A district court judge in Texas has ruled in favor of a diocese of the Episcopal Church that broke away in 2008 over theological differences regarding who controls the diocesan name and property.
Judge John Chupp of Tarrant County ruled Monday that the Diocese of Fort Worth under Bishop Jack Leo Iker owns the name and property of the diocese instead of the mainline denomination.
Two Supreme Court justices who officiated gay weddings don't need to recuse themselves from an upcoming case where they'll be ruling on the legality of state level gay marriage bans, despite demands from social conservative groups that they "disqualify" themselves, according to legal experts.
In April, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in an appeal from the Sixth Circuit regarding the constitutionality of state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage.
Calls have been made by some conservative groups for Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse themselves from the case because they've officiated gay weddings. more >>
Prosecutors in North Carolina will seek the death penalty for alleged triple-murderer Craig Hicks, who reportedly shot and killed three students in Chapel Hill on Feb. 10.
Hicks is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. Prosecutors decided to seek the death penalty after working with federal and local investigators to determine whether the killings were motivated by hatred due to their religion. Hicks is known as an atheist and a follower of Richard Dawkins, while all three students were Muslim.
"I want to express my deepest sympathies and condolences for the victims," Hicks' wife Karen, said during a press conference addressing the notion that the murders were motivated by hate. "Like everyone else, I was just completely shocked. I can say with my absolute belief that this incident had nothing to do with religion or the victims' faith, but in fact was related to a long-standing parking dispute that my husband had with the neighbors and our neighbors are of various religions, races and creeds." more >>
Nina Pham, the first person to ever contract Ebola in the United States, is now suing the hospital chain that both exposed her to the virus and also helped save her life.
Pham, 26, helped care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first known person to travel from West Africa to the U.S. after he contracted Ebola. She became ill soon after working with him and struggled to recover from the virus. While Pham initially received treatment from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, she was later transported to the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. Fortunately, Pham was able to recover from the virus but told The Dallas Morning News that she still suffers from body aches, insomnia, and nightmares resulting from her experience.
An African-American group has joined other social conservative organizations in demanding that two Supreme Court justices who officiated gay weddings recuse themselves from a case pertaining to gay marriage legalization.
The Coalition of African-American Pastors has demanded that Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg recuse themselves from a case surrounding the legality of state-level gay marriage bans. Earlier this week, CAAP launched a petition in which signatories send a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts urging him to have Kagan and Ginsburg recuse themselves.
"For a case that promises to dramatically affect the future of family, religious freedom, and much more, there cannot be any question of political bias on the part of the judges involved," reads the petition. more >>
Norwegian police raided the offices of Bishop Bernt Eidsvig, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Oslo, after a prosecutor accused the church of defrauding the state of $6.57 million by falsely registering people as Catholics. Eidsvig has formally denied the accusation and said he's "extremely unhappy" with the charges, though he admitted that mistakes were made.
"The fraud happened when they enrolled people in a register without the members actually knowing they were being enrolled in the church," Oslo's police prosecutor, Kristin Rusdal, told Reuters.
"Using this register they applied for funding from the state and municipalities, which is distributed on the basis of how many members the church have," Rusdal said. more >>