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: Daughter's 911 call to report megachurch pastor is released
With a calm voice and collected manner about her, a 15-year-old girl called Fayette County 911 to report that her father punched and tried to choke her. The call led police to the suburban Atlanta home of megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar and ultimately resulted in a night behind bars on Friday. He admits trying to restrain her but denies punching or choking her.
CNN: Pew survey: Doubt of God growing quickly among millennials
The percentage of Americans 30 and younger who harbor some doubts about God’s existence appears to be growing quickly, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. While most young Americans, 68%, told Pew they never doubt God’s existence, that’s a 15-point drop in just five years.
Sisters Pat Farrell and Janet Mock met with Vatican officials over claims their group had gone rogue.
CNN: American nuns face Vatican over rogue charges
After weeks of anticipation, the leaders of American's largest umbrella group of nuns met Tuesday with the Vatican to address charges the nuns had gone rogue. At the Vatican, Sisters Pat Farrell and Janet Mock, president and executive director respectively of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, sat down with Cardinal William Levada, head of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the church's doctrinal watchdog group, and Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, who is charged with bringing the nuns back in line with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Vatican.
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Catholic News Service: Vatican says agreement will not recognize Israeli occupation
An eventual agreement between Israel and the Vatican over property taxes and property rights in no way will imply that the Vatican recognizes Israel's claims over East Jerusalem and the West Bank, a top Vatican official said.
The Boston Globe: Judge affirms use of ‘under God’
A Middlesex Superior Court judge has rejected a lawsuit by an atheist couple and their children who sued the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District and the Acton schools challenging the use of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Judge S. Jane Haggerty said the pledge did not violate the plaintiffs’ rights or break any laws. “The Pledge is a voluntary patriotic exercise, and the inclusion of the phrase ‘under God’ does not convert the exercise into a prayer,” she wrote.
The Los Angeles Times: Focus on the Family joins evangelical call for immigration reform
Jim Daly, the head the conservative radio-based ministry Focus on the Family has joined dozens of evangelical leaders to push for immigration reform that would include a path to legal residency or citizenship for those in the country without legal status. More than 100 pastors, academic leaders and others endorsed the “Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform,” unveiled Tuesday, which calls for bipartisan legislation protecting family unity and guaranteeing secure borders. The group said it is planning a radio ad campaign to support its push.
The National Catholic Reporter: Vatican official warns of 'dialogue of the deaf' with LCWR
In the wake of Tuesday's meeting with representatives of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Vatican official responsible for a recent crackdown said he still believes the relationship can work, but also warned of a possible "dialogue of the deaf," reflected in what he sees as a lack of movement on the Vatican's concerns. Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, floated the possibility that should the LCWR not accept the reforms outlined in an April 18 assessment, the result could be decertifying it in favor of a new organization for women's religious leaders in America more faithful to church teaching.
The Jerusalem Post: An African leader expands his Jewish horizons
Participants at the ROI Summit, the gathering of young Jewish leaders that kicked off in Jerusalem on Sunday, are a case study in diversity. They come from dozens of countries and belong to many different streams of Judaism, or are entirely secular. Still, Moshe Madoi of Uganda sticks out even in this colorful crowd. The 24-year-old yeshiva student, who is the only black participant in the conference this year, said he has been warmly welcomed by organizers at the conference and in Israel in general.
The Chicago Tribune: Mormon designer interprets Jewish tzedakah box
Doug Burnett learned the power of vision and charity as a teenager when his parents gave glasses to a friend who couldn't afford a pair. So when the American Jewish World Service staged a contest for artists to inspire giving, Burnett eagerly accepted the challenge. The Chicago art director imagined a 21st-century version of the tzedakah box, the receptacle traditionally used in synagogues to collect donations for the needy.
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We’re faithful to the gospel. We work every day to live as Jesus did in relationship to the people at the margins of our society. That’s all we do.
Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK, tells Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert when asked to respond to accusations by Vatican officials that American nuns are not conservative enough in their interpretation of Catholic doctrine.
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CNN: Justices deny review over students' religious messages in classroom
In what have become known as the "Jesus pencil" and "candy cane" cases, the Supreme Court refused Monday to consider appeals from the families of elementary school students over distribution of religious-themed gifts on campus. At issue was whether school officials can be sued for violating the First Amendment rights of what the students claimed was their "private, non-curricular speech based solely upon its religious viewpoint."