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Evangelist Franklin Graham on Oct. 2, 2019, in Greenville, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

UK judge: Council discriminated in removing bus ads promoting Franklin Graham festival

By Yonat Shimron — April 1, 2021

(RNS) — The judge said the borough council’s actions ‘discriminated on the ground of religion’ and showed ‘wholesale disregard for the right to freedom of expression.’

People visit a Christ sculpture at the Santa Maria Magdalena Church during Holy Week in Granada, Spain, on March 29, 2021. (Photo by Álex Cámara/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Why parts of Good Friday worship have been controversial

By Joanne M. Pierce — March 31, 2021

(The Conversation) — Prayers for Jews and veneration of the cross are often misunderstood as anti-Semitic or racist.

Photo by Jo Hilton/Unsplash/Creative Commons

ASL Bible shows that God speaks in sign languages too

By Robert L. Briggs — March 31, 2021

(RNS) — Millions of American churchgoers have been without access to the Bible in their native language.

Rescue boats fill a flooded street as flood victims are evacuated as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey rise on Aug. 28, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Vatican makes moral case for supporting people displaced by climate change

By Claire Giangravé — March 30, 2021

(RNS) — Local Catholic groups are invited in a new Vatical document to establish ‘solidarity networks’ to ensure migrants’ dignity ‘in all phases of displacement.’

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, file photo, Sarah Obama, center, step-grandmother of then U.S. President Barack Obama, walks back to her house after speaking to the media in the garden of her home in the village of Kogelo, western Kenya. Sarah Obama, the matriarch of Barack Obama's Kenyan family, has died, relatives and officials confirmed Monday, March 29, 2021 but did not disclose the cause of death. She was at least 99 years old. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

Barack Obama’s beloved step-grandmother, a Muslim and philanthropist, dies in Kenya at 99

By Fredrick Nzwili — March 29, 2021

(RNS) — The family matriarch and celebrated philanthropist was open to all faiths, religious leaders here have said.

Police officers inspect the area near a church where an explosion went off in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Sunday, March 28, 2021. A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a packed Roman Catholic cathedral on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island during a Palm Sunday Mass, wounding a number of people, police said. (AP Photo/Masyudi S. Firmansyah)

Suicide bomb hits Palm Sunday Mass in Indonesia, 20 wounded

By Yusuf Wahil, Niniek Karmini — March 29, 2021

MAKASSAR, Indonesia (AP) — Two attackers believed to belong to a network that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State blew themselves up outside a Roman Catholic cathedral during a Palm Sunday Mass.

People are reflected on a puddle as they walk in an empty St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, on Jan. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

British judge unfreezes assets of key figure in Vatican financial scandal

By Claire Giangravé — March 26, 2021

(RNS) — The judge ruled that there is no ‘reasonable cause’ to believe that Gianluigi Torzi, who was arrested by the Vatican last year, has benefited from criminal conduct.

In Philipp Veit’s painting about Paradiso, Dante and Beatrice speak to the teachers of wisdom Thomas Aquinas, Albertus Magnus, Peter Lombard and Siger of Brabant in the Sphere of the Sun, Canto 10. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons

Pope Francis honors Dante Alighieri on 7th centenary of ‘prophetic’ poet’s death

By Claire Giangravé — March 25, 2021

(RNS) — Francis paid homage to Dante in an apostolic letter, citing the poet’s hope for reform in the church.

Vatican flags along Pennsylvania Avenue for Pope Francis' visit in 2015. Photo courtesy of Victoria Pickering/Flickr Creative Commons

The US needs an ambassador to the Holy See

By Thomas Reese — March 24, 2021

(RNS) — Joe Biden will soon be the first Catholic president to nominate an ambassador to the Holy See, something that in earlier days would have been anathema to American Protestants who feared the papacy’s political and religious power.

In this Dec. 8, 2020, file photo, Pope Francis delivers his message during the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, on the Immaculate Conception day, at the Vatican. Pope Francis announced this week pay cuts for clergy and employees. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

Pope Francis reduces cardinal wages as Vatican finances struggle due to pandemic

By Claire Giangravé — March 24, 2021

VATICAN CITY (RNS) —  In its financial budget for 2021, the Vatican announced that the financial toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on Vatican coffers amounts to more than $60 million.

Courtesy image by Julie Rose from Pixabay/Creative Commons

It’s the Vatican’s LGBTQ theology that is ‘disordered’

By John Gehring — March 23, 2021

(RNS) — The outpouring of painful reactions demonstrates the limits of Pope Francis’ welcoming gestures toward LGBTQ people and is a stark reminder that my church continues to deny people their full humanity.

Alexandre Tannous plays the singing bowls. Photo courtesy of Elyaou Bialobos

Joyful noise or meditative hum, sound resets the mind for faith

By Liz Kineke — March 22, 2021

(RNS) — Sound acts as a tether for the mind in the same way the breath or a mantra is used in other forms of meditation.

Tanzania's new president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, center right, inspects the guard of honor after being sworn in at a ceremony at State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Friday, March 19, 2021. Samia Suluhu Hassan made history Friday when she was sworn in as Tanzania's first female president, following the death of her predecessor, John Magufuli. (AP Photo)

Tanzania’s first female president takes office, breaking new ground for women in hijab

By Joseph Hammond — March 19, 2021

(RNS) — Samia Suluhu Hassan is the second Muslim woman who wears hijab to become president of a country in which Muslims are a minority.

Prayers are held at the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre in Eskdalemuir, Scotland, in April 2013. Photo by Iain Harper/Creative Commons

US Air Force pulls firing range near a Scottish Buddhist monastery

By Yonat Shimron — March 19, 2021

(RNS) — The Air Force’s decision is a victory for the Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, Europe’s oldest, largest Tibetan monastery and home to more than 60 monks and volunteers.

FILE - In this May 21, 2015 file photo, Angelo Albanesi, left, and Pier Giorgio De Simone wait for their civil union to be registered by a municipality officer during a ceremony in Rome's Campidoglio Capitol Hill. The Vatican has decreed, Monday, March 15, 2021, that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions since God “cannot bless sin.” The Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a formal response to a question about whether Catholic clergy can bless gay unions. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, file)

Vatican cardinals defend gay union blessing ban amid dissent

By Nicole Winfield — March 18, 2021

ROME (AP) — Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley and Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Vatican’s development office, pointed to Francis’ pastoral outreach to gay men and lesbians but repeated the church’s position.

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