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COMMENTARY: Lent isn’t just a second chance at New Year’s resolutions

(RNS) So here we go again. It's that time of year _ Lent, when many Christians give something up. Often it's food, although my mom told me when I was a kid that giving up vegetables doesn't count.     A few years ago, as we approached Lent, a few of my friends (who during the rest of the year rejected religion), announced they, too, were giving something up. W...
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FACT BOX: Everything you need to know about popes and saints

Eds: See related mainbar, RNS-POPES-SAINTS, also transmitted April 23 (RNS) Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will be declared saints on Sunday (April 27), the first-ever double papal canonization. Here's a quick guide to making saints in the Roman Catholic Church:      * There a...
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ANALYSIS: Does being pope give you an inside track to sainthood?

(RNS) When Pope Francis canonizes Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on Sunday (April 27), Catholics across the spectrum will have reason to cheer: Liberals credit John with opening the church to the modern world in the 1960s, and conservatives hail John Paul as reasserting orthodoxy...
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The legacies of John Paul II and John XXIII

(RNS) One was a man who shook the very foundations of the Roman Catholic Church by ushering in revolutionary reforms through the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s. The other was a charismatic globe-trotter who stared down communism and taught the world lasting lessons of how to di...
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John Paul II and John XXIII: A rush to sainthood?

 VATICAN CITY (RNS) Hundreds of pilgrims wind their way around St. Peter's Square as tour guides shout in multiple languages. Beggars have their hands outstretched amid warnings of an invasion of pickpockets from abroad.     Across Rome, hotels are full, streets are clean and the c...
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Nigerian Christians begin three-day fast after schoolgirls kidnapped

(RNS) Christians began a three-day prayer and fasting period after Islamist Boko Haram militants kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria and desperate parents joined the search in a remote forest.     The girls were abducted last week while at school in the Chibok area of Born...
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Neon Tree’s Tyler Glenn is gay, Mormon and proud of it

Eds: A version of this story originally appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune in Salt Lake City. It is available for use by RNS subscribers. Please use the Salt Lake Tribune byline. (RNS) KISS may have been on the cover of the April 10 issue of Rolling Stone, but the most eye-opening...
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COMMENTARY: Nun teaches secret to overcoming fear of death

(RNS) I have always had a tremendous fear of death. It arose, perhaps, from having had older parents. I worried my parents might die, leaving me bereft. Even now, I sometimes awake at night gripped by the terrible anxiety that I will soon die. At this time of year when Christians...
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Can you question the Resurrection and still be a Christian?

(RNS) ``On the third day, he rose again.''     That line, from the Nicene Creed, is the foundational statement of Christian belief. It declares that three days after Jesus died on the cross, he was resurrected, a glimmer of the eternal life promised to believers. It's the heart of...
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When Pope Francis washes women’s feet, arguments follow. Who’s right?

(RNS) On Thursday evening (April 17), in a familiar reprise of an ancient rite, Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis., will wash the feet of 12 men, all seminarians _ a re-creation of Jesus' action at the Last Supper when he washed the feet of his disciples and, according to Cathol...
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`Blood moon’ sets off apocalyptic debate among some Christians

(RNS) Could a series of ``blood moon'' events be connected to Jesus' return? Some Christians think so.     In the wee hours of Tuesday (April 15) morning, the moon slid into Earth's shadow, casting a reddish hue on the moon. There are about two lunar eclipses per year, according to...
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