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My Take: What's next for President Obama's 'pastor-in-chief'
February 14th, 2013
10:35 AM ET

My Take: What's next for President Obama's 'pastor-in-chief'

Editor’s note: Joshua DuBois served as director of President Obama’s Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships from 2008 until he stepped down last week.

By Joshua DuBois, Special to CNN

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the summer of 2004 over a half-pound burger and fries on Capitol Hill. I was putting in long hours as a legislative intern for a wily member of Congress between two years of graduate school at Princeton, where I was studying public policy. The pay was meager enough for gas for my beat-up Chevy Blazer and a tiny Craigslist apartment with two guys and a cat. But it was good to be in Washington and have a few months to wrestle with what in the world I was going to do with the rest of my life.

But by the time my internship was ending in late July, I wasn’t any closer to figuring things out. I knew I loved Christ I was an associate pastor at a small Pentecostal church back home and wanted my career to be tied to my faith. I also knew I wanted to help people who were struggling; my grandmother was active in the civil rights movement, and my parents made sure that working for justice and mercy was in my bones. And finally, I knew that I had some serious student loans to pay back. The hard part was figuring out how to balance all three.

Late one day, July 27 to be exact, I walked a couple of blocks to my favorite neighborhood dive, a local spot named the Hawk 'n' Dove. There was always a happy hour special going on at the Hawk, and they showed more Red Sox games than Yankees which, since I'm a Sox fan, was a good thing in my book.

I settled in to enjoy my burger when the place got quiet on me and the Hawk 'n' Dove was never quiet. A man was on television, an Illinois state senator named Barack Obama. And this guy was giving quite a speech.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Faith Now • My Take

February 14th, 2013
06:08 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, February 14, 2013

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: Pope Benedict makes first appearance since resignation news
Huge crowds in the Vatican cheered Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday as he made his first public appearance since announcing his resignation at the end of the month. He thanked the Roman Catholic faithful in several languages and said it was not appropriate for him to continue as pope. He appeared tired but not visibly unwell as he sat and read his remarks off several sheets of paper. Benedict also celebrated an Ash Wednesday mass marking the beginning of Lent at St. Peter's Basilica in the afternoon.

CNN: Tibetan sets himself on fire in front of shrine in Nepal
A Tibetan man set himself on fire in front of a famous Buddhist shrine in the Nepalese capital on Wednesday, police said, becoming the latest Tibetan to adopt this harrowing form of protest over Chinese rule. Self-immolation began as a form of protest among Tibetans in China in February 2009, when a young monk set himself ablaze. In March 2011, another young monk followed in his footsteps, becoming the first to die. Scores of others have since followed suit.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

February 14th, 2013
05:04 AM ET

Next pope will inherit sex abuse issue

CNN's Max Foster talks about controversies the next pope will face, including sex abuse allegations within the church.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope • Sex abuse

Comedian Sarah Silverman's sister, niece detained at Israel's Western Wall
Israeli police arrest American Rabbi Susan Silverman (L) and her teenage daughter Hallel Abramowitz (C) on Monday.
February 14th, 2013
05:03 AM ET

Comedian Sarah Silverman's sister, niece detained at Israel's Western Wall

By Sara Sidner, CNN

(CNN) - Anat Hoffman had no idea who comedian Sarah Silverman was until Silverman's sister and niece were detained with her Sunday in Jerusalem for wearing prayer shawls as they prayed at the Western Wall.

Police detained 10 women for "performing a religious act contrary to the local customs." The group of women, who call themselves the Women of the Wall, went to pray in Jewish shawls known as tallitot that Israeli law says only Jewish men can wear there.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Israel • Jerusalem • Judaism

Opinion: Why the next pope should be African
Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan has said he would not be surprised to see an African pope in his lifetime.
February 14th, 2013
04:58 AM ET

Opinion: Why the next pope should be African

Editor's note: Stan Chu Ilo is professor of religion and education, director of field education, at St Michael's College, University of Toronto, Canada. He is also author of: "The Face of Africa: Looking Beyond the Shadows" and "The Church and Development in Africa: Aid and Development from the Perspective of Catholic Social Ethics."

By Stan Chu Ilo, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, was asked last week at the celebration of Black History Month in Toronto if he thought that the time was ripe for an African pope. His answer attracted much cheering from the crowd of over 500 Catholics of African descent.

He said: "The time for an African pope was ripe even in the time of the Apostolic Fathers in the first century of the church."

"I am not saying that I wish to be considered for the papacy, but the fact that the Gospel is to be preached to all peoples, languages, and races means that the highest leadership of the church should be open to anyone from any race, language and nation. I will not be surprised to see an African pope in my lifetime."

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Africa • Catholic Church • Pope

February 14th, 2013
04:53 AM ET

Russian hopes for new pope

Russians step up to CNN's Open Mic to share what they want from the next pope.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Catholic Church • Russia

Tibetan sets himself on fire in front of shrine in Nepal
Tibetans-in-exile hold a candlelight vigil following the self-immolation attempt by a monk in Kathmandu on February 13, 2013.
February 14th, 2013
04:50 AM ET

Tibetan sets himself on fire in front of shrine in Nepal

From Manesh Shrestha, for CNN

Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN) - A Tibetan man set himself on fire in front of a famous Buddhist shrine in the Nepalese capital on Wednesday, police said, becoming the latest Tibetan to adopt this harrowing form of protest over Chinese rule.

Self-immolation began as a form of protest among Tibetans in China in February 2009, when a young monk set himself ablaze. In March 2011, another young monk followed in his footsteps, becoming the first to die. Scores of others have since followed suit.

The number of Tibetans in China who have set themselves on fire to protest Beijing's rule has now reached 100, according to Tibetan advocacy groups.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Buddhism • Dalai Lama • Tibet

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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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