The University of Missouri's release of a "Guide to Religions: Major Holidays and Suggested Accommodations" has created controversy over whether schools should take into account non-traditional holidays celebrated by groups such as Wiccans and Pagans when scheduling exams and other student activities.
Media outlets and personalities who have called out the college for putting Wiccan and Pagan holidays on par with Christmas, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are now being criticized by a group of Salem witches, according to NoBo Magazine, a local news publication for "North of Boston."
The coven of witches are upset over the comments made by Fox News guest Tucker Carlson last Sunday in which he said that Wiccans are a very small minority and shouldn't be included in the University of Missouri's policy that recently added Wiccans and Pagans to the guide's list. more >>
A new Polish movie premiering at this year's Berlin film festival is causing a stir because of its focus – a gay Roman Catholic priest.
"In the Name of" premiered on Friday in Berlin, and is expected to be especially controversial in Poland, a country which is still heavily Catholic, and may be troublesome to conservative Christians. The movie follows the life of a gay Roman Catholic priest who suffers through loneliness while working with troubled youths in Poland involved with drugs and alcohol.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York and the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he was as "startled and as anxious" as everyone else at the news of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation Monday morning.
"I find myself eager for some news, I find myself itching to read the statement in Latin that the Holy Father made, and I find myself kind of somber," Dolan said in a Today Show interview, revealing that at first, before the news was confirmed, he believed it was only a rumor.
On Monday morning, the 85-year-old pontiff said that he will step down as head of the Roman Catholic Church on Feb. 28 due to his "advanced age" which prevents him from adequately fulfilling his duties in the ministry. 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 >>
Prince Charles expressed concerns over a bill that seeks to change the rules surrounding the Royal line of succession in Britain, saying that allowing royal members to marry Roman Catholics might undermine the Church of England.
The British monarch, who is currently in line to inherit the throne from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, has stated that the bill was "rushed" and that it might have "unintended consequences," CBC reported. Only Protestants have been able to serve as king or queen since the signing of the Act of Settlement, passed in 1701.
The bill allows girls who were born before their brothers to keep their place in line to the throne, but it also removed a 300-year-old ban on royals from marrying Roman Catholics. The official British monarch serves as head of the Church of England, but Roman Catholic doctrine dictates that children from such a union would have to be raised in the Catholic tradition, which would constitute a conflict of interest. more >>
The religious and faith backgrounds of the 113th Congress are more diverse now than at any time in the nation's history, with the addition of America's first Buddhist senator and the first Hindu in the House of Representatives.
Since the birth of the nation in 1776, Congress has typically reflected the religious beliefs of the districts from which they were elected. But gone are days where the overwhelming majority of Congress was Protestant.
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, with the assistance of Congressional Quarterly's Roll Call, compiled data comparing the faith breakdown of Congress to the American population and released their report on Wednesday. Here is what they found. more >>