April 10th, 2013
06:45 AM ET
Editor's Note: The Rt. Rev. Edward J. Konieczny is bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. He was previously a police officer in Southern California.
By Edward J. Konieczny, Special to CNN
(CNN) — Both sides of the gun control debate think I’m on their side. I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, a believer in Jesus Christ and for more than 18 years before entering seminary, I was a police officer.
While I try to preach God’s love and mercy, I also have a concealed carry permit and sometimes take my gun on long drives through the isolated areas of my diocese.
I live with the knowledge that I share responsibility for the taking of a human life in the line of duty and that a good friend on the force was shot and killed after we’d swapped shifts. And I wouldn’t be writing this article if the rifle that was pointed at my head one night by a man in the grip of a mental illness hadn’t failed to fire.
January 15th, 2013
06:14 PM ET
By Lisa Desjardins and Eric Marrapodi, CNN
Washington (CNN) – The president has picked a neighbor to deliver the closing prayer at the inauguration.
The Rev. Luis León told CNN on Tuesday the White House and the Presidential Inaugural Committee invited him last week to deliver the closing prayer at the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
León pastors Saint John’s Church, an Episcopal parish just across Lafayette Park from the White House, dubbed the “Church of the Presidents.”
"I found out last week,” he told CNN in an interview on Tuesday.
A source close to the inaugural committee confirmed León would be delivering the benediction and said a formal announcement would be coming later in the week.
The historic church León has pastored since 1995 has been connected to every president since its founding in 1815. Inside the historic building, Pew 54 is reserved for presidents whenever they come to worship. FULL POST
January 13th, 2013
10:11 AM ET
CNN's Randi Kaye talks to the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, about the national church's decision to host same-sex weddings.
January 9th, 2013
02:46 AM ET
By Ben Brumfield, CNN
(CNN)— When laws went into effect in three states for same-sex couples to marry, many were quick to line up at their city halls to exchange vows. Now they may do so in one of the nation's most prominent churches - the Washington National Cathedral.
Most Americans know the house of God, also called the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, as a place where sacred rites are carried out on behalf of the nation. It has been host to the funerals of numerous presidents and of inaugural prayer services for four presidents, including Barack Obama.
But it is also an active house of worship in the Episcopalian Church, said the Cathedral's dean, Gary Hall. The denomination has developed a blessing rite that mirrors current wedding ceremonies for heterosexual couples and allows each bishop to decide to allow same-sex marriages in their churches or not.
December 16th, 2012
09:18 PM ET
By Eric Marrapodi and Kate Bolduan, CNN
Newtown, Connecticut (CNN)– The bulletins were printed on Thursday for the third Sunday of Advent for Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown. There was no mention of Friday in the pages' long order for worship.
By Sunday morning, the church was hosting its fourth service since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, and the sanctuary had been open for 72 straight hours keeping vigil.
A half-empty pallet of tissue boxes greeted church members as they arrived in the front hallway. As the second of the morning's two worship services got underway, people were already quietly weeping in their seats.
December 7th, 2012
04:01 AM ET
(CNN affiliate KTLA) - An Episcopal church in Pasadena has been getting hate mail over its decision to host the annual convention of a Muslim American civil rights group. All Saints Church in Pasadena will host the Muslim Public Affairs Council's 12th annual convention on Dec. 15, which is expected to draw about 1,000 people.
October 5th, 2012
04:14 PM ET
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN)– Was it a snub or a misunderstanding?
On Thursday the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco held its installation service for new Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in front of 2,000 invited guests at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption. A large delegation of Catholic clergy and faith leaders from around the city were there to join the service, processing in.
But those seated in the cathedral noticed one participant missing, Episcopal Bishop Marc Andrus, the local Episcopal bishop.
Pacific Church News, the news service from the Episcopal Diocese of California, reported that Andrus "was not allowed to be seated" and "detained by an usher" in the basement until he left shortly before the service began.
August 20th, 2012
05:48 PM ET
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have opened up about their religious faith to an unlikely source: Cathedral Age, the quarterly magazine of the Washington National Cathedral.
The interviews mark a rare instance of Romney talking about Mormonism, while Obama discusses his Christian faith in detail, referencing favorite Christian writers and Bible verses.
The magazine, which has a circulation of 30,000, submitted identical questions in writing to both campaigns and prints the responses in full in the latest edition of its magazine, which is out on Tuesday.
July 18th, 2012
07:00 AM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
(CNN) – The Revs. Chuck Hough IV and Chuck Hough III have more in common than just their names. The two have become a rarity in the Catholic Church – a father and son who became ordained Catholic priests at the same time.
Both men are both former Episcopal priests, each with a wife and children.
The younger Hough grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with his father as a leader in the Episcopal Church and ended up following in his footsteps, joining the church when he was 25.
The elder Hough had been an Episcopal priest for 31 years before both he and his son decided in 2011 to join the Catholic Church. First they became members of the Catholic Church, then applied to join as priests through the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a group to help Anglicans join the Catholic communion while maintaining some hallmarks of the Anglican tradition.
“We felt that something was missing for years and years,” the father said.
July 10th, 2012
10:00 PM ET
By Michael Pearson, CNN
(CNN) – Episcopal priests will be allowed to conduct services blessing same-sex relationships under a policy approved Tuesday at the church's national convention in Indianapolis.
The convention's House of Bishops approved the provisional policy 111-41 with three abstentions Monday, clearing it for consideration by the House of Deputies, which approved it Tuesday evening.
The policy was approved in the House of Deputies, following more than an hour of debate, by 78% of the voting lay members and by 76% of clergy.
With the vote, the Episcopal Church will become the largest U.S. denomination to officially sanction same-sex relationships. The Episcopal Church has about 1.95 million members in the United States, down 16% over the last decade, according to the church.
The service is not considered a marriage ceremony, media affairs representative Nancy Davidge said.FULL STORY
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 and frequent posts from religion scholar and author Stephen Prothero.