home
RSS
Jews did not kill Jesus, pope writes in new book
Pope Benedict XVI on March 2, 2011.
March 2nd, 2011
12:47 PM ET

Jews did not kill Jesus, pope writes in new book

The Jewish people are not collectively responsible for the death of Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI writes a book to be published next week.

Many Catholics and other Christians blamed Jews for Jesus' death for hundreds of years, but the Catholic Church formally repudiated that assertion in the 1960s.

Benedict underlines the new position in his book "Jesus of Nazareth."

"Who has insisted on the condemnation of Jesus to death?" he asks in the book, referring to scenes in the Gospels where the people of Jerusalem demand that Roman governor Pontius Pilate have Jesus crucified.

FULL POST

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Faith Now • Judaism • Pope Benedict XVI

Supreme Court rules for anti-gay church over military funeral protests: complete coverage
Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps says God is punishing the United States for "the sin of homosexuality."
March 2nd, 2011
12:45 PM ET

Supreme Court rules for anti-gay church over military funeral protests: complete coverage

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church can protest at military funerals. Here's CNN's complete coverage of the decision and the church:

Wednesday's big news: Supreme Court rules for anti-gay church over military funeral protests

The man behind Westboro Baptist Church: 'Most-hated,' anti-gay preacher once fought for civil rights

Opinion: Why a hateful church should win at the Supreme Court

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Courts • Faith Now • Westboro Bapitst Church

Remembering Harvard's chaplain: Gergen on Gomes
Rev. Peter J. Gomes in 1999, at a celebration marking his 25th anniversary at Harvard's Memorial Church.
March 2nd, 2011
11:03 AM ET

Remembering Harvard's chaplain: Gergen on Gomes

By David Gergen, Senior Political Analyst

The death of the Rev. Peter Gomes, as a colleague told me yesterday, is Harvard’s loss and heaven’s gain. Over three and a half decades, Peter became the embodiment of spirituality at the university, imparting to generations of students that their purpose was not to make a living but a life.

To Peter, the meaning of Easter is not about life after death but about the life you lead before death - that Jesus called upon his followers to live life "abundantly." And that Peter did every day, inviting others to join him not only in serious talk but in hearty laughter.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Death • Faith Now • Leaders

Will destroyed Buddha statue be reconstructed?
March 2nd, 2011
10:54 AM ET

Will destroyed Buddha statue be reconstructed?

The giant Buddhas of Bamiyan, once painted in bright colors, remained silent sentinels as they reacquired the hues of the sandstone cliffs from which they were carved.

The statues, which looked upon a visually stunning region of central Afghanistan for about 1,500 years, have been gone for 10 years, victims of the Taliban, who destroyed them as part of its campaign to destroy pre-Islamic artifacts considered an assault on the faith.

Read the full story
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Afghanistan • Buddhism • Islam

Supreme Court rules for anti-gay church over military funeral protests
March 2nd, 2011
10:33 AM ET

Supreme Court rules for anti-gay church over military funeral protests

A Kansas church that attracted nationwide attention for its angry, anti-gay protests at the funerals of U.S. military members has won its appeal at the Supreme Court, an issue testing the competing constitutional limits of free speech and privacy.

The justices, by an 8-1 vote, said Wednesday that members of Westboro Baptist Church had a right to promote what they call a broad-based message on public matters such as wars. The father of a fallen Marine had sued the small church, saying those protests amounted to targeted harassment and an intentional infliction of emotional distress.

"Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and - as it did here - inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker," the court's decision said.

Read the full story here from CNN Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Baptist • Christianity • Courts • Culture wars • Faith Now

Sweat lodge trial fuels Native American frustrations
Passed on through tribe elders, the ancient sweat lodge ceremony is still sacred to Native Americans.
March 2nd, 2011
09:19 AM ET

Sweat lodge trial fuels Native American frustrations

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Growing up on a reservation in lower Saskatchewan, Alvin Manitopyes learned early to respect the sweat lodge. He was 10 when he attended his first sweat ceremony, and for more than 15 years tribe elders instructed him in his people's ways.

He understands the spiritual mandate he was given as a healer to serve as an intermediary between people and the spirit world. He carries with him the ancient ceremonial songs, passed on through generations.

He knows how the natural elements - earth, fire, water and air - work together to cleanse people, inside and out, and create balance. At 55, he has spent more than 20 years conducting ceremonies in sweat lodges, where water is poured over hot lava rocks as part of a purifying ritual.

"If you have the right to do it, then the environment you're creating is a safe place," says Manitopyes, a public health consultant in Calgary, Alberta, who is Plains Cree and Anishnawbe. "But today we have all kinds of people who observe what's going on and think they can do it themselves. … And that's not a safe place to be."

No example of what worries him is clearer than the case of James Arthur Ray, a self-help guru who led a crowded sweat lodge ceremony that left three people dead. Ray faces manslaughter charges for the deaths allegedly tied to his October 2009 "Spiritual Warrior" retreat outside Sedona, Arizona. His trial began this month.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Courts • Culture wars • Faith Now • Interfaith issues • Sacred Spaces • Traditions

March 2nd, 2011
03:45 AM ET

Critic of Pakistan blasphemy law shot and killed

A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday

Shahbaz Bhatti, the federal Minister of Minorities Affairs, was gunned down in Islamabad Wednesday morning, Pakistani police and hospital officials said.

Bhatti, who in the past had been critical of Pakistan's blasphemy law and was a Christian member of Pakistan's cabinet, once said "I am ready to sacrifice my life for the principled stand I have taken because the people of Pakistan are being victimized under the pretense of blasphemy law."

It was not immediately clear why Bhatti was killed, but in the past officials have been targeted for opposing Pakistan's blasphemy law.

Read the full story

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Islam • Pakistan • Religious violence • Violence

Advertisement
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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.

Advertisement
Advertisement