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Kenyan faith leaders fight to preserve ‘Sunday best’ at church

By Fredrick Nzwili — January 18, 2023
(RNS) — While some of the new debate over dress codes in church has to do with morality, one Catholic priest explained a more practical concern: ‘One needs to be properly dressed so that they are not a distraction to other worshippers who want to focus on their creator.’

Islamic State claims church bombing in east Congo; 14 dead

By Associated Press — January 18, 2023
KASINDI, Congo (AP) — Islamic extremists claimed responsibility for a bombing of a church in eastern Congo as authorities said Monday that the toll from Sunday's attack had risen to at least 14 dead.

Christians represented significant faction of capital rioters in Brazil

By Eduardo Campos Lima — January 17, 2023
SÃO PAULO (RNS) — At least four evangelical pastors were among those arrested in the aftermath of the attack.

Pell’s ‘catastrophe’ memorandum stains his legacy

By Thomas Reese — January 17, 2023
(RNS) — Pell was cowardly and disloyal in authoring an anonymous memorandum attacking Pope Francis.

A historic meeting of Orthodox Christian scholars convenes to confront divisions and war

By Meagan Saliashvili — January 13, 2023
(RNS) — Contentious issues of church polity have been exposed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

Traditionalists, reform and women

By Phyllis Zagano — January 13, 2023
(RNS) — So-called traditionalists have lost two icons in recent weeks, deflating opposition to reform on women's roles.

‘Catastrophe’: Cardinal Pell’s secret memo blasts Francis

By Nicole Winfield — January 12, 2023
VATICAN CITY (AP) — As Pope Francis will deliver a final send-off for Cardinal George Pell at a funeral Mass on Saturday, the Vatican said, as revelations emerge of the Australian prelate’s growing concern about what he considered the “disaster” and “catastrophe” of the papacy under Francis.

Israel’s new hard-line government has made headlines – the bigger demographic changes that caused it, not so much

By Michael Brenner — January 11, 2023
(The Conversation) — Two religiously observant groups of Jews in Israel, the ultra-Orthodox and Religious Zionists, are increasingly acting as political allies. The consequences could be profound.

Why Israel’s Orthodox Jewish parties want to narrow the country’s ‘Law of Return’

By Avi Shafran — January 11, 2023
(RNS) — The Orthodox parties see the law as a recipe for increased intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews.

Cardinal George Pell, conservative force at the Vatican, dies at 81

By Claire Giangravé — January 10, 2023
VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Pell was praised for his forceful efforts to reform Vatican finances, but his life and career were marred in recent years due to sexual abuse allegations in his native Australia.

A restored medieval depiction of the Crusades shows how England embraced Islamic culture

By Menachem Wecker — January 10, 2023
(RNS) — Floor tiles from Chertsey Abbey in England, the subject of a new exhibition, resemble Muslim and Byzantine silks that crusaders brought back as souvenirs. 

Benedict XVI’s quiet exit at odds with his lasting imprint on the pontificate

By Claire Giangravé — January 10, 2023
(RNS) — Many tourists and Roman citizens didn’t know the retired pope had died, despite the massive impact that his life had on the Catholic Church and the popes.

With Benedict’s death, a way opens for more formal rules for retired popes

By Thomas Reese — January 9, 2023
(RNS) — Symbols are important in the Catholic Church, and having two men dressed in white and called pope is confusing.

Why a visit by Israel’s national security minister to Al-Aqsa Mosque caused a firestorm

By Daoud Kuttab — January 6, 2023
(RNS) — Israel must decide whether its future will be as a modern democracy or a theocracy. 

Bulgarians celebrate Epiphany with traditional rituals

By Associated Press — January 6, 2023
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Thousands of young men are plunging into rivers and lakes across Bulgaria to retrieve crucifixes, in an old ritual marking the feast of Epiphany.
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