VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis warned the Vatican’s missionary fundraisers on Saturday not to allow financial corruption to creep into their work, insisting that spirituality and spreading the Gospel must drive their operations, not mere entrepreneurship.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is traveling to Mongolia at the end of the summer, a visit that will be a first for a pontiff and one rich in geopolitical significance given its proximity to Russia and China.
Police testify about confronting gunman at Pittsburgh synagogueJune 2, 2023 GMT
Police on Friday described how they exchanged fire with a gunman who carried out the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S.
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Catholic devotees in Bolivia prepared for one of the country’s biggest religious celebrations this weekend at a time when the church in this Andean country has been rocked by an increasing number of sex abuse scandals.
America’s religious leaders sharply divided over abortion, a year after Roe v Wade’s reversalJune 2, 2023 GMT
In the year since the Supreme Court struck down the nationwide right to abortion, America’s religious leaders and denominations have responded in strikingly diverse ways — some celebrating the state-level bans that have ensued, others angered that a conservative Christian cause has changed the law of the land in ways they consider oppressive.
Members of the Rastafari religion and political movement have for decades been persecuted and imprisoned for their ritualistic use of marijuana. But the tiny islands of Antigua and Barbuda recently became one of the first Caribbean nations to grant Rastafari official sacramental authorization to grow and smoke the herb that they deem sacred.
Q&A: Antigua and Barbuda prime minister on granting Rastafari their sacramental marijuana rightsJune 2, 2023 GMT
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua (AP) — The Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda recently granted Rastafari official sacramental authorization to grow and smoke marijuana that their faith deems sacred.
Rastafari gain sacramental rights to marijuana in Antigua and Barbuda, celebrate freedom of worshipJune 2, 2023 GMT
Spanish Catholic bishops find evidence of 728 sexual abusers, 927 victims since 1945June 2, 2023 GMT
MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Catholic bishops’ conference says it has found evidence of 728 sexual abusers within the church since 1945, through the testimony of 927 victims, in its first public report on the issue.
Restoration lags for Syria’s famed Roman ruins at Palmyra and other war-battered historic sitesJune 2, 2023 GMT
PALMYRA, Syria (AP) — At the height of the Islamic State group's rampage across Syria, the world watched in horror as the militants blew up an iconic arch and temple in the country’s famed Roman ruins in Palmyra.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Rabbi Jonathan Perlman took the witness stand Thursday wearing the yarmulke he had on the day a gunman burst into his Pittsburgh synagogue during Sabbath services and began shooting anyone he could find.
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A court in Cyprus on Thursday gave a former bishop in the Greek Orthodox Church to a 12-month suspended sentence after he was found guilty of indecently assaulting a 16-year-old girl 42 years ago.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota regulators have concluded that state rules governing where copper-nickel mines can be built are insufficient to protect the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from noise and light pollution, creating another potential obstacle to the proposed Twin Metals mine in northeastern Minnesota.
NEW DELHI (AP) — A bishop acquitted of raping a nun resigned as leader of the Catholic diocese in an Indian city on Thursday.
Pope Francis accepted the resignation of 59-year-old Franco Mulakkal, who was bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese in the northern state of Punjab.
Defying taboos, Shiite cleric in Iran takes in street dogs and nurses them back to healthJune 1, 2023 GMT
QOM, Iran (AP) — It's rare these days for a turbaned cleric in Iran to attract a large following of adoring young fans on Instagram, but Sayed Mahdi Tabatabaei has done it by rescuing street dogs in defiance of a local taboo.
‘Felt like a year’: Worshipper describes fear during gunman’s deadly attack on Pittsburgh synagogueJune 1, 2023 GMT
PITTSBURGH (AP) — It was her brother's active faith that inspired Carol Black to recommit as an adult to being a practicing Jew several years ago, and their shared commitment brought them to the Tree of Life synagogue on the October 2018 day it was attacked.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The prayers of a Tennessee church were answered when whoever stole a moving truck near its building didn't keep what they found inside: old organ pipes, and lots of them.
