J.D. Greear’s legacy as Southern Baptist president: Grappling with abuse, pushing diversity

jd.-greear’s-legacy-as-southern-baptist-president:-grappling-with-abuse,-pushing-diversity

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — It’s traditional for the Southern Baptist Convention president to serve two one-year terms. But J.D. Greear had a lengthy bonus round due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 48-year-old leader of a Durham, North Carolina, megachurch was thrust into the national limelight as the leader of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination while … Read more

Rep. Ilhan Omar, others encourage US to rebuild refugee resettlement ahead of World Refugee Day

rep.-ilhan-omar,-others-encourage-us-to-rebuild-refugee-resettlement-ahead-of-world-refugee-day

(RNS) — U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota thanked Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service during an online event Thursday (June 17), in the name of “all the refugees you have settled and the millions around the world who have benefited from your work.” Omar knows, she said, because she is one of those refugees. “After … Read more

Catholics for Choice looks to reach more Latinos with new Spanish-language platforms

catholics-for-choice-looks-to-reach-more-latinos-with-new-spanish-language-platforms

(RNS) — The nonprofit Catholics for Choice, which supports abortion rights, is seeking to further reach Latino Catholics in the U.S. by launching Spanish-language social media platforms. The group announced the launch in early June, but its new Spanish-language Twitter and Instagram, which amplify the organization’s campaigns and events, have been active since about early … Read more

Catholic sculptor wishes to restore Catholic credibility amid modern evils

catholic-sculptor-wishes-to-restore-catholic-credibility-amid-modern-evils

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — A Catholic sculptor wants to keep the church relevant with his art, but as mounting secularism and the COVID-19 pandemic challenge the institution, the artist claims the devil is in the details. “Today we want to pretend that evil doesn’t exist,” said Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz, but Christianity, and Catholicism in … Read more

Catholic House Democrats prepare to send bishops ‘statement of principles’ on Communion vote

catholic-house-democrats-prepare-to-send-bishops-‘statement-of-principles’-on-communion-vote

WASHINGTON (RNS) — A group of Catholic Democrats in the House of Representatives is preparing a “statement of principles” to be released after a planned vote Thursday (June 17) by the American Catholic bishops on a proposal to draft a document on the Eucharist that taps into ongoing debate regarding Communion and politicians who back … Read more

Baker fined for refusing to make transgender transition cake

baker-fined-for-refusing-to-make-transgender-transition-cake

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado baker who won a partial victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by refusing to make a birthday cake for a transgender woman, a state judge has ruled. In the ruling Tuesday (June … Read more

Black community has new option for health care: the church

black-community-has-new-option-for-health-care:-the-church

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Every Sunday at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, the Rev. Joseph Jackson Jr. praises the Lord before his congregation. But since last fall he’s been praising something else his Black community needs: the COVID-19 vaccine. “We want to continue to encourage our people to get out, get your shots. I got both of … Read more

Bishops quick to debate Eucharist — and Joe Biden — at meeting

bishops-quick-to-debate-eucharist-— and-joe-biden-—-at-meeting

(RNS) — The opening day of the American Catholic bishops’ spring meeting on Wednesday (June 16) had nothing on the agenda about the controversial topic of Communion and President Joe Biden. The meeting’s first-day sessions were supposed to be dedicated to the mundane business of nurturing Catholic families and discussing drafts of liturgical language. But … Read more

Ebrahim Raisi poised to sweep into Iranian presidency despite weak religious credentials

ebrahim-raisi-poised-to-sweep-into-iranian-presidency-despite-weak-religious-credentials

(RNS) — Ebrahim Raisi seems poised to emerge victorious in Iran’s presidential elections later this week, thanks to the support of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei more than Raisi’s strength as a candidate. “Raisi is the weakest in terms of the substance of the presidential candidates and is therefore favored by Iran’s ruling elite,” said Babak … Read more

Saddleback Church’s ordination of women pastors to be considered by SBC committee

saddleback-church’s-ordination-of-women-pastors-to-be-considered-by-sbc-committee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — A committee that determines whether churches are conforming to Southern Baptist Convention affiliation rules will consider whether Saddleback Church, a prominent California congregation led by bestselling author Rick Warren, can continue in fellowship with the SBC after Saddleback recently ordained three women pastors. Shad Tibbs, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in … Read more