Latest Religion and politics News

China pressuring priest at center of agreement with Vatican

Nov. 22, 2019 3:56 AM EST

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese Catholic priest whose demotion was key to a now-stalled effort at reconciliation between China and the Vatican is being pressured to join the official Communist Party-controlled church organization, a fellow priest and Catholic news source said. Msgr. Vincenzo Guo Xijin was one of...

Sri Lanka leader appoints Cabinet, brother will lead finance

Nov. 22, 2019 2:05 AM EST

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s president on Friday appointed a 16-member interim Cabinet and allotted finance and other ministries to his brother, the new prime minister. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was elected last week, also said he would call a parliamentary election as early as...

Nicaragua: Pro-government crowd attacks church parishioners

Nov. 21, 2019 9:13 PM EST

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Political violence broke out at a Roman Catholic church in the Nicaraguan city of Masaya on Thursday as government sympathizers attacked parishioners with clubs, machetes and metal bars. The attack came after it became known that San Juan Bautista parish priest Harving Padilla...

AP: Catholic boards hailed as fix for sex abuse often fail

Nov. 21, 2019 6:52 PM EST

Facing thousands of cases of clergy sex abuse, U.S. Catholic leaders addressed their greatest crisis in the modern era with a promised reform: Mandatory review boards. These independent panels with lay people in each diocese would review allegations fairly and kindly. And they would help bishops ensure that no...

Black Georgia lawmakers to push for state hate crimes law

Nov. 21, 2019 4:05 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Black lawmakers in Georgia said Thursday that they will push for a state hate crimes law after a white 16-year-old girl was accused of plotting to attack black churchgoers. In a statement, the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus said it will push for a state hate crimes law “that...

Pennsylvanians to get more time on sex abuse charges, suits

Nov. 21, 2019 3:30 PM EST

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The state where a grand jury’s groundbreaking report set off a new wave of reckoning over sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church passed legislation Thursday giving victims more time to sue and police more time to file charges. The Pennsylvania House sent the...

Religious freedom trackers chafe at congressional proposal

Nov. 21, 2019 12:26 PM EST

The federal commission that tracks global religious freedom is facing a rift with Capitol Hill over a proposal that some members warn would hurt its effectiveness. At issue is bipartisan legislation introduced two months ago to reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom for four years. The...

Pope in Thailand calls for action to protect women, children

Nov. 21, 2019 9:21 AM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — Pope Francis urged more efforts to combat the “humiliation” of women and children forced into prostitution as he began a busy visit Thursday to Thailand, where human trafficking and poverty help fuel the sex tourism industry. During an open-air Mass at Bangkok’s national...

The Latest: Pope again denounces ills of human trafficking

Nov. 21, 2019 7:57 AM EST

BANGKOK (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis’s visit to Thailand and Japan (all times local): 7 p.m. Pope Francis has denounced the “humiliation” endured by women and children forced into prostitution and migrants enslaved as fishermen and beggars. Francis told an estimated 60,000 people...

German leader Merkel to make 1st visit to Auschwitz

Nov. 21, 2019 6:34 AM EST

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is planning to visit the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz for the first time in her 14 years in office. The Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Thursday that Merkel has accepted an invitation to attend the 10th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau...