Letters: Marketing of religion
But true religion will reclaim its turf before too long, through better marketing. In the Middle Ages, when the Church needed cash for its building programs, it marketed indulgences to its parishioners. Those unborn beings are totally dependent on people of conscience to raise their voices for their right to defense too. Unborn babies’ right to life should never have to be subject to others’ self-serving inhumane decisions, cruel discrimination, monetary greed, nor partisan infamy. The world is owned mostly by three big conglomerates: Vanguard Group Inc., Black Rock Inc. and State Street Inc.myrgv.com
Benedict woes come as German church reform pressure rises
A report on decades of sexual abuse in Germany that shone an unflattering spotlight on retired Pope Benedict XVI has come on top of already strong pressure in Germany to reconsider Catholic rules on issues including homosexuality and women’s roleswashingtonpost.com
Catholic religious order of monks to cut ties with Benet Academy
A Chicago-area religious order of monks said this week they are ending their affiliation with a DuPage County Catholic high school, which in recent months hired a woman in a same-sex marriage to coach the girls lacrosse team.chicagotribune.com
Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer visit scene where MP Amess was killed
In a rare show of unity, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition leader Keir Starmer visit the scene where lawmaker David Amess was killed in Leigh-on-Sea, east of London, along with the Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle and Home Secretary Priti Patel. Amess, 69, was talking with voters at a church when he was stabbed to death, in what the police have said was a terrorist attack.news.yahoo.com
Mormon sex therapist's ouster stirs worries of shame culture
Sex therapist Lisa Butterworth has long been willing to delve into sensitive sexuality questions with clients who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Helfer was excommunicated and lost her appeal last month to remain in the faith known widely as the Mormon church — a move critics say reflects the church doubling down on some of its more conservative views on sexuality.news.yahoo.com
How COVID is hitting Pope Francis and the Catholic Church spiritually, and financially this Holy Week
Rome — This is not the Holy Week that Pope Francis wanted. He's long been called "the People's Pope," but as CBS News correspondent Chris Livesay reports, since the pandemic struck, Francis has been the pope with no people. Pope Francis attends the Chrism Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, April 1, 2021 at the Vatican. Vatican Pool/GettyEspecially painful for the pope during what's normally the busiest week at the Vatican, is the absence of pilgrims. They are some of the very few even permitted to be at the Vatican this Holy Week.cbsnews.com
Mexican church, school cares for migrants waiting to request asylum in U.S.
Mexican church, school cares for migrants waiting to request asylum in U.S. While waiting to claim asylum, some migrants are still stuck in Mexico without many resources. Mireya Villarreal spoke with a reformed gang member-turned-ordained minister who crosses from Texas to Mexico every day to help these migrants.cbsnews.com
Minnesota town grants permit to ‘whites only’ church
MURDOCK, Minn. – The city council of Murdock, Minnesota has anonymously voted to grant a permit that allows a Nordic heritage church identified as a white supremacist group to gather at an abandoned church. The vote came after Murdock’s city attorney advised town officials that rejecting the Asatru Folk Assembly’s request could violate its religious rights. Council members, who were meeting online because of the coronavirus pandemic, kept video cameras turned off and refused to identify who voted for or against the permit. Mayor Craig Kavanagh said the vote was 3-1 to approve the Conditional Use Permit as long as the group meets the conditions set on the permit. “There has been a lot of concern on this topic in the city of Murdock and rightfully so.
Fire guts historic church home to New York’s Liberty Bell
Firefighters work to extinguish a fire that erupted from a building next to Middle Collegiate Church on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 in New York. The historic 19th century church in lower Manhattan was gutted by a massive fire early Saturday that sent flames shooting through the roof. The Middle Collegiate Church had been in two other locations in Manhattan since 1729. Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that the fire was “heartbreaking” and pledged: "We’ll do whatever we can to help Middle Collegiate rebuild." The fate of the church building is unclear, Lewis said, but the ministry will continue.
‘We will not be stopped’: Local church determined to serve despite heavy building damage
A local Houston Pastor said his church might be structurally damaged but his congregation is determined to give back. “We may be bent but we aren’t broken,” said Pastor Ronald Smith of New Mount Calvary Baptist Church. On Sept. 13, a car plowed through the front of the church and created significant damage to the sanctuary. Despite the damage, Smith said that the church opted to move forward with a free food distribution event. “Though damaged, the church is in us and that’s why this movement is going on today,” said Pastor Smith, “Cars lined up because we are able to serve and we will not be stopped.”
