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Religion

Probe of Southern Baptist sex abuse response moves forward

HOLLY MEYER Associated Press NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — The Rev. Marshall Blalock feels the weight of his new responsibility. The South Carolina pastor serves as vice chair of a recently formed Southern Baptist Convention task force charged with overseeing an investigation into how a top denominational committee handled sex abuse allegations, a review that comes…

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Lisa Beamer on the lessons she learned after 9/11

For those who lived through Sept. 11, 2001, the drama of Todd Beamer and the heroes of Flight 93 has become an essen- tial part of many anniver- sary rites. Everyone remembers the final act, with Beamer aboard the hijacked plane, patched through to a tele- phone operator for a clan- destine 13-minute call. After…

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Pope visit a sign of inclusion for Slovakia’s excluded Roma

NICOLE WINFIELD and KAREL JANICEK Associated Press KOSICE, Slovakia (AP) — Pope Francis traveled to the far east of Slovakia on Tuesday to meet with the country’s Roma in a gesture of inclusion for the most socially excluded minority group in Slovakia, who have long suffered discrimination, marginalization and poverty. Francis’ visit to the Lunik…

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Facebook, for whatever reason, tries to get religion

On Religion By Terry Mattingly There are 2.4 billion Christians in the world today, according to most estimates. Then again, nearly 3 billion people have Facebook accounts. Nearly 70% of U.S. adults use this social media platform, which recently passed $1 trillion in market capitalization. I will use Facebook to reach people, because you almost…

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Religion-beat flashback, care of the legendary Lou Grant

If anyone ever writes a book about the history of religion news in the mainstream press, it will need to include a photo of the glowering, and often smirking, mug of Lou Grant. Lou Grant was a TV character, of course. He was played by the Emmy-winning actor Ed Asner, who died on Aug. 29…

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On vaccines, shame isn’t going to change minds in pews

On Religion Terry Mattingly Donald Trump had to know it was coming, even if — to use a Bible Belt expression — he was preaching to his choir. “You know what? I believe totally in your freedoms,” he said, at a rally in Cullman, Alabama. “You got to do what you have to do, but…

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‘Catacomb’ masses after Pope Francis rules on Latin Mass?

On Religion Terry Mattingly It’s easy for religious leaders to create new laws, but it’s harder to convince believers to follow them. At least, that’s what the Benediction monk Gratian — a canon law pioneer — argued in the 12th century: “Laws are established when they are promulgated. … They are confirmed when they have…

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Heaven can wait, maybe, but not a phone call

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Maybe heaven can wait, but a phone call for the pope could not. In a decidedly unusual break from protocol, Pope Francis took a cellphone from an aide while standing at cen- ter stage in a Vatican auditorium for his weekly Wednesday audience with the public. Francis, who had blessed the…

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Updating some Southern Baptist stereotypes in 2021

On Religion Terry Mattingly Anyone looking for Baptists should head to Greenville, South Carolina. “People here say you can throw a rock in one direction and hit a Southern Baptist church, and if you throw a rock in the other direction you’ll hit an independent Baptist church,” said Nathan A. Finn, provost of North Greenville…

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Pope stokes flames of Catholic worship wars

On Religion Terry Mattingly The message to Catholic traditionalists in Southwest England was blunt, yet pointed. Because of the new “Traditionis Custodes” (“Guardians of the Tradition”) document from Pope Francis, and the wish- es of Bishop Declan Lang of the Diocese of Clifton, the upcoming “Latin Mass at Glastonbury will be the final Latin Mass…

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