Top Religion News

Pope Francis, center, makes the sign of the cross during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Francis becomes 1st pope to endorse same-sex civil unions

Oct. 21, 2020 5:36 PM EDT

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse same-sex civil unions in comments for a documentary that premiered Wednesday, sparking cheers from gay Catholics and demands for clarification from conservatives, given the Vatican’s official teaching on the issue. The papal thumbs-up came...

Pope Francis meets with bishops in the Paul VI hall on the occasion of the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope reverts to mask-less old ways amid growing criticism

Oct. 21, 2020 3:20 PM EDT

ROME (AP) — A day after donning a face mask for the first time during a liturgical service, Pope Francis was back to his mask-less old ways Wednesday despite surging coronavirus infections across Europe and growing criticism of his behavior and the example he is setting. Francis shunned a face mask again...

Pope Francis listens to a priests introducing the group of faithful attending the weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Divided reactions in US as pope backs same-sex civil unions

Oct. 21, 2020 6:20 PM EDT

LGBTQ Catholics and their allies in the U.S. welcomed Pope Francis’ endorsement of same-sex civil unions, the first time he’s done so as pontiff, while some prominent members including a bishop said Wednesday that he was blatantly contradicting church teaching. Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence,...

French anti-terrorist state prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard holds a press conference Wednesday Oct.21, 2020 in Paris. The French government issued an order to dissolve a domestic militant Islamic group after the beheading last week near Paris of Samuel Paty, a teacher who had shown students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. A terror investigation is under way into the killing by an 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen refugee, who was later shot dead by police. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Macron says beheaded teacher was victim of stupidity, hate

Oct. 21, 2020 4:51 PM EDT

PARIS (AP) — President Emmanuel Macron promised Wednesday that France will not renounce freedoms taught by a schoolteacher beheaded by a radical Islamist last week after showing caricatures of the prophet of Islam to his class. At a national memorial at the Sorbonne University in central Paris, Macron...

Australian Cardinal George Pell arrives at Rome's international airport in Fiumicino, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. Pell took a leave of absence from his job in 2017 to stand trial in his native Australia on historic child sexual abuse charges, for which he was ultimately acquitted. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Australian law enforcement examine Vatican money trail

Oct. 21, 2020 7:50 AM EDT

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A range of Australian law enforcement and corruption agencies are examining a reported transfer of money from the Vatican that Italian media have speculated might be linked to the overturned convictions of Cardinal George Pell for child sex abuse. The national financial crime...

Latest Religion News

Families walk along Mexico City's Reforma Avenue during Day of the Dead celebrations, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

The Latest: Mexico estimates its caseload above 1 million

Oct. 21, 2020 9:29 PM EDT

MEXICO CITY — Mexican health officials estimated Wednesday that the country has risen above 1 million coronavirus cases, though the figure includes both confirmed infections as well as suspected cases. Officials put the country’s apparent deaths from COVID-19 at 102,293, again including cases in...

FILE - In this Friday, June 29, 2007, file photo, James Randi is shown in front of a poster at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Florida-based James Randi Educational Foundation announced its founder died Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, at 92. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

James Randi, dazzling magician and skeptic, dies at 92

Oct. 21, 2020 9:27 PM EDT

James Randi, a magician who later challenged spoon benders, mind readers and faith healers with such voracity that he became regarded as the country’s foremost skeptic, has died, his foundation announced. He was 92. The James Randi Educational Foundation confirmed the death, saying simply that its founder...

Tony Spell, pastor of the Life Tabernacle Church, leaves East Baton Rouge Parish jail after posting bond in Baton Rouge, La., Tuesday, April 21, 2020. Louisiana authorities arrested the pastor on an assault charge on Tuesday after he admitted that he drove his church bus toward a man who has been protesting his decision to hold mass gatherings in defiance of public health orders during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Senators stall bill prohibiting emergency rules on churches

Oct. 21, 2020 7:04 PM EDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A proposal to keep Louisiana's emergency orders from governing churches and to upend prosecution of a pastor who violated Gov. John Bel Edwards' coronavirus restrictions was narrowly shelved Wednesday by state senators. A Senate judiciary committee voted 3-2 to kill the bill by Oil...

