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:
Parish priests of Rome's diocese attend a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Paul VI Hall on February 14, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.
CNN: Pope Benedict addresses priests of Rome
Pope Benedict XVI addressed parish priests from the city of Rome on Thursday, in what is likely to be one of his final public appearances before his resignation from the papacy at the end of the month. The meeting with the parish priests focused on Benedict's experiences from the Second Vatican Council, in the 1960s, which examined the Roman Catholic Church's relationship with the world.
Tweet of the Day:
Belief on TV:
Photos of the Day:
Buddhist ascetics splash cold water over themselves at the end of their 100-day austere Buddhism training to pray for peace in the world at Nose Myokenzan Betsuin temple in Tokyo on February 15, 2013 on the anniversary of Buddha's death.
Pope Benedict XVI (L) leads the mass for Ash Wednesday, opening Lent, the forty-day period of abstinence and deprivation for the Christians, before the Holy Week and Easter, on February 13, 2013 at St Peter's basilica at the Vatican.
Roman Catholics raise religious items while a priest blesses them after mass in observance of Ash Wednesday outside a church in Manila on February 13, 2013, two days after Pope Benedict XVI resigned.
New York Times: Don’t You Be My Valentine
While much of the world celebrates Valentine’s Day on Thursday, Pakistan’s religious political parties are exhorting the country’s youth to celebrate a “day of modesty” instead. On Tuesday, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, a major religious party, condemned Valentine’s Day in Peshawar for encouraging “immodesty” and threatened to shut down any celebrations if law enforcement agencies failed to take action first.
New York Times: A Laboratory for Revitalizing Catholicism
If there is any place that captures the challenges facing Catholicism around the world it is Brazil, the country with the largest number of Catholics and a laboratory of sorts for the church’s strategies for luring followers back into the fold. Reflecting the shifting religious landscape that Pope Benedict XVI’s successor will contend with, Brazil rivals the United States as the nation with the most Pentecostals, as a Catholic monolith gives way amid a surge in evangelical Protestant churches.
Religion News Service: Catholic migration, and why the next pope should be Brazilian
In the days since Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, talk has turned toward who the next pope should be, and where he should be from. Like most previous popes, Benedict hails from Europe. But as he often lamented, the church there suffers through a steady decline. Meanwhile, Catholicism is booming in Africa and predominates in Latin America. A Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life study of the global Catholic populace brings the church’s southern migration into high relief.
The Jewish Daily Forward: Black Market for Jewish Grave Sites Grows on Web
A black market in Jewish graves is hiding in plain sight on the classified pages. Defunct Jewish burial societies have been selling cemetery plots at bargain basement prices through classified ads on Craigslist and in the print edition of the Forward — even though New York and New Jersey state laws bar these sales.
Huffington Post: St. Malachy Last Pope Prophecy: What Theologians Think About 12th-Century Prediction
After Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, those familiar with a 12th-century prophecy claiming the next pope will be the last questioned if Judgment Day is quickly approaching. Scholars, theologians and churchmen, however, all treat this "prediction" as fiction passed off as reality. The "Prophecy of the Popes" is attributed to St. Malachy, an Irish archbishop who was canonized a saint in 1190, according to Discovery News. In his predication, dated 1139, Malachy prophesied that there would be 112 more popes before Judgment Day. Benedict is supposedly the 111th pope.
Religion News Service: House passes bill to give disaster relief to religious groups
The House Wednesday (Feb. 13) overwhelmingly passed a bill to allow places of worship to receive federal aid to repair their buildings damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The bill, which garnered strong bipartisan support, is also expected to pass the Senate, and would address what its sponsors consider a discriminatory practice that keeps federal disaster money from religious groups.
Opinion of the Day:
CNN: My Take: What's next for President Obama's 'pastor-in-chief'
Joshua DuBois, director of President Obama’s Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships from 2008 until he stepped down last week, discusses his plans for the future.
Join the conversation…
CNN: Colbert for pope? The surprising standards for the next Catholic leader
With Pope Benedict XVI announcing his resignation on Monday, the leaders of the Catholic Church will soon meet to select the next person to lead the ever-changing church. While it is likely that they will pick another voting member of the College of Cardinals – the 118 Catholic leaders younger than 80 will vote on who should lead the church – the standards for who can become pope are remarkably loose.