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Churches defend clergy loophole in child sex abuse reporting

JASON DEAREN and MICHAEL REZENDES Associated Press It was a frigid Sunday evening at the Catholic Newman Center in Salt Lake City when the priest warned parishioners who had gathered after Mass that their right to private confessions was in jeopardy. A new law would break that sacred bond, the priest said, and directed the…

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The quiet, yet public, path of Elizabeth II

ON RELIGION By Terry Mattingly Before wearing the Imperial State Crown, Queen Elizabeth II knelt at the Westminster Abbey altar for a moment of silent, private prayer. The three-hour coronation in 1953 contained myriad oaths and symbols, but the most ancient rite — Archbishop of Canterbury Geoffrey Fisher anointing Elizabeth with holy oil — sought…

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The faith questions that haunted the life of Gorbachev

It isn’t every day that one of the creators of a political thriller gets to ask its real-life protagonist to evaluate the novel’s plot. But that happened when the late Billy Wireman, president of Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, handed the last Soviet Union leader a copy of “The Secret Diary of Mikhail Gorbachev.”…

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There’s that ancient question – Where is Heaven

ON RELIGION By Terry Mattingly When cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin returned to Earth in 1961, after the first manned spaceflight, Soviet leaders claimed he said: “I went up to space, but I didn’t encounter God.” Venturing into similar territory, superstar atheist Sam Harris rocked cyberspace during a recent Triggernometry YouTube appearance in which he discussed Donald Trump, faith…

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US: ‘Rape club’ chaplain used faith, fear to abuse inmates

MICHAEL R. SISAK and MICHAEL BALSAMO Associated Press Behind a closed chapel office door inside a federal women’s prison in California, a chaplain forced inmates seeking his spiritual guidance to have sex with him — exploiting their faith and their powerlessness behind bars for his own gratification, prosecutors said. James Theodore Highhouse, who pleaded guilty…

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Optimist hears from Scooters manager Mitch Parrish

TAYLORVILLE — The Taylorville Optimist Club held its regular meeting on Thursday, August 25, 2022, in the Community Room of the People’s Bank. President John Crist called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the opening prayer by Pastor Steve Robinson. Guest speaker for the morning was Mitch Parrish, manager of…

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Pope expands ranks of cardinals who’ll likely pick successor

FRANCES D’EMILIO Associated Press VATICAN CITY (AP) — With a solemn ceremony to create new cardinals, Pope Francis was poised Saturday to formally expand the ranks of churchmen now eligible to vote for his successor in case he dies or resigns — the latter a step he has said he’d consider if the need arises.…

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The Hillbilly Thomists keep singing of the ties that bind

Terry Mattingly With its sobering lyrics and a droning country-blues riff, “Holy Ghost Power” by The Hillbilly Thomists is a song with zero chance at Christian radio success. The jilted protagonist has been “living off of grits, whiskey and Moon Pies.” His man cave offers no refuge: “A hundred channels of nothing on the TV…

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Dotti Taylor honored for 19 years

TAYLORVILLE — The Taylorville Evangelical Free Church recently celebrated the retirement of church secretary Dotti Taylor after 19 years of dedicated service. Pictured in the photo are (left to right) Co-Pastor Jonathan Sorensen, Dotti Taylor and Senior Pastor Don Beetem. The congregation enjoyed a cake and punch reception in her honor. Submitted Photo

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Abe murder suspect says life destroyed by mother’s religion

MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press TOKYO (AP) — The brazen assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with a handmade gun shocked a nation unused to high-profile political violence. But there has been another surprise in the weeks since the murder as details have emerged about an alleged assassin who was well-off until his mother’s…

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