Pope Francis listens to a priests introducing the group of faithful attending the weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Divided reactions in US as pope backs same-sex civil unions

Oct. 21, 2020 6:20 PM EDT

LGBTQ Catholics and their allies in the U.S. welcomed Pope Francis’ endorsement of same-sex civil unions, the first time he’s done so as pontiff, while some prominent members including a bishop said Wednesday that he was blatantly contradicting church teaching. Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence,...

Pope Francis, center, makes the sign of the cross during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Francis becomes 1st pope to endorse same-sex civil unions

Oct. 21, 2020 5:36 PM EDT

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse same-sex civil unions in comments for a documentary that premiered Wednesday, sparking cheers from gay Catholics and demands for clarification from conservatives, given the Vatican’s official teaching on the issue. The papal thumbs-up came...

French anti-terrorist state prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard holds a press conference Wednesday Oct.21, 2020 in Paris. The French government issued an order to dissolve a domestic militant Islamic group after the beheading last week near Paris of Samuel Paty, a teacher who had shown students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. A terror investigation is under way into the killing by an 18-year-old Moscow-born Chechen refugee, who was later shot dead by police. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Macron says beheaded teacher was victim of stupidity, hate

Oct. 21, 2020 4:51 PM EDT

PARIS (AP) — President Emmanuel Macron promised Wednesday that France will not renounce freedoms taught by a schoolteacher beheaded by a radical Islamist last week after showing caricatures of the prophet of Islam to his class. At a national memorial at the Sorbonne University in central Paris, Macron...

Pope Francis meets with bishops in the Paul VI hall on the occasion of the weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope reverts to mask-less old ways amid growing criticism

Oct. 21, 2020 3:20 PM EDT

ROME (AP) — A day after donning a face mask for the first time during a liturgical service, Pope Francis was back to his mask-less old ways Wednesday despite surging coronavirus infections across Europe and growing criticism of his behavior and the example he is setting. Francis shunned a face mask again...

FILE - In this Oct. 14, 2020, file photo, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett listens during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Barrett served for nearly three years on the board of a private Christian school that effectively barred admission to children of same-sex parents and made it plain openly gay and lesbian teachers weren’t welcome in the classroom. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)

Barrett was trustee at private school with anti-gay policies

Oct. 21, 2020 3:01 PM EDT

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett served for nearly three years on the board of private Christian schools that effectively barred admission to children of same-sex parents and made it plain that openly gay and lesbian teachers weren’t welcome in the classroom. The policies that discriminated against...

Australian Cardinal George Pell arrives at Rome's international airport in Fiumicino, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020. Pell took a leave of absence from his job in 2017 to stand trial in his native Australia on historic child sexual abuse charges, for which he was ultimately acquitted. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Australian law enforcement examine Vatican money trail

Oct. 21, 2020 7:50 AM EDT

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A range of Australian law enforcement and corruption agencies are examining a reported transfer of money from the Vatican that Italian media have speculated might be linked to the overturned convictions of Cardinal George Pell for child sex abuse. The national financial crime...

Newly appointed Polish Education Minister Przemyslaw Czarnek arrives at work, in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday Oct. 21, 2020. Shortly before his arrival, activists dressed as security guards had climbed onto a balcony of the building and hung a banner protesting his recent appointment, considering him a religious fundamentalist. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Polish academics protest 'fundamentalist' education minister

Oct. 21, 2020 5:59 AM EDT

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Activists dressed as security guards climbed onto a balcony of a Polish Education Ministry building early Wednesday and hung a banner protesting the appointment of a new minister whom they consider to be a religious fundamentalist and a danger to the nation's youth and universities....