jumped the shark.

Leave a Comment