JAKARTA, Indonesia — The capital of Muslim-majority Indonesia is on edge ahead of what is expected to be a second massive protest by conservative Muslims against its Christian governor and no group more so than its Chinese minority.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: What is your feeling about gift giving at Christmas time? Have you found your feelings toward gift giving at Christmas have changed over the years?
VATICAN CITY — Saying nothing is beyond the reach of God’s mercy, Pope Francis told Catholics worldwide he is allowing all priests to absolve the faithful of abortion — women and health workers alike — even while stressing that it is a grave sin in the eyes of the church to “end an innocent life.”
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Can you help me with the theological underpinnings of this? Do religious folks who object to abortion believe that unborn children are without sin? I thought Christians believed that all humans are conceived and born into sin. If not, why baptize infants?
SAVANNAH, Ga. — Advocates accused a Georgia lawmaker of targeting Muslim women with proposed changes to a 1951 state law passed to unmasked the Ku Klux Klan, creating a backlash that prompted the Republican legislator to quickly discard the idea.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I am a born-again Christian. I love the Lord with all of my heart and mind and soul and strength. I am divorced. Can I ever, without losing my salvation, marry again?
A federal appeals court has ruled that Bloomfield’s Ten Commandments monument violates the U.S. Constitution, but a lawyer for the northwestern New Mexico city says it may appeal the ruling.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: When you were in Europe recently, did you learn anything while seeing historic Christianity that would give you insight as to how it affects your understanding of the way Christianity is practiced in the U.S. today?
WASHINGTON (TNS) — Daniel Myers is holding out hope that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump gets indicted before Election Day. It’s the only way he’ll be able to make a decision before stepping into the voting booth next Tuesday.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: Religion has a very unifying effect on its followers. Is it even possible to separate religion and politics (that govern our everyday lives)?
JERUSALEM — In the innermost chamber of the site said to be the tomb of Jesus, a restoration team has peeled away a marble layer for the first time in centuries in an effort to reach what it believes is the original rock surface where Jesus’ body was laid.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: The Bible says to turn the other cheek when I am affronted. How do such words apply in a world full of radicalism, threats, rampant murders, bigotry and hate?
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I’ve been married nearly 16 years. My husband is a great guy in so many ways, but this last six months have become difficult. He has always been passive aggressive, but I can feel it getting worse.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has denounced the forced repatriation of unaccompanied children migrants who flee wars and poverty, saying countries should try to meet their needs rather than return them to uncertain futures back home.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: What do you do if you know a person is going to do something bad but has not executed it. Is there any way to stop the person? You have no hard evidence of the actions, but you...
NEW YORK — Victims of clergy sex abuse willing to forgo lawsuits against New York’s Roman Catholic archdiocese can seek compensation through a new church fund announced Thursday, but any records of such abuse and what the church did about problem priests will remain private.
TBILISI, Georgia — Pope Francis’ efforts to improve relations with the Georgian Orthodox Church suffered a setback Saturday after the patriarchate decided at the last minute not to send an official delegation to his Mass and reminded the Orthodox faithful they cannot participate in Catholic services.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I’ve been noticing of late how intrusive I’ve let social media and media consumption in general become. So I’ve been banishing the tablet from my bed three nights a week, which has made me antsy and itchy.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is wrapping up a Caucasus pilgrimage that began in June in Armenia and ends this weekend with a visit to two other countries with tiny Catholic communities: the Orthodox Christian bastion of Georgia and the largely Shiite Muslim nation of Azerbaijan.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: To say the religious right wreaked havoc with my spiritual life would be an understatement. It has been several years since my wife and I made our exit from that world and we still have not recovered.
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: I have family members who believe that using birth control is sinful because children are a blessing from God. They believe that people who use birth control are not only sinful but exceedingly selfish for not wanting children. They also believe that barrenness is a curse from God. I think they are wrong but am not sure. Can you help out here?
HILDALE, Utah (AP) — Members of a polygamous community on the Utah-Arizona border gathered for a memorial service marking the anniversary of flash floods that killed at least a dozen people. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Short Creek on Wednesday night cursed the flood but praised relief efforts and first responders. About 150 people stood about a mile downstream from where the Hildale victims were swept away.
VATICAN CITY — Retired Pope Benedict XVI has acknowledged that governing the church wasn’t his strong suit but says he doesn’t see his papacy as a failure and that he succeeded at least in breaking up the Vatican’s so-called “gay lobby.”
Dear Thoughtful Pastor: What are traditional family values and who decided? Why is it such a buzz word and why is it a red flag to some of us?
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Saturday denounced what he called the modern-day sin of indifference to hunger, exploitation and other suffering, while commending the example of Mother Teresa on the eve of a sainthood ceremony for the nun who cared for India’s destitute.
SALT LAKE CITY — A polygamous sect member who believes writing to imprisoned sect leader Warren Jeffs is essential to his eternal salvation will be allowed to continue sending monthly letters while he awaits trial on food stamp fraud charges.