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Dean of St Paul's Cathedral quits over protests
The Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, addresses 'Occupy London' activists in the City of London.
October 31st, 2011
02:11 PM ET

Dean of St Paul's Cathedral quits over protests

By Bryony Jones, CNN

London (CNN) - The Dean of London's St Paul's Cathedral has resigned amid criticism of his handling of a large "Occupy" protest taking place on the church's doorstep.

The Right Reverend Graeme Knowles announced his decision on Monday, saying his position was "becoming untenable" following weeks of debate over the demonstrations.

St Paul's has come under fire after it said it would take legal action to try to remove around 200 tents from the square outside its main entrance.

Read the full story on dean's resignation over protests

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Anglican • Britain • Faith Now • Protest

For growing ranks of pagans, October 31 means a lot more than Halloween
A pagan altar constructed for Samhain, the pagan new year, which is October 31.
October 31st, 2011
09:54 AM ET

For growing ranks of pagans, October 31 means a lot more than Halloween

By Susanne Gargiulo, Special to CNN

As pumpkins, witches and faux cobwebs have taken over much of North America for Halloween, Clare Slaney-Davis is preparing an October 31 feast that some would consider much spookier, with table settings for her grandparents, a great-aunt and other relatives who have passed away.

As she and her living guests eat, they'll share stories and memories of loved ones they've lost.

The Christian debate over Halloween

Slaney-Davis, who is based in London, isn't preparing the feast for Halloween. Instead, she and pagans around the world are celebrating Samhain, the beginning of the pagan new year, a night when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is believed to be the thinnest of any time during the year.

That's why it's a night devoted to ancestors. "We honor them, and we recognize that we don't live in a world of people who are merely dead or alive," says Slaney-Davis, 46. "Ancestors are central to us."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Halloween • Paganism • Uncategorized

October 29th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

The shaping of a candidate: A look at Mitt Romney's faith journey

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series of stories looking at the faith of the leading 2012 presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. We also profiled the faith journey of Herman Cain before he suspended his campaign.

(CNN) – A cop arrived at the roadside wreckage of a June 1968 head-on collision in southern France, took one quick look at the Citroën’s unresponsive driver and, according to one of the driver’s friends, scrawled into the young man’s American passport, “Il est mort” - “He is dead.”

The man at the Citroën’s wheel was Mitt Romney, who may have appeared dead but was very much alive – as is his bid today for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Romney was serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the LDS Church, when tragedy struck. It was a time of turmoil both in France and in the United States. Protests against the Vietnam War raged on, as did French disdain for Americans. Robert Kennedy had recently been assassinated, as had Martin Luther King Jr. a couple months earlier. France was still reeling from a May marked by riots, student demonstrations and crippling worker strikes.

There were six people in the car Romney was driving when friends say an oncoming speeding Mercedes, driven by a Catholic priest, veered into his lane. Among the passengers was mission president Duane Anderson – Romney was serving as his assistant – and Anderson’s wife. Anderson was injured, and Leola Anderson, 57, was killed. Like her husband, she’d been a parent figure to the approximate 180 Mormon missionaries in the field - their surrogate mother away from home. Now, she was gone.

“I don’t think [Romney] went around blaming himself, but in talking about it he’d shed some tears,” remembered Dane McBride, a fellow missionary and Romney friend ever since. “It was a very heavy experience for a 21-year-old.”

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Faith Now • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

October 28th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Predators in plain sight: Priests accused of child abuse appear beyond the reach of law

Editor’s note: Gary Tuchman reports on allegedly abusive Catholic priests who are living, unsuspected, in communities across the country on CNN Presents, Saturday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on CNN.

By Gary Tuchman and Jessi Joseph, CNN

Los Angeles (CNN) - Former LAPD Detective Federico Sicard still remembers the Monday he arrived at a school to interview children who said a priest had molested them, even though the visit took place 23 years ago.

Sicard found four children at the school, Our Lady of Guadalupe in East L.A., who said they’d been abused by Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, a priest who’d recently arrived from Mexico.

But police never had a chance to interview Aguilar.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Mexico • Sex abuse

October 28th, 2011
03:55 PM ET

Study: Thinking of God can dampen motivation but help resist temptation

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – It’s become an increasingly hot topic of debate between atheists and religious people: Is belief in God helpful or hurtful?

A study published Thursday by the American Psychological Association suggests that believing may be a little of both.

