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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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Chicago Cardinal Francis George dies at 78, an icon of a conservatism suddenly out of favor

(RNS) The death of Cardinal Francis George at age 78 on Friday (April 17) was not unexpected. The powerful archbishop of Chicago had been battling cancer for years, and when it returned, the toll contributed to his decision to give up the reins of one of the nation’s premiere dioces...
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Can religion and politics mix – for good, not evil?

NEW YORK (RNS) Religion and politics are assumed to be a dangerous brew, volatile to the point of murderous. And at least judging by current events in the Middle East and elsewhere, that may well be true. But can this potion be used for advancing peace rather than instigating war?...
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Inside a dying German church, a new synagogue rises

COTTBUS, Germany (RNS) For years, the Schlosskirche, or castle church, at the heart of Cottbus’ historic old city stood mostly empty. Like many other parishes in Germany, the Schlosskirche no longer had a congregation of its own. And recent efforts to breathe life back into the 30...
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TIMELINE: The long and contentious duel between Rome and American nuns

(RNS) The long and often contentious duel between the Vatican and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious came to an abrupt end on Thursday (April 16); the probe of the umbrella group that represents most of the nation’s 50,000 nuns concluded with an amicable resolution that av...
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Kenya’s Christians and Muslims divided over amnesty plan

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) Religious tensions between Christians and Muslims have flared after the government extended amnesty to youth who denounce the Muslim terrorist group al-Shabab, a step Christian leaders condemned. On Tuesday (April 14), Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaisse...
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Mormon couple doesn’t want to be part of Supreme Court gay marriage case

SALT LAKE CITY — A Mormon man and woman in a mixed-orientation marriage are objecting to their inclusion in a U.S. Supreme Court case filing because it argues that legalized gay marriage would demean marriages like theirs. Josh and Lolly Weed’s names and statements are referenced...
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Kim Kardashian airbrushed out of ultra-Orthodox website

This has gotta be a first: Kim Kardashian is not in the picture. But it’s happened, in Israel, on an ultra-Orthodox Jewish news website, which covered or blurred her face in a picture taken of her during her stopover in Jerusalem this week. Kim and husband Kanye West had dinner...
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Vatican ends controversial investigation of US nuns with olive branch

(RNS) The Vatican on Thursday (April 16) officially ended a controversial seven-year investigation of American nuns with a face-saving compromise that allows Pope Francis to close the book on one of the more troubled episodes that he inherited from his predecessor, Benedict XVI. “...
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Loretta Lynch supporters hold ‘pray-in’ on Capitol Hill to urge a vote on her confirmation

WASHINGTON (RNS) African-American women of faith joined other women and political leaders in a “pray-in” Wednesday (April 15) to call on Republicans to quit delaying the confirmation of attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch. “We’re standing before dead ears and asking you to open...
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Panel offers pastors advice on becoming ‘ministers of reconciliation’ in African-American communities

ORLANDO, Fla. (RNS) Christian ministers should establish relationships with law enforcement, seek ways to become moral authorities in their communities and listen. Those were the top recommendations from experts at a panel sponsored by The Gospel Coalition on Tuesday (April 14) ti...
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