Some subscribers to a gospel magazine weren’t too happy when they recently got an issue with Bishop Eddie Long on the cover.
The November/December Gospel Today cover featured a sharply tailored Long, smiling confidently, with the headline: “Bishop Eddie Long At The Center of The Scandal That Rocked The Church World.”
Long, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Church in suburban Atlanta, was accused by four young men in September of using his spiritual authority to coerce them into sexual relationships.
Some Gospel Today readers thought the magazine was downplaying Long's allegations, and others thought they shouldn't have featured him at all.
Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
I am fine with Jesus being the reason for the season, but does it have to last for two months?
A week or two ago, one of the radio stations where I live on Cape Cod, Coast 93.3, switched its format over to Christmas songs. As I am writing this, Wham! has just finished “Last Christmas” and Hall & Oates’ “Jingle Bell Rock” is still ringing in my ears.
This confuses me. Is there really demand out there in radioland for non-stop Christmas carols for four weeks in November and another four in December? The Christmas season used to kick in right after Thanksgiving. Now it can barely wait for Halloween.
Victims of clerical sexual abuse planned rallies in Rome on Friday as cardinals held a day of reflection and prayer on the issue.
Members of the group SNAP (The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) planned to hold signs and hand out flyers urging Roman Catholic cardinals to stop making symbolic gestures about abuse and instead meet with victims and give case files to the authorities.
"SNAP members believe that genuine reformers solicit outside help, rather than merely meeting with one another," the group said in a news release. "They want church officials to turn over files and cases to independent authorities in government and law enforcement."
Pope Benedict XVI will be making his third trip to Germany next year, a church official confirmed on Friday.
Robert Zollitsch, head of Germany's bishops conference, said the head of the Roman Catholic Church will visit Berlin and the dioceses of Freiburg and Erfurt in September.
The pope visited Cologne in August 2005 and Munich and Regensburg in September 2006. The pope is a native of Germany.
Editor's Note: CNN's Katie Glaeser brings us this report.
Can your cell bring you closer to God?
Oklahoma based LifeChurch.tv thinks so. Tuesday the church announced more than ten million smartphone users worldwide have downloaded its free Bible application. LifeChurch hopes by having a copy handy, people will be more likely to read scripture.
The app, which is based on the church-funded website, YouVersion.com, launched in July of 2008. Since then, users have spent 3.5 billion minutes trolling through Bible passages. Yes- that was billion.
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.