Paul O'Donnell

Paul O'Donnell is the editor in chief of Religion News Service.

All Stories by Paul O'Donnell

Navigating grief in the social media age

By Paul O'Donnell — August 6, 2019
(RNS) — At a time when trust in church and clergy is strikingly low, young adults are finding new ways to support each other when bad news or tragedy arrives.

El Paso and Dayton mass shootings: Christians must act as well as pray

By Paul O'Donnell — August 5, 2019
(RNS) — We shouldn't dismiss 'thoughts and prayers' as a response to disasters, as prayer is an important pathway to God. But if no further action is taken, it becomes an empty cliché.

Has the time come for America to atone for its original sin?

By Paul O'Donnell — July 29, 2019
(RNS) — In one of the most significant developments in religious history, slaves cast aside passivity and servitude using a biblical story that is central to Jewish worship. It's time for America to complete that story with atonement in the public square.

Africa-wide Roman Catholic body marks 50 years of progress

By Paul O'Donnell — July 24, 2019
NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — Established during Pope Paul VI's 1969 visit to Uganda, the first by a pope in Africa, SECAM once consisted of fewer than 50 clerics. The symposium now brings together some 400 cardinals, archbishops, bishops and priests from 40 national and regional bodies.

Jains gather in California with the next generation on their minds

By Paul O'Donnell — July 10, 2019
LOS ANGELES (RNS) — The ancient Indian faith has seen tremendous growth in the U.S. over the past two decades, largely through immigration. Now the challenge is sustaining the faith's numbers among millennials and Gen Z.

AP-NORC Poll: Americans rarely seek guidance from clergy

By Paul O'Donnell — July 8, 2019
DETROIT (AP) — A new poll from the Associated Press and the National Opinion and Research Center found that while a majority of Americans still identify with a specific faith, about half say they want religious leaders to have little influence in their lives.

Foster mother of more than 100 children works to recruit Latino families

By Paul O'Donnell — July 5, 2019
LOS ANGELES (RNS) — The county's family services agency funds recruitment efforts in faith communities, Latino Catholics in particular, to make sure local children in need find a home that is a good cultural fit.

Today’s perfectionists can find healing in the Sacred Heart

By Paul O'Donnell — June 27, 2019
(RNS) — Why did some of the best-known saints see meditating on and imitating the heart of Jesus as the key to their victory over perfectionism?

5 former Michigan Catholic priests charged with sex crimes

By Paul O'Donnell — May 24, 2019
DETROIT (AP) — Four priests were arrested this week in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, and the fifth awaits extradition from India.

D-Day was the beginning of American Jews’ ‘coming of age’

By Paul O'Donnell — May 22, 2019
(RNS) — When Jewish men and women returned to civilian life in 1945, they no longer perceived themselves as members of a vulnerable minority group, but rather as part of a proud, self-confident community.

‘A Dog’s Journey’ brings Bruce Cameron’s Bailey back to life — and back again

By Paul O'Donnell — May 17, 2019
LOS ANGELES (RNS) — 'A Dog’s Journey' plumbs dark topics, including domestic abuse, alcohol abuse and child abandonment as a route to portray redemption and forgiveness.

Sowing division, Islamists target Christians in Burkina Faso

By Paul O'Donnell — May 14, 2019
(RNS) — Since 2016, at least 300 violent incidents have been reported in Burkina Faso, resulting in the death of more than 360 people, including policemen and soldiers, school teachers and religious leaders.

Anti-abortion billboards come down in Kenya, but the debate over legalization continues

By Paul O'Donnell — May 9, 2019
NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — An advertising company took a church's paid messages down after abortion-rights protesters marched on the offices of local officials.

‘Hesburgh’ captures the simple faith and outsized influence of ‘Father Ted’

By Paul O'Donnell — May 3, 2019
(RNS) — A big-screen chronicle of the civil rights campaigner and Catholic priest known as 'Father Ted' shows how a simple man became a force in troubled times.

Kitniyot or not? As Jewish traditions merge in Israel, a Passover debate emerges

By Paul O'Donnell — April 18, 2019
JERUSALEM (RNS) — At Passover, Jews of Eastern European descent abstain from eating legumes such as chickpeas and soybeans. Sephardic Jews have no such prohibition. What does seder look like when the two groups come together?
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