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November 12th, 2010
07:17 PM ET

Catholic clergy confer on exorcism rite

By CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Eric Marrapodi

A group of Catholic bishops and priests are gathering in Baltimore, Maryland, on Friday and Saturday to examine what Scripture and canon law have to say about exorcism.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, spoke with CNN during a break in the Friday session to explain why the clergymen are meeting about this titillating, yet rare, rite in the Catholic tradition.

"It's an effort to try and provide some pastoral training for bishops and priests, to try and provide a pastoral response with people who may or may not be having demonic activity," he said. "The reality is there really have not been regular courses, or even a class, on how to do [exorcisms] because it is a rare thing. The work of the devil possessing someone is a rare thing. It's not part of the daily practices of a priest."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Mass • Pastors

Mom's secret weapon: the God Box
November 12th, 2010
03:45 PM ET

Mom's secret weapon: the God Box

In May 2006, I lost my mother, Mary Finlayson.

I miss so much about her - those moments when we laughed or cried at the same things; our pet names for each other ("I love you, Anna Banana," we'd say); and how we would end our nightly calls by pressing our palms to our phones and whispering, "Hands on," our mantra for always staying close.

What I long for most is the way Mom could make me believe that everything would be OK.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

Narnia's 'Dawn Treader' sails enhanced e-book wave
November 12th, 2010
02:23 PM ET

Narnia's 'Dawn Treader' sails enhanced e-book wave

"The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is a novel - part of the classic "Chronicles of Narnia" fantasy series by C.S. Lewis.

Next month it will become a movie, the latest in the franchise's big-screen series.

And it's also cresting a wave of enhanced electronic books as one of the most high-profile literary works to take advantage of the new abilities of readers such as Apple's iPad and other tablet computers.

Released by HarperCollins and available this week for several tablets and smartphones, "Dawn Treader" will include features such as embedded video, read-along audio clips, trivia games and full-color images.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art

November 12th, 2010
02:15 PM ET

Politics divide U.S. Catholic bishops ahead of meeting

The nation’s bitter political divisions are driving a wedge between some of the most powerful leaders in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church, according to the Religion News Service.

RNS writer Daniel Burke says several U.S. Catholic bishops charge that their church’s “flagship” anti-poverty program funds left-wing activists who subvert church doctrine on homosexuality and abortion.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Abortion • Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Homosexuality

Our Take: Your relationship style determines how you feel toward God
November 12th, 2010
10:31 AM ET

Our Take: Your relationship style determines how you feel toward God

Editor's Note: Tim Clinton, President of American Association of Christian Counselors, and Joshua Straub, an adjunct professor at Liberty University, are the authors of God Attachment.

By Tim Clinton and Joshua Straub, Special to CNN

A few weeks ago, Christopher Hitchens was interviewed on CNN. A renowned atheist who has recently been diagnosed with cancer, Hitchens told Anderson Cooper, “If you hear that I came to God on my death bed, don’t believe it.”

We were stunned. Why? Because a growing body of research shows that from an early age we are hardwired for a relationship with a "Transcendent One."

For Hitchens to willfully decide that he will fight off or deny any future existential longing he may develop for God - or shut out any evidence he comes across in favor of God - is grievous.

Though it seems that America is tired of religion, we’re finding quite the opposite about a relationship with God. A recent Newsweek poll found that 91 percent of American adults claim a belief in “God”, while Time magazine reported that 85 percent identify themselves as Christian. Gallup reports that 73 percent of Americans “are convinced that God exists.”

People want more of God, not less.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • God • Opinion

November 12th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My Take: Violence Against Iraq's Christians is nothing new

Iraqi Christian women mourn the victims of the October 31 church attack in Baghdad.

Editor's Note: Albert W. Hickman is a research associate in global Christianity at the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and was an associate editor for the Atlas of Global Christianity.

By Albert W. Hickman, Special to CNN

Violence against Iraq's Christians is up.

The most recent rash of attacks began on October 31, when gunmen stormed the Sayidat al-Nejat (Our Lady of Salvation) church in Baghdad; in the ensuing violence at least 50 died and 75 were wounded. This week brought more attacks, with three people wounded in western Baghdad when bombs exploded outside Christian homes.

The attacks have provoked demands (including some from Muslims) that the Iraqi government do more to protect Christians.

Recent days have also brought both threats of additional violence against Christians and at least one call (by a Syriac Orthodox archbishop) for Christians to leave Iraq altogether.

Yet the latest violence against Christians, for all its horror, is merely the most recent - not simply in the seven years since the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime, but in the almost two thousand years of Christian presence in Iraq.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • History • Iraq • Middle East

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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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