Pope Francis appoints first Black American cardinal
Pope Francis on Sunday named the archbishop of Washington, Wilton Gregory, a cardinal, making him the first African American to hold the position in the Catholic church's highest governing body. He added that "men and women, young and old, people of every racial and ethnic background are needed in this effort." Nine of the 13 men named as new cardinals on Sunday, including Gregory, are under the age of 80 and are eligible to participate in the next convocation to elect Francis' successor. The new cardinals chosen by Francis echo his ideas, making it probable that the college will elect someone like him. It's also unclear whether some of the bishops will be able make the trip due to travel restrictions in many parts of the country.cbsnews.com
Lakewood Church resumes in-person services today
HOUSTON, Texas – Worshipers filled Lakewood Church Sunday for the first in-person services since March. Idlebird has attended Lakewood Church for many years. “Even though we can pray at home or wherever you are, but being among a bunch of other worshipers.”All worshipers are required to wear a mask. Lakewood Church has taken safety measures, including installing touch-less options in the restrooms and a UV-light on the escalators to disinfect the handrails. We’re gonna do our part.”For those who plan on attending a service in the future, people must first pre-register on the church’s website at https://www.lakewoodchurch.com/Lakewood Church was also offering services online, as well.
Church seeking donations after man drives through front door causing $300,000 in damage
HOUSTON – A southeast Houston church is still rebuilding after a car crashed through its front door. Earlier this month, the car smashed into New Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church along Beldart and South Wayside Drive. The driver was seen moments after the crash, tearing up the inside of the church, before he took off. The suspect was later caught and arrested but not before causing an estimated $300,000 worth of damage. Maybe seeing the damage done would give remorse but certainly, the church as we recognize we are the recipients of mercy.
Houston church’s Black Lives Matter banner targeted for second time
HOUSTON – A Houston church community is praying that thieves and vandals stop making them a target. For the second time in two months, someone has destroyed or stolen a Black Lives Matter banner from the front of Resurrection MCC Church on West 11th Street near the Heights. This isn’t the first time someone tampered with a Black Lives Matter sign at Resurrection MCC. “I cannot believe that I just drove by your church and you have the sign of Black Lives Matter,” the voice said. “It matters enough to our congregation and it matters enough to our world right now to say: Black Lives Matter,” said Threash.
Remarks by Attorney General William P. Barr on his Acceptance of the Christifideles Laici Award at the 2020 National Catholic Prayer Breakfast
For more than 15 years now, inspired by Saint John Paul II’s call for a renewal of Catholic communal and civic spirit, the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast has served as a living testament to the vital role of the Church and its principles in American public life. But times of trial have a way of reminding us how much we have to be grateful for. More recently, thanks in part to organizations like this one, we have seen some small but significant steps toward the restoration of religion to its rightful place in American public life. The most recent term of the Supreme Court, for example, saw three important victories for religious liberty. Advocating for religious liberty is just one way that lay Catholics and others can answer the call to serve.justice.gov
Ask 2: Are churches allowed to hold in-person services?
As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston. Question: Ask 2: Are churches allowed to hold in-person services? Answer: Yes, places of worship are allowed to hold in-person services; however, Texas Health and Human Services’ protocols suggest that churches strongly encourage at-risk attendees to watch or participate in service remotely. Greg Abbott’s latest executive order regarding the matter states there is no occupancy limit for religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship. Send it our way, and we will try to hunt down an answer.
Ask 2: Are there still occupancy limits for churches?
As part of our new Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston. The original question: All these businesses opening at 50% and 75%, when will churches be allowed at more than 25%? The answer: There is no longer an occupancy limit for religious services conducted in churches, congregations and houses of worship, according to Gov. Health protocols for churches or places of worship were updated on May 26. To view the updated health protocols checklist for churchgoers, click here.
Church destroyed by arsonist amid legal battle between pastor and the city
A Mississippi church at the center of an arson investigation is the same church currently in a battle with city leaders over a COVID-19 safer-at-home order. First Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs was destroyed by what investigators believe is an arsonist. Investigators found graffiti on pavement in the church parking lot that reads, “Bet you stay home now you hypokrits." We don’t know anyone that we even think could be capable of doing something like this.”The fire comes after Waldrop filed a lawsuit in April against the City of Holly Springs. According to the complaint, the pastor held outdoor services when possible but would hold them indoors while practicing social distancing during inclement weather.
Churches in Texas and Georgia close indefinitely after many test positive for virus following long-awaited reopening
Two churches have been forced to indefinitely suspend service after many congregants and leaders tested positive for COVID-19 following the reopening, Washington Post reports. Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Houston and Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle in Ringgold, Ga. are closed once again. On May 18, it was announced all masses at Holy Ghost Church are canceled until further notice. Following its states lead, Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle resumed in-person services on April 26, just days after Georgia Gov. After several families who attend Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle tested positive for the coronavirus, the church made the decision to suspend service.
Houston-area churches prepping for parishioners to return, changes in store for members
THE WOODLANDS – Houston-area churches are preparing the music, the pews, the signs, and the digital instructions for parishioners, who have been away for weeks to return to mass Sunday. St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in The Woodlands is one of the dozens of Catholic churches in the Houston area preparing to welcome back members this weekend. For starters, St. Anthony of Padua is requiring parishioners to reserve tickets online. Like businesses across Texas, churches must operate at 25% capacity in Phase 1 of Gov. The church's pastor said many will be happy to return to church, changes and all.
