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The ‘Splainer

The ’Splainer: What’s a cardinal?

By David Gibson — November 15, 2016

(RNS) On Nov. 19 at the Vatican, Pope Francis will officially name – or “create,” as the Catholic Church prefers to say – 17 new cardinals. What is a cardinal anyway? Where did they come from? What do they do? Let us ‘Splain …

The ‘Splainer: What is ‘Reformation Day’?

By Kimberly Winston — October 28, 2016

(RNS) Reformation Day is mainly marked by Lutherans and members of the Reformed Church, and in some churches it has developed into a holiday meant to rival Halloween. But does it? Let us ‘Splain . . .

The ‘Splainer: The ‘spiritual battle’ over the Dakota Access pipeline

By Emily McFarlan Miller — September 16, 2016

(RNS) How is opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline rooted in traditional Native American spirituality? Let us ‘Splain …

The ‘Splainer: Lourdes and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

By Josephine McKenna — August 12, 2016

(RNS) Security is being beefed up as thousands of pilgrims flock to a Marian shrine in southwest France. Why Lourdes and what is the Assumption?

The ‘Splainer: Who is St. Sebastian and why do athletes claim him?

By Kimberly Winston — August 4, 2016

(RNS) From Christian martyr to sports icon, St. Sebastian is the patron saint of athletes and of Rio de Janeiro.

The ‘Splainer: Was Charles Koch using the term ‘blood libel’ correctly?

By Emily McFarlan Miller — August 1, 2016

(RNS) Billionaire Charles Koch said rumors he would support Hillary Clinton for president amounted to “a blood libel,” but do they really? Let us ‘Splain.

The ‘Splainer: Who is Fethullah Gulen?

By Lauren Markoe — July 20, 2016

(RNS) In 80 countries — including the U.S. — Gulenists are making their mark.

The ‘Splainer: What is the Star of David and what does it mean for Jews?

By Lauren Markoe — July 6, 2016

(RNS) The symbol is newer to Judaism than you might think.

The ‘Splainer: What does the pope mean by ‘apologize’?

By Kimberly Winston — June 27, 2016

(RNS) What does it mean that Pope Francis thinks the Catholic Church should apologize to gays and other marginalized groups? Let us ‘Splain . . .

The ‘Splainer: Passover, the most beloved Jewish holiday

By Lauren Markoe — April 22, 2016

(RNS) Slaves, plagues, wine and matzo.

The ‘Splainer: Was the Last Supper a Passover seder?

By Kimberly Winston — March 24, 2016

(RNS) Most scholars say “nope,” but a growing number of Christians host their own seders. Let us ‘splain …

The ‘Splainer: Who was St. Patrick, and would he drink green beer?

By Kimberly Winston — March 17, 2016

(RNS) March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. But was there a real St. Patrick? Did he drive the snakes out of Ireland or use the shamrock to explain the Trinity? Why should this fifth-century priest be remembered at all? Let us ‘Splain.

‘The ‘Splainer: Making sense of exit polls

By Cathy Lynn Grossman — March 10, 2016

(RNS) These polls have given us “Trumpvangelicals,” true believers for Ted Cruz and confusion over Democrats and the God vote. Let us ‘splain.

The ‘Splainer: Pope Gregory makes the leap to leap year

By Kimberly Winston — February 29, 2016

(RNS) Whatever your feelings about this extra day of winter/school/work, you can thank a 16th-century Catholic pope for it. Let us ‘Splain . . .

The ‘Splainer: What to expect at Scalia’s Catholic funeral

By Kimberly Winston — February 19, 2016

(RNS) Will there be a Mass? A eulogy? Lots of sacred music? Let us ‘Splain . . .

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