Calvary Episcopal Church in downtown Memphis had loaded a Penske truck earlier this month with nearly 2,000 organ pipes for transport to Spencer Organ Company in Boston, where they were to undergo restoration.
NEW YORK (AP) — Little Amal, a 12-foot (3.7-meter) puppet of a Syrian refugee, will journey across the United States this fall, visiting key places in America's history to raise awareness about immigration and migration.
Vatican questions how priest moved $17 million meant for missionary work into investment fundMay 31, 2023 GMT
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The former monastery on a quiet residential street in Rome once sheltered Jews fearing deportation during World War II. Purchased by the Vatican in 2021 as a dormitory for foreign nuns studying at Rome’s pontifical universities, the building now stands empty, a collateral victim of the latest financial scandal to hit the Holy See.
Lawyers for Pittsburgh synagogue defendant admit he carried out deadliest US antisemitic attackMay 30, 2023 GMT
Prosecutors are describing how a heavily armed suspect barged into a Pittsburgh synagogue and shot every worshipper he could find in the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history. The suspect in the 2018 synagogue massacre went on trial Tuesday, more than four years after the attack that killed 11 at the Tree of Life synagogue.
Kershaw disagrees with Dodgers’ decision to reinstate gay ‘nun’ group for Pride Night awardMay 30, 2023 GMT
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw says he disagrees with the Los Angeles Dodgers' decision to welcome a satirical LGBTQ+ group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at the team’s annual Pride Night.
Hundreds of people flocked to a small town in Missouri this week and last to see a nun whose body has barely decomposed since 2019. Some say it's a sign of holiness in Catholicism, while others say the lack of decomposition may not be as rare as people think.
YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — Extremist fighters killed eight people including soldiers in multiple attacks in northern Cameroon on Tuesday, a regional official said.
Fighters with Boko Haram killed three customs officers, three soldiers and two civilians in separate attacks in the towns of Mora and Zigage on the border with Nigeria, said Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of the region.
Notre Dame’s fire-ravaged roof rebuilt using medieval techniquesMay 30, 2023 GMT
SAINT-LAURENT-DE-LA-PLAINE, France (AP) — If time travel was possible, medieval carpenters would surely be amazed to see how woodworking techniques they pioneered in building Notre Dame Cathedral more than 800 years ago are being used again today to rebuild the world-famous monument's fire-ravaged roof.
Crowd in China clashes with police over plans to demolish mosqueMay 30, 2023 GMT
BEIJING (AP) — China's government is calling on protesters to turn themselves in after a crowd clashed with police over plans to demolish a mosque in the country's southwest as President Xi Jinping’s government tightens control over religion and society.
At least 10 dead, 55 injured as bus of Hindu pilgrims falls into gorge in Indian-controlled KashmirMay 30, 2023 GMT
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A bus carrying Hindu pilgrims to a shrine in Indian-controlled Kashmir skidded off a highway bridge into a Himalayan gorge Tuesday, killing at least 10 people and injuring 55, police said.
What California’s Ravidassia community believes and why they want caste bias outlawedMay 29, 2023 GMT
In California, members of an under-the-radar, minority religious community are stepping into the public eye to advocate for making the state the first in the nation to outlaw caste bias.
They are the Ravidassia — followers of Ravidass, a 14th century Indian guru who preached caste and class equality.
FRESNO, California (AP) — For decades, worshipping in temples, Ram Asra has sung spiritual songs known as kirtans.
He did so on a recent Sunday at the Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha in Fresno, California, seated cross-legged on a dais in the temple’s prayer hall playing a harmonium.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Monday urged the Catholic faithful, and especially bishops, to be “reflective, not reactive” on social media, issuing guidelines to try to tame the toxicity on Catholic Twitter and other social media platforms and encourage users to instead be “loving neighbors.”
