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Facing modern chaos, priests need old symbols and truths

ON RELIGION By Terry Mattingly Chaos is coming, so get ready. That was the warning that — four years ago — iconographer and YouTube maven Jonathan Pageau offered to leaders of the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of the South. The French-Canadian artist was reacting to cracks in “cultural cohesion” after Donald Trump’s rise to…

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Presidents and popes – gifts, gaffes, grief

By ALEXANDRA JAFFE Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Joe Biden meets with Pope Francis on Friday, he won’t kiss the ring. Biden, who has met with Francis three times and with two previous popes, has said he eschews the traditional sign of respect because his mother told him not to — that no…

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A lion in Evangelical Angicanism swims the Tiber to Rome

Terry Mattingly   As always, rumors swirled around the favorites in the 2002 race to become the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury. Efforts to derail Bishop Michael Nariz-Ali of Rochester were different, in part because he was born in Pakistan — fluent in Urdu and Farsi — and was poised to become the first nonwhite leader…

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Self-identified believers versus true believers

On Religion Terry Mattingly When political scientists and pollsters discuss faith and poli- tics, one of their biggest challenges is separating the true believers from those who mere- ly say they are believers. It’s kind of like distinguish- ing between “football fans” and “FOOTBALL FANS,” said John C. Green of the University of Akron, who…

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Across Africa, major churches strongly oppose LGBTQ rights

KWASI GYAMFI ASIEDU, CHINEDU ASADU, RODNEY MUHUMUZA and MOGOMOTSI MAGOME Associated Press In Ghana, home to a diverse array of religions, leaders of major churches have united in denouncing homosexuality as a “perversion” and endorsing legislation that would, if enacted, impose some of the harshest anti-LGBTQ policies in Africa. In Nigeria, the umbrella body for…

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Pope praises freedom of children after boy gets a skullcap

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday praised the “spontaneity and freedom” of children after a young boy approached him during his weekly general audience and motioned that he wanted the pope’s white skullcap. A good-humored Francis kept the boy by his side, and the head of the papal household, Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza, gave…

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D.C. Cardinal pours praise on the press

ON RELIGION BY TERRY MATTINGLY With a controversial Catholic in the White House, there was no way for Cardinal Wilton Gregory to face a pack of Beltway journalists without fielding political questions. Job 1 was addressing President Joe Biden’s statement: “I respect them — those who believe life begins at the moment of conception and…

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Democratic governor woos believers in Brooklyn megachurch

On Religion Terry Mattingly In an age in which satire and news often overlap, it was hard to know what to make of this headline: “New York Atheists Claim Religious Exemption From Vaccine After Governor Claims That It’s From God.” This was satire, care of the Babylon Bee website. But the barbed humor focused on…

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Pope expresses ‘shame’ at scale of clergy abuse in France

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis expressed “shame” for himself and the Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday for the scale of child sexual abuse within the church in France and acknowledged failures in putting the needs of victims first. The pope spoke during his regular audience at the Vatican about a report released Tuesday that…

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Remnants of Black church uncovered in Colonial Williamsburg

BEN FINLEY Associated Press   WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — The brick foundation of one of the nation’s oldest Black churches has been unearthed at Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum in Virginia that continues to reckon with its past storytelling about the country’s origins and the role of Black Americans. The First Baptist Church was…

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