According to the study, simple reminders of God have both positive and negative effects on people’s motivation. The report, which focused primarily on students, found that religious reminders both diminish a person’s desire to complete personal goals and improve a person’s ability to resist temptation.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Culture & Science • God

A Christian debate over Halloween: Counter, co-opt, or embrace it?
October 28th, 2011
02:30 PM ET

A Christian debate over Halloween: Counter, co-opt, or embrace it?

Editor's note: Listen to the CNN Radio broadcast about the debate:


By Jim Roope, CNN

Los Angeles (CNN) – For many American Christians, Halloween is innocent, harmless and fun, and they trick-or-treat, carve pumpkins and don costumes with gusto.

For others, though – especially for some conservative and fundamentalist Christians - Halloween is a celebration of evil and has no place in the life of a believer.

Halloween fun facts: Spending, eating and carving

“We don’t endorse that or we don’t celebrate that,” said Joe Hernandez, pastor of Worshipwalk Church in Los Angeles, which belongs to the conservative Pentecostal tradition. “People are celebrating the devil’s holiday.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Halloween

Doomsday ministry scrubs end of world predictions from website
Some of Harold Camping's followers believe that Doomsday did happen on May 21.
October 28th, 2011
10:12 AM ET

Doomsday ministry scrubs end of world predictions from website

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - The Christian radio broadcasting network that touted Harold Camping's failed doomsday predictions may be getting out of the prophecy business, adopting what appears to be a vaguer vision of the end times.

"We are to live so that we are ready for the return of Christ, and even pray for it," according to a Family Radio statement obtained by The Christian Post. "But we also rejoice in every new day, that we've been given another day to occupy and serve our Lord."

Gallery and explainer: Doomsdays through time

Family Radio, which Camping founded in 1958, had posted an explainer detailing why Camping's prediction that May 21 would be the beginning of the end didn't come to pass.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • End times

London cleric resigns amid Occupy cathedral protest
Protestors camped near St. Paul's Cathedral have prompted the church to close for the first time since World War II.
October 27th, 2011
11:50 AM ET

London cleric resigns amid Occupy cathedral protest

By Erin McLaughlin and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

LONDON (CNN) – A senior figure at London's landmark St. Paul's Cathedral stepped down Thursday, apparently over concerns that it planned to evict anti-capitalist protesters camped outside.

Canon Chancellor Giles Fraser had been supportive of the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest camp, the presence of which led the cathedral to close its doors last week for the first time in decades.

"It is with great regret and sadness that I have handed in my notice at St. Paul's Cathedral," Fraser said on Twitter Thursday, but did not give a reason why.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Leaders • United Kingdom

Rep. Ryan hits back at Catholic class warfare question
Rep. Paul Ryan says he doesn't believe the Catholic Church is preaching class warfare.
October 26th, 2011
05:40 PM ET

Rep. Ryan hits back at Catholic class warfare question

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, waded into a bit of economic theology Wednesday.  The staunch Catholic, who recently told CNN that he gave up fear for Lent, was asked about the collision of his faith in finance and his faith in the church.

The Vatican put out a new financial document Monday called "Towards reforming the international financial and monetary systems in the context of a global public authority."  The document calls for a new global economic authority that could impose penalties on member states as a “way of ensuring that they possess efficient markets,” Roman Catholic Bishop Mario Toso said at a Monday news conference.

While speaking at an event at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., Ryan was asked about the document and the pope's latest encyclical, which also touched on economics and finance.

The questioner asked if the pope's fiscal philosophy amounted to class warfare. FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Church and state • Politics • Pope Benedict XVI

FBI investigating Amish beard-cutting attacks
Authorities say there have been a handful of recent Amish-on-Amish beard-cutting attacks in several Ohio counties.
October 26th, 2011
04:28 PM ET

FBI investigating Amish beard-cutting attacks

By Chris Welch, CNN

Bergholz, Ohio (CNN) - Members of the Amish community in eastern Ohio are the subject of a federal investigation following a wave of Amish-on-Amish incidents, FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson confirmed to CNN Wednesday.

Five men have been arrested and charged with kidnapping and burglary stemming from an incident at the home of Myron and Arlene Miller in early October in which the group of men pulled Myron out of the home by his beard, held him down, and cut off large portions of the beard. An Amish man's beard is a significant symbol of his faith.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Amish • Crime • Ohio

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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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