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Faith

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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Rabbi accused of spying on women took students to his mikvah

WASHINGTON (RNS) New allegations against a prominent Washington rabbi involve him bringing students from his class at a Maryland university to his synagogue’s ritual bath, the same place where prosecutors say he spied on naked congregants. Prosecutors charged Rabbi Barry Freundel...
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Mormons try to demystify temple ‘garments’

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. SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) Mormon temple “garments” have been maligned, mocked and misunderstood by outsiders...
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Now you can eat with Pope Francis ... or at least cook his favorite dishes

VATICAN CITY (RNS) They say you can feast like a king, and now you can eat like a pope after a young chef from the Vatican’s Swiss Guards published a cookbook featuring the favorite recipes of Pope Francis and his predecessors. David Geisser, 24, who joined the elite Vatican secur...
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Mark Driscoll speaks for first time after resigning Seattle megachurch

(RNS) Mark Driscoll is back. Sort of. Days after stepping down as head of Seattle’s Mars Hill megachurch, Driscoll spoke briefly Monday (Oct. 20) at the Gateway Conference in suburban Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. Initially, he and conference organizers agreed that he would not give a...
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Archbishop Chaput blasts Vatican debate on family, says ‘confusion is of the devil’

NEW YORK (RNS) Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, a leading culture warrior in the U.S. hierarchy, says he was “very disturbed” by the debate over church teachings on gays and remarried Catholics at this month’s Vatican summit, saying it sent a confusing message and “confusion...
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Israeli rabbis say accused rabbi’s conversions are kosher

JERUSALEM (RNS) A major crisis between American and Israeli rabbis was averted Tuesday (Oct. 21) when Israel’s Chief Rabbinate said it will not question the validity of conversions performed under the auspices of a modern Orthodox rabbi in Washington who was arrested on charges of s...
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Italy’s ‘singing nun’ Sister Cristina covers Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’

ROME (RNS) Italy’s singing nun Sister Cristina Scuccia, who became a global sensation after winning a TV reality show, has chosen Madonna’s controversial classic “Like a Virgin” as the first single from her debut album. Sister Cristina, 26, says her version of the salacious pop so...
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7 lessons from the Vatican’s wild and crazy Synod on the Family

(RNS) Pope Francis and senior Catholic leaders wrapped up their two-week Vatican summit on the challenges of modern family life on Sunday (Oct. 19) without reaching a consensus on a number of hot-button topics. So where does that leave Francis’ papacy? And the church? Here are sev...
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Mikvahs seek security after hidden camera scandal

WASHINGTON (RNS) In the days since a prominent Orthodox rabbi was charged with spying on naked women in his synagogue’s mikvah, Jews who oversee the ritual baths across the country are rushing to reassure that the same scandal could not happen under their watch. Sharon Weiss-Green...
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General Theological Seminary board to negotiate with terminated faculty

NEW YORK (RNS) The embattled General Theological Seminary will keep its controversial dean and has offered to negotiate employment possibilities with the majority of its faculty who quit teaching classes and were subsequently fired. One trustee has resigned over the board’s decision...
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