Tracy Gordon is an author at Religion News Service.
Traditionalists facing showdown with Vatican
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI has drawn the ire of many Catholics with its attempt to reconcile with the Society of St. Pius X, a traditionalist breakaway Catholic group. Now, the SSPX's final answer to a Vatican offer of reconciliation is expected within days. By Alessandro Speciale.
Muslim growth is good for Muslim businesses, marketing
WASHINGTON (RNS) Muslim consumers are growing in America and they have money they want to spend. Now, mainstream businesses and marketing are starting to take notice. By Annalisa Musarra.
Holocaust violins live to play another song
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (RNS) Another voice from the past is telling the stories of the Holocaust. Violins that outlived their owners in the Nazi camps and Jewish ghettos are being brought back to life by Amnon Weinstein in his shop in Tel Aviv, and will be unveiled for Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies. By Ken Garfield.
Rutgers University newspaper under fire for Hitler spoof
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (RNS) A satirical student newspaper is under investigation by Rutgers University after publishing a column in praise of Adolf Hitler and attributing it to a Jewish student activist. By Jessica Calefati and Ryan Hutchins.
Anti-Shariah bill defeated in Oklahoma senate
(RNS) The Oklahoma state senate voted Thursday (April 5) to kill a bill that would have prohibited state judges from considering foreign laws, including Islamic law, in their decisions. By Omar Sacirbey.
‘Reverts’ return to their childhood faith
(RNS) Just 9 percent of U.S. adults who left their faith say they've returned to the pews, practices and prayers that shaped them. They're not converts; they're reverts. And religious denominations are stepping up efforts to reclaim, re-energize and re-educate these fallen-away faithful. By Cathy Lynn Grossman.
Minister sees no choice but to fight for refugees
HIGHLAND PARK, N.J. (RNS) He is young and looks even younger than his 36 years. Yet in the midst of a confrontation with the federal government that could have grave consequences for his future, the Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale acts with the poise of a much older man. By Bob Braun.
Jesus-like shadow draws thousands of pilgrims to New Orleans church
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) The image of a bearded man that appeared on a stone pillar at the Ursuline Academy seems to be a naturally occurring shadow cast by an ornate chandelier above the sanctuary. But some say its appearance during Holy Week has deeper meaning: "It's got me believing," said pilgrim Kim Thompson. By Bruce Nolan.
Pope Benedict XVI says church reform won’t come through open dissent
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI took the unusual step of responding directly to a call for women's ordination and married priests, saying reform can only come through radical obedience, not dissent. By Alessandro Speciale.
Vet hears God’s call in providing artificial limbs
NASHVILLE (RNS) In 2003, Allan Doyle was in Saddam Hussein's palace when a stone wall crushed his left leg. Doctor's had no choice but to amputate it below the knee. Now, Doyle has rediscovered his faith and found a new calling as a prosthetist -- a medical professional who fits amputees with new limbs. By Bob Smietana.
Vicar sentenced for conducting sham marriages
LONDON (RNS) A Church of England vicar was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for conducting hundreds of bogus weddings and illegally pocketing more than $48,000 in fees. By Al Webb.
Catholic group leaves Vanderbilt over membership rules
NASHVILLE (RNS) One of the largest student religious groups at Vanderbilt University is leaving campus in a dispute over the school's non-discrimination policy that bars student groups from requiring their leaders to hold specific beliefs. By Bob Smietana.
GUEST COMMENTARY: A dark Easter for Palestinian Christians
(RNS) Travel restrictions on Palestinian Christians for worship are not only in force during Holy Week, but also throughout the year. Certainly, Israel can take care of its own security concerns while accommodating peaceful Palestinian Christian worship. By Richard Stearns.
Jewish support for Obama strong despite Israel stance
WASHINGTON (RNS) Despite all the political hand-wringing that President Obama could lose Jewish support over his Middle East policies, a new poll shows that Israel sits far down on American Jewish voters’ list of key issues, with only 4 percent calling it the most important factor in their vote. By Lauren Markoe.
Opposition grows to religious freedom nominee
(RNS) More than 1,800 people have signed a petition asking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to "reconsider" his appointment of Zuhdi Jasser, a prominent critic of Islam, to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. By Omar Sacribey.