Dahleen Glanton: Blind loyalty to the Rev. Michael Pfleger could harm the Black community
One of the Rev. Michael Pfleger’s supporters summed up the sexual abuse allegations against the priest in a way that many might find appropriate. They don’t fit with “what I know about him,” Northwestern University law student Blair Matthews told a Tribune reporter in January when the accusations came to light. Like many who are standing solidly behind Pfleger, Matthews credits the priest and the St. Sabina Church community with helping him succeed in life. Many people who have met the outspoken and charismatic priest might agree. Sexual abuse is not the sort of thing that immediately comes to...
Did Xavier Becerra sue a Catholic charity over contraceptives?
WASHINGTON — Republicans trying to sink California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s nomination to join President Joe Biden’s Cabinet as health secretary are frequently citing California’s ongoing litigation involving the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic nonprofit run by nuns. The charge centers on a lawsuit Becerra filed against the administration of former President Donald Trump in 2017, hours after the Department of Health and Human Services announced a proposed rule to expand religious exemptions for employers that did not want to provide coverage for contraceptives through insurance...
The Sacramento Bee
COVID-19 means this year, Ash Wednesday ashes will be sprinkled or applied with a cotton applicator
CHICAGO – Ash Wednesday will look a little different for Chicago area Catholics, with new COVID-19 precautions featuring the sprinkling of ashes on the top of the head, a practice that is common in Europe, officials at the Archdiocese of Chicago said in a Friday statement. Those receiving ashes on Feb. 17 may also have the option of having the ashes placed on their forehead with a non-plastic Q-Tip or cotton ball, officials said. In normal times, ashes are applied by hand to worshipers’ foreheads in the shape of a cross as an outward expression of their faith. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning...
Heidi Stevens: Blended families. Racial diversity. Has an inauguration ever looked more like America?
Has an Inauguration Day ever looked more like America? The racial and ethnic and gender diversity: From Kamala Harris, a Black woman of South Asian descent, being sworn in by Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, to Jennifer Lopez addressing the crowd in Spanish after singing “This Land is My Land.” The blended families: President Joe Biden was surrounded by children and grandchildren (“a whole bunch of Bidens,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar called them), from both the late Neilia Hunter Biden and Jill Biden, his wife of 42 years. Harris was accompanied by her stepchildren...
Josh Hawley loves to tout his Missouri hometown. Residents split over loving him back
LEXINGTON, Mo. — From the front windows of his Lexington, Missouri, home — a historic brick building where in 1861 Confederate sympathizer Maj. Gen. Sterling Price planned a rout of Union troops — Greg Hildreth can see the bone-white Lafayette County Courthouse and its grassy square. "That's where Josh Hawley filmed a campaign speech. He was talking about his hometown of Lexington," said Hildreth, who, until five years ago, identified as a lifelong Republican. "I've told everybody, I wish I had known then what I know now, I would have hung a big Nazi banner or something off of my building" in ...
The Kansas City Star
Mary Schmich: A Catholic pastor speaks out about Trump. Some parishioners walk out
On the Sunday morning after the deadly riot at the United States Capitol, Father William Corcoran put on his black suit and clerical collar and stepped into St. Elizabeth Seton church in the Chicago suburb of Orland Hills to celebrate the 7:30 a.m. Mass. When it was time for the homily, he stood in front of the “celebrant’s chair” on the altar and removed his mask so that he could be clearly heard. He looked out at the 140 or so masked parishioners who sat in the sanctuary, which was still ornamented for Christmas. He had a feeling this might not go well. At the 5 p.m. Mass the day before, nin...
Seattle archbishop is stonewalling push for more transparency of church sex-abuse cases, group contends
SEATTLE — Their ranks include ex-federal prosecutors, a retired judge, a one-time assistant police chief, even a former priest. But a group of prominent Catholics say they still can’t get an audience with Seattle’s new archbishop in their push to address the fallout of a lingering scandal. Members of Heal Our Church, a Seattle-based alliance of practicing Catholics who seek a public review of how the Roman Catholic Church’s worldwide sexual abuse scandal secretly festered within the parishes of Western Washington, contend they’re being stonewalled by Archbishop Paul Etienne. Since requesting a...
The Seattle Times
Sexual misconduct allegations against late Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias confirmed
ATLANTA — Less than a year after his death, the Alpharetta-based organization founded by Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias has released a statement confirming allegations of sexual misconduct made against the influential spiritual leader. Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, most commonly known as RZIM, said in a Dec. 23 statement from the executive committee of the RZIM board of directors on its website that preliminary results from an investigation have confirmed allegations that Zacharias had abused workers at two spas that he co-owned. The abuse spanned years and may go beyond those s...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
No one can stop conversion therapy in Florida — for now. How LGBTQ advocates are rethinking their battle strategy
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Gay rights and mental health advocates in South Florida are trying to come up with new ways to fight conversion therapy, the practice of mental health counseling aimed at “curing” teenagers with unwanted feelings of homosexuality or questions about their gender identity. Reeling from a recent federal ruling that cleared the way for psychologists in the southeastern U.S. to offer the counseling, opponents are openly questioning whether the legal momentum has shifted so far to the right that court battles are doomed to fail. Critics of conversion therapy and counseling sa...
In Israeli settlement, evangelicals help harvest grapes
Har Bracha (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Dangling off vines at Har Bracha settlement in the occupied West Bank, the grapes are plump and ready to pick. This year, evangelical Christians are volunteering for the job.Missouri-based HaYovel organises "faith-based volunteering" for Christian backers of Israel."Our mission is to take an active role in, and educate people about, the prophetic RESTORATION of the land of Israel that is happening TODAY," says its website. More than 450,000 Israelis live in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.Many are attracted by low rents, but others are ...