By Laura Koran, CNN
Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.
From the Blog:
CNN: America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree
James Cone, who once called himself “the angriest theologian in America,” is still angry. His book is not just a memoir of growing up in the Jim Crow era; it’s a blistering takedown of white churches, and one of America’s greatest theologians, Reinhold Niebuhr – a colossal figure often cited by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
CNN: Watergate figure, Christian leader Chuck Colson dies
Chuck Colson, a Watergate-era "hatchet man" for President Richard Nixon who became an influential evangelical leader after serving time in prison, died Saturday afternoon, according to his website. He was 80.
CNN: Philadelphia priest abuse trial a test case for Catholic church
It's been four weeks since the beginning of the trial of the highest ranking U.S. Catholic Church leader charged with covering up the crimes of priests against children. The main issue is not whether sex abuse occurred, as defense attorneys have pointed out, but how the Archdiocese of Philadelphia – Monsignor William Lynn in particular – handled the allegations against priests in the diocese.
CNN: Liberty's choice of Romney leads to angry student response
Liberty University students and alumni are accusing the Christian school of violating its own teachings by asking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whose adherents are called Mormons, to deliver its 2012 commencement address.
CNN: Vanderbilt’s policy change: confronting discrimination or infringing on religious freedom?
What was once just a policy review by Vanderbilt University has morphed into a national debate over religious freedom, and now outside Christian groups are not only chiming in on the debate, but also buying television advertisements in Nashville, the school's backyard.
Tweet of the Day:
From @EricCNNBelief: Liberty on #Romney "complaints have significantly died down...many of those who complained had no affiliation with the university..."
Catholic News Agency: Women's religious conference 'stunned' by Vatican reform announcement
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) says that it “was stunned” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's recent assessment of the group. Voicing strong concerns over the conference’s commitment to Jesus Christ and Catholic teaching, the Vatican announced on April 18 that it was appointing Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to head renewal efforts for the LCWR.
The Guardian: Pentagon urges controversial Florida pastor to stop Qu'ran burning plans
The Pentagon is appealing to Florida pastor Terry Jones against repeating last year's burning of the Qur'ran and images of Muhammad that led to widespread rioting and deaths round the world. US officials are monitoring the situation and the military is fearful for the lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere if Jones goes ahead with his plan, announced on his website, to set fire to the Qur'an next week.
The Boston Globe: A pastor’s dream, a Roxbury church in crisis
The women joined hands with a pastor and began to pray until their voices rang out. “United we stand, divided we fall,’’ they said. “We’re here today!’’ They were not even members of the church where they had come to pray. But word was everywhere that the historic Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church was in trouble. They came to plead for its salvation.
Quote of the Day:
“I’ve always said I’m the worst representative of Muslim Americans that’s ever existed, because I’ve been inside more bars than mosques. But I recognize this has nothing to do with me. There are very few people representing the moderate American Muslim voice on television, and I happened to fall into this thing. The fact that I get to do it is an unbelievable blessing for me.”
Actor/comedian Aasif Mandvi, recently honored with the Courage in Media award by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, tells the New York Times.
CNN: My Take: In tears of grief, lines between faiths seem to blur
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," contemplates religion and death.
Join the conversation…
CNN: Vatican blasts American nuns, calls for reforms
The Vatican is turning up the heat on a group of nuns it says are operating outside of the Roman Catholic Church's doctrines. The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the church’s doctrinal watchdog, on Wednesday announced the conclusion of a years-long “doctrinal assessment” investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 80% of the Catholic nuns in the United States.