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Former priest charged with sexually abusing children near LA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Catholic priest has been charged with sexually assaulting four children while serving at two Los Angeles area churches...

Pope asks US bishop to resign after cover-up investigation

ROME (AP) — A bishop in Minnesota resigned Tuesday at the request of Pope Francis after he was investigated by the Vatican for allegedly...

Religious party seeks gains in Peru’s legislative elections

JOSE CARLOS MARIATEGUI, Peru (AP) — On the banks of the Amazon River, in a village without electricity or drinking water, Andrea Rodrigo makes...

Rioters ignore pleas for calm as violence flares in Belfast

BELFAST (AP) — Police in Northern Ireland deployed water cannons for the first time in six years Thursday as they tried to disperse protesters...

AP PHOTOS: Holy Week muted but joyful for world’s Christians

Christians around the globe celebrated Holy Week in face masks and observing social distance guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic dramatically altered the sacred Easter...

Vaccine skepticism runs deep among white evangelicals in US

The president of the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest evangelical denomination, posted a photo on Facebook last week of him getting the COVID-19 vaccine....

The Latest: Lockdown extended for metro Manila, surroundings

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government extended a lockdown by another week Monday after an alarming spike in coronavirus infections continued to surge and...

Hymns through masks: Christians mark another pandemic Easter

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Christianity’s most joyous feast day was celebrated worldwide with the faithful spaced apart in pews and singing choruses of “Hallelujah”...

In Easter speech, pope calls wars in pandemic ‘scandalous’

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis in his traditional Easter Sunday address denounced as “scandalous” how armed conflicts continue to rage even as the...

Pope urges hope amid ‘darkness’ of pandemic in Easter vigil

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis urged his coronavirus-weary flock to not lose hope even through the continued “dark months” of the pandemic as he...

Christians mark Good Friday, Holy Week under virus woes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Christians in the Holy Land marked Good Friday without the mass pilgrimages usually seen in the days leading up to Easter...

Pope celebrates surprise Holy Thursday with ousted cardinal

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis celebrated a surprise Holy Thursday Mass with the cardinal he fired last year, extending an extraordinary gesture to...

Migrants freed without court notice — sometimes no paperwork

MISSION, Texas (AP) — Overwhelmed and underprepared, U.S. authorities are releasing migrant families on the Mexican border without notices to appear in immigration court...

Holy days arrive for the faithful as pandemic eases in US

For Christians across the United States, Easter services on Sunday will reflect an extra measure of joy as the nation experiences rising optimism after...

Georgia’s new GOP election law draws criticism, lawsuits

ATLANTA (AP) — Critics of Georgia's new Republican-backed election law issued fresh calls Monday to boycott some of the state’s largest businesses for not...

Pope grants German archbishop faulted over abuse ‘time out’

BERLIN (AP) — Pope Francis has granted a “time out” to a German archbishop who offered his resignation after being faulted for his handling...

The Latest: Metro Manila, outlying provinces go on lockdown

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine officials placed Metropolitan Manila and four outlying provinces, a region of more than 25 million people, back to a lockdown...

Pope on pandemic’s second year: Weariness, economic hardship

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Celebrating Palm Sunday Mass for a second time in the pandemic without crowds of faithful, Pope Francis said while shock...

Merkel’s bloc dips in polls 6 months before German vote

BERLIN (AP) — A leading figure in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Union bloc has warned that there’s a growing “mood for change” in Germany,...

The Latest: Gov. hopes to up number of Texans getting shots

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday that he’s hoping to increase the number of Texans getting COVID-19 vaccines after seeing a...

Romania OKs holding Easter celebrations despite virus surge

BUCHAREST (AP) — Romanian authorities announced Thursday that Easter celebrations in the deeply Christian country will go ahead in person this year, even though...

British judge: Vatican made ‘appalling’ claims in UK probe

ROME (AP) — A British judge has blasted Vatican prosecutors for making “appalling” misrepresentations to the court about their investigation into the Holy See’s...

Growing number of Southern Baptist women question roles

Emily Snook is the daughter of a Southern Baptist pastor. She met her husband, also a pastor, while they attended a Southern Baptist university ...

Pope, citing pandemic effect, cuts pay for cardinals, others

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Trying to save jobs as the pandemic pummels Vatican revenues, Pope Francis has ordered pay cuts for cardinals and other...

