By Arielle Hawkins, 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: New archbishop of Canterbury is former oil exec who faces global challenges
It's not a career path followed by many. On Friday, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, a former oil executive, was confirmed as the next archbishop of Canterbury, and as such will become head of the 77 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion. He will take over from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who has headed the church for more than a decade, in March. Questions over homosexuality and the ordination of women caused public tension and deep division within the Anglican Communion during Williams' tenure, and that pattern looks set to continue.
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Photo of the Day:
Photo credit: Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (C-R) leads a prayer at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on November 9, 2012. Kirill arrived in Jerusalem on his first visit to the Holy Land since becoming head of the powerful church in 2009, during which he will visit all the major holy sites.
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The Guardian: Supreme court urged to rule on Sikh leader's claim he is a 'holy saint'
The supreme court [of the United Kingdom] is considering whether it should rule on the spiritual status of a Sikh leader and examine his claim to be a "holy saint". The highly unusual application made by Sant Baba Jeet Singh Ji Maharaj and his followers would force the courts to intervene in an international religious dispute over the ownership of three gurdwaras, or temples, in Bradford, Birmingham and High Wycombe.
New York Times: A Vague Role for Religion in Egyptian Draft Constitution
After months of fierce debate over the place of Islam in government, the assembly drafting a new constitution for Egypt has settled on a compromise that opens the door to more religion in governance but mainly guarantees that the issue will continue to roil politics, the Parliament and the courts for many years to come.
Religion News Service: Tibetans have ‘sacred duty’ to support self-immolations
As the 18th congress of China's Communist Party began in Beijing this week, six more Tibetans set themselves on fire as Tibetan leaders say they are powerless to stop a growing wave of self-immolations. In fact, exiled Tibetan political leader Lobsang Sangay said that while he highly discourages the drastic action, it is the "sacred duty" of the exiled community to support it. "We have made so many appeals (to stop self-immolations), but they are still doing it," said Sangay, the political successor of the Dalai Lama, as the number of self-immolations by monks, nuns and others swelled to 68 since March 2011.
The Guardian: Pope Benedict to guide followers with personal Twitter account
A Vatican spokesman announced Thursday that a personal Twitter account for Pope Benedict XVI would launch before the end of the year. The pope, who favors writing longhand to using computers, might not write all his own tweets but he would have to approve each of them, the Vatican said. The Vatican has its own Twitter account with more than 105,000 followers. It shares news updates and links from the Vatican Radio website multiple times per hour.
Opinion of the Day:
CNN: My Take: What all those Jesus jokes tell us
Edward J. Blum, a historian of race and religion at San Diego State University, and Paul Harvey, a history professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and editor of the blog Religion in AmericanHistory, explain how Jesus Christ "a figure sacred to so many Americans has become the punch line of so many jokes" and why it is "acceptable to poke fun at Jesus when other sacred figures are deemed off limits".
CNN: My Take: 7 Ways religious diversity played in the election
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," lists the ways religious diversity played a role in the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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The American bishops staged a rigorous campaign against the White House's new contraception mandate.
CNN: My Take: Catholic bishops' election behavior threatens their authority
Vincent Miller, Gudorf Chair of Catholic Theology and Culture at the University of Dayton., argues that “By putting voters in a ‘with us or against us’ bind, some of America’s bishops have risked eroding their own authority.”