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Church extends authority to absolve sin of abortion for papal visit
August 18th, 2011
02:13 PM ET

Church extends authority to absolve sin of abortion for papal visit

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The Vatican has given authority to priests who are in Madrid during the pope’s visit there to give absolution to women who confess to having had an abortion - and has empowered priests to lift excommunications for such women.

Typically, only certain priests have the power to grant absolution for the sin of abortion and to lift excommunications that have resulted from terminated pregnancies, according to a Vatican spokesman.

“All the priests that are administering the sacrament of confession during World Youth Day have the general authority to give absolution from the penalty of excommunication for abortion if someone comes to confession… if someone has this need,” Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi told CNN on Thursday, referring to the event that brought Pope Benedict XVI to Madrid on Thursday for a four-day visit.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Catholic Church • Spain

Kelly Preston: Scientology got me through my son's death
Kelly Preston has found a formula for staying grounded: Scientology.
August 18th, 2011
02:05 PM ET

Kelly Preston: Scientology got me through my son's death

By Stephen M. Silverman, PEOPLE.com

(PEOPLE.com) – While her husband, accomplished pilot John Travolta, may fly through the air with the greatest of ease, Kelly Preston apparently has found a formula for staying grounded.

Asked how she coped with the death of 16-year-old son Jett from a fatal seizure in 2009, Preston, 48, tells Health magazine for its September issue: "To be honest, [it was] the Scientology Center. I don't know if I would have made it through without it."

She adds about life's lessons she's learned, "Don't sweat the small things. Love your kids like it could be the last moment."

Mother to daughter Ella Bleu, 11, and son Benjamin, born last November, Preston says: "I've always wanted to be a mother, ever since I was 11."

Read the full story here.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Celebrity • Faith Now • Scientology

August 18th, 2011
10:27 AM ET

Pope reaches out to youths in Spain

By the CNN Wire Staff

Madrid (CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI told Catholic youths to not hide their beliefs from their peers during a speech he delivered Thursday in Spain for World Youth Day.

"With all my heart, I say again to you young people: let nothing and no one take away your peace; do not be ashamed of the Lord," the pope said.

He added that, "the young followers of Jesus must be aided to remain firm in the faith and to embrace the beautiful adventure of proclaiming it and witnessing to it openly with their lives."

He was in Spain for a four-day visit for the event, a week-long series of religious events that the Roman Catholic Church organizes every three years.

The pope was greeted by a large crowd of followers, youths from all over the world, but the pope's visit was not without controversy.

Read the full story here about the Pope's arrival in Spain
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Europe • Pope Benedict XVI • Spain

Christian music festival may have sung its last tune
Icthus, the country's oldest Christian music festival, is in danger of closing down.
August 18th, 2011
04:00 AM ET

Christian music festival may have sung its last tune

By Andy Rose, CNN

(CNN)–You don't get to Wilmore, Kentucky, by accident. For organizers of the Ichthus Festival, that's part of the problem.

The country's oldest Christian music festival just finished its 42nd year, but there's no guarantee of a 43rd.

"What happens in August and September will determine where we go and how we look at 2012," Ichthus Ministries CEO Mark Vermilion said.

For the past six years, the concert series has been losing money. Ichthus Ministries tried laying off staff and cutting expenses to the bone to close the gap, but now it says it has no choice but to take a painful step: sell the 110-acre festival site at a time when the real estate market is as soft as a muddy mosh pit.

Not only could it use the infusion of cash, it simply can't afford anymore to pay the mortgage, insurance and maintenance on the property.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Evangelical • Faith Now

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

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