Pope taps Chilean sex abuse whistleblower for Vatican panel

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday named a Chilean survivor of clerical sex abuse to serve on a Vatican commission that advises...

Lawsuit accuses Mormon church of fraud in use of donations

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — James Huntsman, a member of one of Utah's most prominent families and brother of a former governor, sued The...

Infant son of Browns WR Ryan Switzer back in hospital

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Browns wide receiver Ryan Switzer said his infant son has been hospitalized again and is undergoing a blood transfusion. ...

Pope decries lack of access to drinking water for many

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday urged more efforts to ensure all people have access to drinking water. ...

Advocates urge transparency in Biden priest investigation

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — A prominent victims advocate group on Friday urged Santa Clara University in Northern California to release details about unspecified...

Biden inauguration priest under investigation in California

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The Jesuit priest who presided over an inaugural Mass for President Joe Biden is under investigation for unspecified allegations...

Vatican cardinals defend gay union blessing ban amid dissent

ROME (AP) — Three cardinals close to Pope Francis defended a recent Holy See pronouncement that priests cannot bless same-sex unions as the Vatican...

German archbishop offers to resign after abuse criticism

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — A report commissioned by Germany’s Cologne archdiocese on church officials’ handling of past cases of sexual abuse found 75 cases...

In Pope’s homeland, ex-priest leaves church over gay unions

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A former priest and LGBTQ activist who has blessed same-sex unions in Pope Francis’ home country, Argentina, is leaving...

St. Patrick’s Day to be largely virtual in NYC for 2nd year

NEW YORK (AP) — A largely virtual St. Patrick's Day was planned for New York City on Wednesday, one year after the annual parade...

Ex-Vatican altar boy testifies in seminary sex abuse trial

ROME (AP) — A former Vatican altar boy has testified that an older seminarian would come into his bed at night to perform a...

Belgian bishop lashes out at Vatican over gay unions decree

BRUSSELS (AP) — A Belgian bishop has lashed out at the Vatican over its decree that the Catholic Church won’t bless same-sex unions since...

Pope says he symbolically kneels in plea for Myanmar peace

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday appealed for bloodshed to end and dialogue to prevail in Myanmar, saying he symbolically kneels in...

Jesuits in US pledge $100M for racial reconciliation

The U.S.-based branch of the Jesuits has unveiled ambitious plans for a “truth and reconciliation” initiative in partnership with descendants of people once enslaved...

LGBTQ Catholics stung by Vatican rebuff of same-sex unions

The Vatican’s declaration that same-sex unions are a sin the Roman Catholic Church cannot bless was no surprise for LGBTQ Catholics in the United...

Vatican bars gay union blessing, says God ‘can’t bless sin’

ROME (AP) — The Vatican declared Monday that the Catholic Church won't bless same-sex unions since God “cannot bless sin.” ...

Chicago parish fiercely backs priest after sex abuse claims

CHICAGO (AP) — When her teenage son was murdered outside a church in 2006, Pam Bosley contacted ministers around Chicago, hoping someone would help...

Sri Lanka to ban burqas, close over 1,000 Islamic schools

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka on Saturday announced plans to ban the wearing of burqas and said it would close more than...

Vatican low on reserves to cover deficit, seeking donations

ROME (AP) — The Vatican warned Friday that it has nearly depleted its financial reserves from past donations to cover budget deficits over recent...

Iraqi woman who met the pope sees little chance for change

BAGHDAD (AP) — The story of Doha Sabah Abdallah's personal tragedy and loss deeply resonated with Pope Francis during his historic visit last weekend...

Report: German lawmaker resigns after Azerbaijan claims

BERLIN (AP) — A lawmaker from Chancellor Angela Merkel's party is stepping down following allegations he was involved in questionable lobbying activity for Azerbaijan,...

Malaysian court rules non-Muslims can use ‘Allah’

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysian court ruled Wednesday that non-Muslims can use the word “Allah” to refer to God, in a major...

Beth Moore, famed Bible teacher quits Southern Baptists

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — For nearly three decades, Beth Moore has been the very model of a modern Southern Baptist. ...

Pope weighed Iraq virus risk but believes God will protect

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis said Monday he weighed the risks of a high-profile trip to Iraq during the coronavirus pandemic,...

Pope Francis to visit Hungary in September, cardinal says

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Pope Francis will travel to Hungary's capital in September where he will participate in the closing Mass of a multiday,...

