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Need to know: Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pope Francis names Dallas bishop to key new Vatican post

The pontiff’s choice of a pastor much like himself signals an effort to ensure the legacy of Francis’ more welcoming approach to Catholic ministry.

In defense of the ‘staycation’ of Pope Francis

Taking a vacation and taking a rest aren't necessarily the same thing, and for Pope Francis, lunching with Syrian refugees and meeting women rescued from prostitution is a form of leisure.

Commending Phoebe

“We are certain that the church would be greatly enriched by expanding roles for women at every level of service and governance,” write the editors of America in backing the idea of ordaining women as deacons.

No, God isn’t transgender

Bible scholar Robert Gagnon counters a recent New York Times op-ed claiming the Hebrew Bible depicts God as changing sexual identity by citing the actual Hebrew Bible.

Illinois pastors don’t deserve exemption from conversion therapy ban

The practice aimed at “curing” queer kids is harmful, fraudulent, and discredited, no matter who’s practicing it, says Derrick Clifton.

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Latest news from RNS

Before flooding Louisiana with ‘help,’ read this

(RNS) You need to resist the urge to self-deploy or to send resources, at least for the moment.

Pope Francis meets French president in wake of priest’s slaying

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The private meeting came just three weeks after an elderly priest was brutally murdered by Islamist militants in northern France.

Women suing ‘Peeping Tom’ rabbi want rabbinical court to pay, too

(RNS) In a class-action lawsuit, the victims ask for $100 million.

More views from RNS

Trump’s poor Mormon pitch

(RNS) Where others displayed an awareness of Mormon religious identity and concerns, his Deseret News column shows the opposite. Grading on a curve, I give it a C.

Jews to blacks: Thank you

Jews helped blacks in the civil rights movement, right? It turns out that Jews owe blacks as well -- more than you think.

Words still matter

Those who sin with words reveal holes in their character that we must take seriously.

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