Houston Catholic churches to live stream Good Friday, Easter Sunday services
HOUSTON – Parishioners in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will be celebrating this Easter with churches closed. About one million Catholics that make up the Archdiocese will celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday together in spirit but separate in the body. Easter services will be streamed online. In-person services for parishes ended two weeks ago, and the church is also struggling financially. To stream Good Friday and Easter Sunday services, visit the website at www.archgh.org.
Churches continue to worship online despite now deemed essential by state lawmakers
HOUSTON – Many Houston churches are asking their members to continue to watch services online even as the Texas government has deemed churches as essential businesses. The pews at South Main Baptist Church in Midtown will remain vacant on Palm Sunday and Easter, which is a holy time of the year for Christians. “We plan to continue doing that so long as the County Judge recommends doing so," Well said. Second Baptist Church will continue to stream its services online for its various campuses. Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, Christ Church Cathedral and Lakewood Church also plan to remain virtual.
Texas church frees residents of $2.2M in medical debt
FRISCO, Texas – For many in Collin County, mounting medical debt will soon be erased thanks to the generosity of one Frisco church. “In just Collin County this week we purchased $2.2 million worth of medical debt and forgave it all,” Josh Craft, the executive pastor at Elevate Life Church in Frisco announced at last Sunday’s service. One of the best ways to change someone’s life is to pay off their debt.”They are working with RIP Medical Debt to do this. “Over the next couple of months people in Collin County will be getting letters that say hey we just love you and your debt is forgiven. It says God so loved the world that he gave and the cool thing is we get the opportunity to really find a way to just be that for people.”RIP Medical Debt estimates there’s currently $740 million of unpaid medical debt in Texas.
VIDEO: ‘Batman’ seen stealing from church in Alabama
Police in Jasper, Alabama are searching for a man who robbed at least two churches while wearing a Batman-style mask. King’s Way Church Pastor Jason Hooper says the Batman Bandit used a rock to break the front window. The man stole a keyboard and bass guitar, committing his crime in just one minute and 18 seconds. "Your frustrated, because looking at the gentleman walking through and the way he navigated the building reveals that he is someone we've helped somehow someway," Hooper says. Police believe the batman bandit is responsible for other break-ins in Jasper, Georgia, and Tennessee.
Fort Worth-area church shooter had lengthy criminal record, officials say
WHITE SETTLEMENT, Texas – Texas officials have identified the gunman who they say killed two people at a White Settlement church as 43-year-old Keith Thomas Kinnunen. Officials say Kinnunen opened fire at the West Freeway Church of Christ Sunday, killing two people, before being killed by church security. He also said the two congregants who opened fire on the suspect were part of a security team at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement. A shooter at a church in White Settlement, Texas, was taken down by parishioners with guns seconds after he began firing Sunday. (West Freeway Church of Christ/Obtained by KTVT) (KPRC)“Unfortunately, this country has seen so many of these that we’ve actually gotten used to it at this point.
A church nativity scene depicts Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees separated in cages
A California church is displaying a nativity scene depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees in cages to draw attention to the conditions faced by migrants seeking asylum in the United States. Lead Pastor Karen Clark Ristine spoke with CNN affiliate KABC about the scene outside of the church. "We thought about the most famous refugee family in the world, the family of Jesus," Ristine said. In a Facebook post, Ristine said the display came from the idea of "What if this family sought refuge in our country today?" “Does the world’s most famous and worshipped refugees separated in cages make you uncomfortable USA?
Mormon church opposes Utah LGBTQ 'conversion therapy' ban
Justin Utley, a former member of the faith who says he was sent through harmful "conversion therapy" by the church's therapy services years ago, called the church's position disheartening. The faith widely known as the Mormon church accounts for nearly two-thirds of the state's residents, and nearly every state lawmaker. It's unknown how the church's position will impact the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing's pending decision. The church has since said homosexuality is not a sin, though it remains opposed to same-sex marriage and intimacy. The president of the conservative Utah Eagle Forum, Gayle Ruzicka, is against the proposed ban and cheered the church's announcement.chicagotribune.com
Eddie Murphy Shares Why He's Finally Hosting 'Saturday Night Live' (Exclusive)
So Dolemite came together, then Coming 2 America came together, then Beverly Hills Cop  came together," he continued. I can do that and I can have my funny little bookend and while I was at it, let me host Saturday Night Live. "I kind of developed it from the beginning and Rudy Ray Moore was kind of somebody I really, really was a fan of. "He's in Africa," Murphy revealed, adding that Wesley Snipes "is playing an African warlord named General Izzi. RELATED CONTENT:'Dolemite Is My Name': Eddie Murphy Is a Karate-Chopping Showman in First TrailerEddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall Reunite, Confirm 'Coming to America' SequelEddie Murphy Welcomes His 10th Child
Preview: What it takes to pull off Eric Church's country tour
Preview: What it takes to pull off Eric Church's country tour The Grammy-nominated country star is on a nine-month concert tour, and Mark Strassmann joined Church and his production team on the road in California. Watch Thursday on "CBS This Morning" for this exclusive behind-the-scenes look.cbsnews.com