The president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod recently issued an apology after reprimanding a pastor for participating in a December interfaith prayer vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
This past weekend, Matthew C. Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, issued both a video and a letter on the denomination's website, apologizing for how he handled the conflict with the Rev. Rob Morris of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newtown, Conn., who took part in a nationally televised interfaith prayer vigil in December 2012.
Participating in interfaith prayer vigils goes against the denomination's rules of joint worship, as the denomination believes it gives the impression that theological differences among faiths do not matter. more >>
Pope Benedict XVI, who has served as head of the Roman Catholic Church since 2005, has announced that he will be stepping down.
In a statement released Monday morning, the 85-year-old Pontiff cited "advanced age" as the reason for his resignation, which will be effective at the end of the month.
"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," said the Pope. more >>
An Evangelical denomination in Ethiopia has recently announced that it is severing ties with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and it sister church, the Church of Sweden, because of its position regarding homosexuality in the church.
The denomination, known as the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, also announced that it will not be affiliated with any churches "who have openly accepted same-sex marriage," and from this point onward may not accept Holy Communion from ELCA pastors, nor are they allowed to distribute Holy Communion to ELCA members.
Another stipulation of this severing is that any leaders affiliated with the ELCA will not be invited to speak at the Mekane Yesus church, nor may they accompany the church on spiritual ministries. more >>
Catholic Health Initiatives, the network of hospitals under fire for positioning in a lawsuit that a fetus is not a human being, admitted that they were "morally wrong" to make the legal argument.
"In the discussion with the Church leaders, CHI representatives acknowledged that it was morally wrong for attorneys representing St. Thomas More Hospital to cite the state's Wrongful Death Action defense of this lawsuit. That law does not consider fetuses to be persons, which directly contradicts the moral teachings of the Church," CHI said in a statement released on Monday.
The case in question goes back to 2006, when Jeremy Stodghill lost his wife and his unborn twin sons at St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colo., on New Year's Day, after emergency respondent staff failed to detect any fetal heartbeats. The doctors on the scene declined to perform a perimortem Cesarean section on 31-year-old Lori Stodghill, who was 28 weeks pregnant and died at the scene following a massive heart attack. more >>
A new proposed amendment for the Virginia state Bill of Rights that would call on all public places and schools to allow prayer and religious activity passed a Senate Committee last week.
A Senate Committee in the Virginia General Assembly endorsed Senate Joint Resolution 287 on Jan. 29. Republican Sens. William M. Stanley, Jr., and Charles W. "Bill" Carrico sponsored the bill that would allow public officials, students, and others the right to participate in religious activity as long as they were not disruptive. The new bill will also allow for students to be dismissed from school assignments and presentations that conflict with their religious beliefs.
Stanley informed the panel that this amendment was crafted to ensure that people of all religions would not be penalized for expressing their right to religious beliefs. "All religions are under attack," Stanley said. "People of faith are under attack." more >>
Archbishop Jose Gomez of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles said in a letter that he is stripping his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, of his archdiocese duties, claiming that he did not do enough to address abuse by priests during his time in charge.
"I find these files to be brutal and painful reading," Gomez said in the letter, referring to more than 12,000 pages of files the church posted on Thursday detailing child sexual abuse crimes its priests have been accused of. "The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children."
The files apparently showed that Mahony worked with other top officials to protect the church body from many of the accusations filed against it, and shielded pedophile priests in fears that the church would be engulfed in a bigger scandal. more >>