Marcus J. Borg, who for a generation helped popularize intense debates about the historical Jesus and the veracity and meaning of the New Testament, died January 21. He was 72 and had been suffering from a prolonged illness.
Borg emerged in the 1980s as academics and theologians were bringing new energy to the so-called quest for the historical Jesus.
(RNS) Catholic environmental groups from around the world on Wednesday (January 14) announced a new global network to battle climate change just as many Catholic conservatives are sharply criticizing Pope Francis’ campaign to put environmental protection high on the church’s agenda.
BALTIMORE (RNS) The nation’s Catholic bishops are jumping into the increasingly contentious battle over immigration reform by backing President Obama’s pledge to act on his own to fix what one bishop called “this broken and immoral system” before Republicans assume control of Capitol Hill in January.
NEW YORK (RNS) The Archdiocese of New York, with the second-largest Catholic population in the country and an unparalleled place in U.S. church history, is shrinking: Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Sunday (November 2) announced that nearly a third of the archdiocese’s 368 parishes would be merging, and some would close.
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis said Thursday (October 23) that keeping inmates isolated in maximum security prisons is “a form of torture,” and called life sentences “a hidden death penalty” that should be abolished along with capital punishment.
(RNS) As he wraps up a Vatican meeting marked by sharp debates over sex and morality, Pope Francis on Sunday (October 19) will honor one of his most controversial predecessors by beatifying Pope Paul VI, who is most famous for reaffirming the Catholic Church’s ban on artificial contraception.
(RNS) Leading up to a Vatican summit on family life that Pope Francis opens on Sunday (October 5), high-ranking churchmen have fiercely debated church teaching—and criticized each other—in sharp exchanges that offer a ringside seat to the kind of battles that Rome used to keep under wraps.
(RNS) When Spokane Bishop Blase Cupich got a call 10 days ago with the news that Pope Francis had chosen him to be the next archbishop of Chicago—the pontiff’s most important U.S. appointment to date—he was so taken aback that he couldn’t speak for a few moments.
(RNS) The Vatican’s guardian of orthodoxy and the force behind Rome’s investigation of American nuns has renewed his criticism of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, downplaying the group’s size and importance and arguing that the Vatican is trying to help them recover their religious identity so they don’t die out.
While some prominent Christians have called on the United States to take more forceful military action against Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, more than 50 leaders of Catholic, Protestant, and other Christian groups wrote an open letter to President Obama asking him to halt U.S. air strikes and pursue solely peaceful means to resolve the conflict.
(RNS) From the moment news broke that U.S. journalist James Foley had been killed by Islamic State extremists in the Middle East, many Christians, especially Foley’s fellow Catholics, began calling him a martyr, with some even saying he should be considered a saint.
(RNS) A coalition of more than 50 religious leaders, led by mostly conservative Catholic, evangelical, and Jewish activists, is calling on President Obama to sharply escalate military action against Islamic extremists in Iraq.
(RNS) When victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests first organized into a small band of volunteer activists in the late 1980s, reports of clergy molesting children were still new and relatively few. Most were minimized as anomalies or dismissed altogether—much the way the victims were.