7 men appear in Northern Ireland court on attempted murder charges related to shooting of detectiveMay 29, 2023 GMT
LONDON (AP) — Seven men appeared in court Monday on charges of attempted murder related to the February attack on a senior Northern Ireland police officer who was shot after his son’s soccer practice.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis resumed regular appointments on Saturday, one day after canceling his schedule due to a fever.
US: Chinese agents paid bribes in plot to disrupt anti-communist Falun Gong movementMay 27, 2023 GMT
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. authorities have arrested two suspected Chinese government agents in connection with an alleged plot by Beijing to disrupt and ultimately topple the exiled anti-communist Falun Gong spiritual movement.
Lawsuit brought by man who said he was sexually abused by Roman Catholic bishop settledMay 26, 2023 GMT
A lawsuit brought by a former altar boy who said he was raped as a child in the 1960s by a now-deceased Roman Catholic bishop in Massachusetts has been settled, the sides announced Friday.
Another deceased Jesuit priest accused of sex abuse in Bolivia as pedophilia scandal growsMay 26, 2023 GMT
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — A Spanish Jesuit priest who died in 2012 has been accused of sexually abusing a minor in Bolivia three decades ago, the latest in a string of pedophilia cases that have shaken the Catholic Church in this Andean country.
PHOENIX (AP) — Members of a small polygamous group accused of child sex abuse of underage girls whom the group’s leader claimed as brides were arraigned in federal court on Friday.
Sam Bateman and the three women followers, who are each represented by different attorneys, entered not guilty pleas in a downtown Phoenix courtroom.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis skipped meetings Friday because he was running a fever after a particularly busy day, the Vatican said.
The Vatican No. 2, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said Francis was tired and attributed the fever to the fact that Francis had greeted, one by one, a particularly big crowd of his school foundation Thursday afternoon.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Gov. Joe Lombardo on Thursday signed a bill permitting Nevada students to wear religious and cultural regalia for graduation ceremonies.
Students are entitled to express themselves at graduation through any unique cultural and religious identity, Lombardo said.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — A Vatican cardinal on trial in the Holy See’s big financial crimes case complained Friday that he can't properly defend himself from “the nightmare of these accusations” because prosecutors have withheld key evidence from the defense.
Connecticut lawmakers absolve accused colonial-era witches, apologize for “miscarriage of justice”May 26, 2023 GMT
With distant family members looking on, Connecticut senators voted Thursday to absolve the 12 women and men convicted of witchcraft -- 11 of whom were executed — more than 370 years ago and apologize for the “miscarriage of justice” that occurred over a dark 15-year-period of the state's colonial history.
Pope taps successor as archbishop of Buenos Aires, again says he might finally return home to visitMay 26, 2023 GMT
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Friday tapped an Argentine bishop with years of ministry in the country’s prisons as his successor as archbishop of Buenos Aires, a day after again saying he might finally visit his home country next year.
Russia acknowledges Vatican peace initiative, says no steps yet for a mission to MoscowMay 26, 2023 GMT
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Russia on Friday indicated that it views Pope Francis’ Ukraine peace initiative positively, but stressed that there are no immediate plans for a Vatican mission to Moscow.
The statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry to the state RIA Novosti agency was the first public acknowledgment by Moscow of the pope’s move.
Biden releases new strategy to tackle rise in antisemitism, says ‘hate will not prevail’May 26, 2023 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced what he said is the most ambitious and comprehensive undertaking by the U.S. government to fight hate, bias and violence against Jews, outlining more than 100 steps the administration and its partners can take to combat an alarming rise in antisemitism.
Chicago cardinal defends compensation plan, urges info on abusers after Illinois abuse reportMay 25, 2023 GMT
ROME (AP) — The archbishop of Chicago urged the Illinois attorney general on Thursday to provide information about newly uncovered cases of clergy sexual abuse that were included in a statewide investigative report, saying he would gladly add the names on his list of credibly accused priests if the claims were substantiated.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two North Carolina state House Republicans have lost their caucus leadership positions following recent comments directed at Democratic colleagues questioning their educational attainment and religion.
Some worshippers switching congregations amid United Methodist split over LGBTQ issuesMay 25, 2023 GMT
The Rev. Bill Farmer reached the point where he couldn’t stay in the United Methodist Church anymore — but the congregation he attended was staying.
Firewalkers in Greece honor Saint Constantine in mystery-shrouded, centuries-old ritualsMay 25, 2023 GMT
LAGKADAS, Greece (AP) — Sotirios Gkaintatzis danced across burning coals, his stomping bare feet raising sparks and puffs of smoke as he held aloft an icon of Saints Constantine and Helen.
Gkaintatzis is the leader of a group of anastenaria -- the devotees of St.
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Bolivia acknowledged Wednesday that the church had been deaf to the suffering of victims of sexual abuse, commenting as a pedophilia scandal involving priests is rocking the country.
Illinois Catholic clergy abuse report could draw lawsuits, reforms but new charges unlikelyMay 24, 2023 GMT
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois' attorney general has ended a five-year investigation into sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy in the state, releasing a nearly 700-page report that revealed the problem was far worse than the church acknowledged in 2018 at the start of the state's review.
Priest killed in Mexico; 9th slain in country in past 4 yearsMay 24, 2023 GMT
MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Roman Catholic priest has been killed in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, the ninth slain in the country in the past four years.
The church’s Catholic Multimedia Center identified the priest as Rev.
Catholic clergy sexually abused Illinois kids far more often than church acknowledged, state findsMay 23, 2023 GMT
CHICAGO (AP) — More than 450 Catholic clergy in Illinois sexually abused nearly 2,000 children since 1950, the state’s attorney general found in an investigation released Tuesday, revealing that the problem was far worse than the church had let on.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has signed legislation giving Native American families preference in fostering and adopting Native children involved with child protective services, a proactive move to protect such rights as the U.S.
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis’ peace envoy for Ukraine, a veteran of the Catholic Church's conflict-mediation efforts, blasted war as a “pandemic” on Tuesday and said all Christians are called to be peacemakers.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Monday that a satirical LGBTQ+ group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence will again be welcome at the team’s annual Pride Night, nearly a week after the team rescinded its original invitation.
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Pope Francis has sent one of his top sex crimes investigators to Bolivia at a time when the Andean nation is being shaken by an escalating pedophilia scandal involving priests.
ATLANTA (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education has found that a suburban Atlanta school district's decision to remove some books from its libraries may have created a hostile environment that violated federal laws against race and sex discrimination.
DeSantis signs bills targeting drag shows, transgender kids and the use of bathrooms and pronounsMay 22, 2023 GMT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed bills Wednesday that ban gender-affirming care for minors, target drag shows, restrict discussion of personal pronouns in schools and force people to use certain bathrooms.
3 Palestinian militants killed in Israeli West Bank raid; US slams latest settlement expansionMay 22, 2023 GMT
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Three Palestinian militants were killed in an Israeli army raid in a West Bank refugee camp early Monday, Palestinian officials said, while the Biden administration sharply condemned Israel’s latest act of settlement expansion.
HOLMAN, N.M. (AP) — On a spring Saturday afternoon, two “hermanos” knelt to pray in the chapel of their Catholic brotherhood of St. Isidore the Farmer, nestled by the pine forest outside this hamlet in a high mountain valley.
Vatican confirms August trip by pope to Lisbon for World Youth Day, including Fatima stopMay 22, 2023 GMT
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis will travel to Portugal for World Youth Day in the first week of August and include a stop at the popular Marian shrine in Fatima, the Vatican said Monday.
The Aug. 2-6 visit is longer than originally expected and covers almost the entire week of the big Catholic rally that St.
Using ‘he/him,’ ‘she/her’ in emails got 2 dorm directors fired at small New York Christian collegeMay 21, 2023 GMT
NEW YORK (AP) — Shua Wilmot and Raegan Zelaya, two former dorm directors at a small Christian university in western New York, acknowledge their names are unconventional, which explains why they attached gender identities to their work email signatures.