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September 15th, 2010
06:37 PM ET

UK bans pregnant nun ice cream ad

London, England (CNN) - Britain's advertising watchdog has censured an Italian ice cream manufacturer over an advertisement depicting a heavily pregnant nun that appeared ahead of a papal visit to the UK.

The ad featuring the strapline "immaculately conceived" over an image of the expectant sister spooning from a tub of Antonio Federici ice cream was "likely to cause widespread offense," the Advertising Standards Authority ruled.

The ASA said the publishers of Lady magazine, which carried the ad, had received several complaints from readers.

The watchdog rejected the manufacturer's claims that it was "using gentle humor" to convey the message that "ice cream is our religion."

"We considered the use of a nun pregnant through immaculate conception was likely to be seen as a distortion and mockery of the beliefs of Roman Catholics," the ASA ruling said.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Culture wars • Europe • Food • Scandal • TV • United Kingdom

September 15th, 2010
06:25 PM ET

Why is Benedict coming to Britain?

London, England (CNN) - As the United Kingdom braces to receive one of the best-known and most controversial figures on the planet, Pope Benedict XVI, a question hangs over the state visit: Why is he coming?

The leader of the world's 1 billion-plus Catholics does not particularly like to travel, Benedict biographer David Gibson says.

Since a high-profile visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories nearly a year-and-a-half ago, he's gone only to a handful of small countries not far from Rome - racking up nothing like the number of air miles logged by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

And the United Kingdom is not a Catholic country. On the contrary, Britain's break from Rome in the 16th century echoes, if faintly, to the present day, with laws on the books forbidding the heir to the British throne from marrying a Catholic.

Read the full story here.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Britain • Catholic Church • Europe • Pope Benedict XVI

September 15th, 2010
06:11 PM ET

Anger awaits pope on landmark UK visit

London, England (CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Britain this week amid criticism over the landmark visit's cost to taxpayers and anger over the Vatican's record on child abuse and human rights.

A huge security operation is being mounted to protect the pontiff during his four-day tour - the first papal state visit to Britain - bumping estimated costs beyond £20 million ($31 million), with over half coming from government funds.

Tens of thousands are expected to greet Benedict at public Masses in the cities of Glasgow, Birmingham, and London and on the sidelines of meetings with political leaders, royalty and bridge-building events with Anglican Church officials

Benedict's September 16-19 trip is scheduled to culminate in the beatification of British Cardinal John Henry Newman, a Catholic convert who died in 1890 and is credited with helping rebuild Britain's Catholic community.

But with apathy and anger denting the UK's Catholic following (estimated at 9 percent of the population), the atmosphere greeting Benedict is expected to be very different from that festivities which met a pastoral visit 28 years ago by his predecessor John Paul II.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Britain • Catholic Church • Europe • Pope Benedict XVI

September 15th, 2010
04:34 PM ET

September 15th, 2010
04:19 PM ET

'The Amish Way' to forgiveness

Donald  Kraybill says the blood was barely dry on the floor of a Amish school where a gunmen murdered five girls when parents of the victims sent words of forgiveness to the family's gunmen.

How could the Amish forgive so quickly, he wondered?

It was the same question that many Americans asked after the 2006 schoolhouse shootings in Pennsylvania. But Kraybill was especially equipped to answer it. He had formed long-term friendships and relationships with members of the Amish community.
FULL POST

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Violence

September 15th, 2010
04:03 PM ET

September 15th, 2010
03:15 PM ET

Top cardinal compares London to 'Third World country'

LONDON, England (CNN) - Landing at London's Heathrow Airport is like arriving in a Third World country, a close confidant of Pope Benedict XVI said on the eve of a high-profile papal visit to Britain.

Cardinal Walter Kasper also disparaged the Church of England in an interview published last weekend, saying that although it had broken with the Vatican on two key issues - married priests and women priests - it was not faring better than the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican and English Catholic bishops distanced themselves Wednesday from the comments, saying they do not represent the views of the Vatican.
FULL POST

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Anglican • Catholic Church • Interfaith issues • Pope Benedict XVI • United Kingdom

September 15th, 2010
08:05 AM ET

Pastor: I'll get a tattoo if 200 people show up

Two weeks ago, 26-year-old Pastor Kyle Bonenberger threw down the gauntlet with his flock. September 12th, 2010 marked City Church in Anahiem's one year anniversary.

Bonenberger told his church, if attendance doubled and 200 people showed up to their "birthday bash," he and another parishioner would get tattoos of the church's logo. And he invited others to join them. "It’s my way of showing my commitment to Christ and from that comes my commitment to give back to the community," the young pastor said.
FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Art • California • Christianity • United States

September 15th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My Take: 5 myths about poverty that Christians should renounce

The author with a Ghanaian woman who received an Opportunity International loan to run a daycare center and primary school.

Editor's Note: The son of missionary parents, Mark Lutz is Senior Vice President at Opportunity International, a non-profit microfinance organization, and author of the new book UnPoverty: Rich Lessons from the Working Poor.

By Mark Lutz, Special to CNN

Poverty is not an issue. It's people.

We hear about it, but do we really understand it? Myths about poverty abound, particularly among those of us bent on following Jesus' teaching about the poor and oppressed.

Myth 1: People are poor because they are lazy or stupid.

Poor people work incredibly hard, under harsh conditions, frequently seven days a week. With no welfare programs and no social networks, if they don’t work, they don’t eat. That’s reality.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Poverty

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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