Where IS ruled, pope calls on Christians to forgive, rebuild

QARAQOSH, Iraq (AP) — Pope Francis urged Iraq’s Christians on Sunday to forgive the injustices against them by Muslim extremists and to rebuild as...

The Latest: Pope meets father of drowned Syrian refugee boy

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis' historic visit to Iraq, aimed at rallying the country's long-beleaguered Christian community and promoting interreligious...

Sri Lanka Catholics mark ‘Black Sunday’ for Easter victims

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan Roman Catholics attended Mass dressed in black on Sunday, with prayers and protests calling for justice for...

Gak carries California Baptist past Seattle 79-76

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Gorjok Gak had 16 points and nine rebounds as California Baptist narrowly beat Seattle 79-76 on Saturday night. ...

The Latest: Pope Francis delivers sermon in Baghdad church

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis' historic visit to Iraq, aimed at rallying the country's dwindling Christian community after decades of...

Shiite powerhouse al-Sistani helped shape today’s Iraq

One highlight of Pope Francis' historic visit to Iraq is his meeting Saturday with a revered religious leader for Shiite Muslims, Grand Ayatollah Ali...

Pope urges Iraq to embrace its Christians on historic visit

BAGHDAD (AP) — Pope Francis opened the first-ever papal visit to Iraq on Friday with a plea for the country to protect its centuries-old...

The Latest: Pope honors massacre victims at Baghdad church

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis' historic visit to Iraq to deliver a message of hope to the country's dwindling Christian community...

A timeline of disaster and displacement for Iraqi Christians

BAGHDAD (AP) — In Iraq, two decades of back-to-back conflicts have left ancient Christian communities that were once a vibrant and integral part of...

Dolly Parton on her 50th Grammy nod: ‘It’s always special’

NEW YORK (AP) — It's been 51 years since Dolly Parton earned her first Grammy nomination, and this year the national treasure who has...

EXPLAINER: Pope’s risky Iraq trip aims to boost Christians

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is pushing ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite rising coronavirus infections, hoping to encourage the...

Abortion concerns prompt archdiocese warning on vaccine

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Roman Catholic leaders in St. Louis and New Orleans are advising Catholics that the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson,...

Cyprus Church says ‘satanic’ Eurovision entry must be yanked

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The Orthodox Church of Cyprus on Tuesday called for the withdrawal of the country’s controversial entry into this year’s Eurovision...

Vatican defends pope’s Iraq trip amid virus as ‘act of love’

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican defended Pope Francis’ decision to go ahead with his trip to Iraq this weekend despite rising coronavirus infections...

Polish court acquits activists who put LGBT rainbow on icon

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish court on Tuesday acquitted three activists who had been accused of desecration and offending religious feelings for producing...

United Methodist conservatives detail plans for a breakaway

Conservative leaders within the United Methodist Church unveiled plans Monday to form a new denomination, the Global Methodist Church, with a doctrine that does...

Pope Benedict XVI defends resignation to ‘fanatic’ doubters

ROME (AP) — Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has marked the eighth anniversary of his historic resignation by insisting in an interview published Monday that...

Pope prays for liberation of 317 kidnapped Nigerian students

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday decried the kidnapping of 317 students from their boarding school in northwest Nigeria and prayed for...

‘Not a good idea:’ Experts concerned about pope trip to Iraq

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Infectious disease experts are expressing concern about Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Iraq, given a sharp rise in coronavirus infections...

Members who broke with polygamous sect buy former compound

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) — A compound in South Dakota’s Black Hills that was owned by a secretive polygamous sect has been sold at auction...

Iraq’s struggling Christians hope for boost from pope visit

Nasser Banyameen speaks about his hometown of Qaraqosh in the historical heartland of Iraqi Christianity with nostalgia. Before Islamic State group fighters swept through...

Southern Baptists oust 2 churches over LGBTQ inclusion

The Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee voted Tuesday to oust four of its churches, two over policies deemed to be too inclusive of LGBTQ...

Washington taps pastors to overcome racial divide on vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stately and deliberate, with a distinctive white streak in his black hair, the Rev. Wallace Charles Smith started his Valentine's Day...

Ex-US priest on trial in East Timor on sex abuse charges

OECUSSE, East Timor (AP) — A defrocked American priest went on trial Tuesday to face charges he sexually abused young girls at his shelter...

East Timor postpones child sex abuse trial of ex-US priest

OECUSSE, East Timor (AP) — East Timor abruptly postponed the trial Monday of a defrocked American priest facing allegations he sexually abused young girls...

10 years after quake, Christ Church Cathedral finally rising

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — The Christ Church Cathedral was arguably New Zealand's most iconic building before much of it crumbled in an earthquake...

Southern Baptists divided over politics, race, LGBTQ policy

Divisions over race, politics, gender and LGBTQ issues are roiling America’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, ahead of a meeting of its...

Anti-vax at the Vatican? You might lose your job

ROME (AP) — The Vatican is taking Pope Francis’ pro-vaccine stance very seriously: Any Vatican employee who refuses to get a coronavirus shot without...

Survey: Black Americans attend church and pray more often

NEW YORK (AP) — Black Americans attend church more regularly than Americans overall, and pray more often. Most attend churches that are predominantly Black,...

Marriage & divorce amid pandemic: Couples’ challenges abound

For many U.S. couples yearning to be married, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on their wedding plans while bolstering their teamwork and resilience. For...

Law firm details sexual misconduct by global ministry leader

NEW YORK (AP) — Ravi Zacharias, who died in May after a high-profile career leading a global Christian ministry, engaged in sexual misconduct with...

COVID-defying nun toasts 117th birthday with wine and prayer

PARIS (AP) — Question: How does one cram enough candles onto a birthday cake for one of the world's oldest survivors of COVID-19? Answer:...

Nun named to voting position at Vatican praises ‘brave’ pope

ROME (AP) — A French nun who has become the first woman to hold a voting position at the Vatican said Wednesday that her...

Vatican seeks elder care rethink after COVID-19 ‘massacre’

ROME (AP) — The Vatican is calling for a new paradigm of care for older people after what it calls the “massacre” wrought by...

Election turmoil splits West Virginia city’s evangelicals

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (AP) — If you’re Christian in Bluefield — and most everyone is, in this small city tucked into the Appalachian Mountains —...

Election turmoil splits West Virginia city’s evangelicals

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (AP) — If you’re Christian in Bluefield — and most everyone is, in this small city tucked into the Appalachian Mountains —...

Pope moves ahead with plans to meet Shiite leader in Iraq

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis will meet with Iraq's top Shiite Muslim cleric, Ali al-Sistani, during a trip next month that will also include...

Pope seeks ‘Copernican revolution’ for post-COVID economy

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis urged governments on Monday to use the coronavirus crisis as a revolutionary opportunity to create a world that is...

The Latest: China’s northeast outbreaks appear under control

BEIJING — China appears to have stamped out its latest coronavirus outbreaks centered on the northeast, reporting no new cases of local infection in...

Some California churches hold indoor services after ruling

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some California churches opened their doors to worshippers on Sunday, after the state revised its guidelines for houses of prayer...

California revises indoor church guidelines after ruling

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom's office on Saturday issued revised guidelines for indoor church services after the Supreme Court lifted the...

Justices: California can’t enforce indoor church service ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is telling California that it can't bar indoor church services because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it can...

US missionary gets 15 years for sex abuse at Kenya orphanage

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Christian missionary from Pennsylvania expressed remorse as he was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison Thursday for...

Things to Know: Catholic Church got $1.5B in US virus relief

Here’s what’s happening Thursday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.: ...

Biden, at prayer breakfast, calls out ‘political extremism’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday called for a confrontation of the “political extremism” that inspired the U.S. Capitol riot and appealed...

Pope seeks to encourage musicians silenced by coronavirus

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Thursday offered encouragement to musicians who have been silenced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, acknowledging many...

Sitting on billions, Catholic dioceses amassed taxpayer aid

When the coronavirus forced churches to close their doors and give up Sunday collections, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte turned to the federal...

Cyprus Orthodox Church to restore historic homes amid outcry

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The head of Cyprus’ Orthodox Church on Wednesday pledged to rebuild a row of historic homes that were partially demolished...

Pope denounces violence against women, demands protection

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis is denouncing the verbal, physical, psychological and sexual violence that women endure and is demanding greater protections for them. ...

A mix of hope and dismay as religious leaders assess Biden

Donald Trump's departure from the White House and the start of Joe Biden’s presidency have stirred new hopes among many religious leaders in the...

Pope on Iraq trip: Worthwhile even if most watch him on TV

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis said Monday he is still planning to visit Iraq in March, even if most Iraqis have to watch him...

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