The Pope has reiterated that the Jewish people do not hold any collective guilt over the death of Christ.
In his new theological work, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, Pope Benedict XVI addresses the difficult passage in Matthew’s Gospel which speaks of the crowd shouting: “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”
Drawing also from the accounts of Mark and John, the pope argues that the crowd spoken of refers to the “dominant priestly circle” and supporters of the rebel Barabbas, and therefore “not the Jewish people as such.” more >>
A new Catholic Church-approved app lets sinners confess on their iPhones before heading to the priest for the real deal.
"Confession: A Roman Catholic App" transforms a user's iPhone into a confession coach of sorts, and walks users through a dry run of what they might encounter in the confessional booth. For about two bucks, churchgoers and rusty Catholics alike can go through the steps of a confessional, from examining their consciences to confessing their sins.
Protected by a user password, the app allows Apple users to custom tailor their confessional experience by creating an account based on their age, sex and vocation. There is also a questionnaire that guides users to check which of the Ten Commandments they have broken lately. more >>
The highest Islamic authority in Egypt, al-Azhar, will suspend all dialogue with the Vatican in response to the pope’s condemnation of widespread violence and discrimination against Christian minorities in predominately Muslim countries.
Sheikh Ahmad el-Tayeb, the president of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, met with members of the Islamic Research Academy before making the announcement Thursday morning. The group accused Pope Benedict of “repeatedly addressing Islam negatively, more than once," reported Islamic news website Ahram Online.
The decision follows calls by the Roman Catholic Church for the Egyptian government to ensure protection of the Coptic community after the New Year’s bombing of the Church of the Two Saints in Alexandria, which left 23 dead and dozens injured. more >>
Three disaffected Anglicans were ordained as Catholic priests on Saturday.
Keith Newton, Andrew Burnham and John Broadhurst – all former Anglican bishops – were welcomed into the Roman Catholic Church during a ceremony at Westminster Cathedral in London.
The three left the Church of England – the mother church of the global Anglican Communion – because they were "distressed" by the developments in the communion which they found to be "incompatible" with Christian tradition. more >>
In a New Year’s day address, Pope Benedict XVI called for an interfaith meeting to urge for peace and an end to religious violence.
Speaking from St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Pope Benedict announced plans to hold an October summit similar to that of his predecessor, the late Pope John Paul. He said the purpose of the conference would be to “solemnly renew the effort of those with faith of all religions to live their faith as a service for the cause of peace.”
In his January 1st address, Benedict reflected on religious persecution throughout the world. “At present, Christians are the religious group which suffers most from persecution on account of its faith,” he asserted, referring to both overt and subtle attacks on Christians and Christian symbols. more >>
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is the top religion newsmaker of 2010, say USA Today readers.
In a poll featured in USA Today’s Religion and Reason blog, readers selected the Tea Party leader as the top religious newsmaker out of six other choices. Palin, who spent most of the year campaigning for GOP candidates such as Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell, received 26 percent of the vote. The poll’s results upset Religion Newswriters Association’s pick for newsmaker of the year – Imam Abdul Feisal Rauf.
Rauf, who is the force behind the effort to build an Islamic center blocks from New York City’s Ground Zero, tied for second place with Pope Benedict XVI. Benedict spent most of the year trying to dissolve troubles stemming from molestation charges against Catholic priests. Both religious leaders took 23 percent of the vote. more >>