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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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Parents of murdered boy want life for Boston bomber

BOSTON – Parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings of April 2013, called on the government Friday (March 17) to end their quest for the death penalty and give the bomber life in prison. In a statement published on the front page of Friday...
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Half of U.S. states consider right-to-die legislation

More than a dozen states, plus the District of Columbia, are considering controversial medically assisted death legislation this year. The laws would allow mentally fit, terminally ill patients age 18 and older, whose doctors say they have six months or less to live, to request le...
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Secret orders and supposed traitors—TV’s ‘Dig’ and religious history

(RNS) The pieces of the religious puzzle that make up the USA Network’s biblical conspiracy action series “Dig” are beginning to fall into place, and the picture they are revealing is one of history — highlighted by a colorful streak of fiction. Here be spoilers! Read on only if y...
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Okla. attorney general wants private citizens to distribute religious literature in schools

OKLAHOMA CITY (RNS) After a series of challenges to the distribution of Gideon Bibles in the state’s school districts, Oklahoma’s attorney general stepped in to defend the practice. On Tuesday (April 14), Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced a new initiative “designed to defend...
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Okla. attorney general wants private citizens to distribute religious literature in schools

OKLAHOMA CITY (RNS) After a series of challenges to the distribution of Gideon Bibles in the state’s school districts, Oklahoma’s attorney general stepped in to defend the practice. On Tuesday (April 14), Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced a new initiative “designed to defend...
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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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