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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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5 ways churches can help stop the Ebola hysteria (COMMENTARY)

(RNS) Once the first person in America died from Ebola, the usual bigots and ideologues blamed it on President Obama, whom they loathe. Some suggested Obama deliberately allowed the virus into the U.S. for nefarious purposes. “He wants us to be just like everybody else, and if Afr...
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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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Idaho ministers sue to prevent gay weddings at for-profit wedding chapel

(RNS) The owners of an Idaho wedding chapel have filed suit against officials in Coeur d’Alene, claiming that the city is unconstitutionally forcing them to violate their religious beliefs by performing same-sex marriages or face possible fines and jail time. The state’s 2004 ban...
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Greek Orthodox launch rebuilding of St. Nicholas, the only church destroyed on 9/11

NEW YORK (RNS) Leaders of a Greek Orthodox church that was destroyed during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center broke ground on a new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church that will overlook the 9/11 memorial. The new domed building is scheduled to open in 2016, the same year...
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