May 22nd, 2013
05:05 PM ET
By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
London (CNN) – A man thought to be a serving British soldier was killed by two armed men in a frenzied attack on a London street Wednesday, in what the government is treating as a suspected act of terrorism.
Witnesses told of a gruesome scene in which the man was hit by a car, then hacked with cleavers and his body dumped in the middle of the road in Woolwich, southeast London.
The two suspects in the killing were injured in a confrontation with police and have been taken to two hospitals, where they are being treated.
CNN affiliate ITN aired a video showing a man with bloody hands and holding a meat cleaver, who says, "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you."
The man, who seems to have a London accent, carries on: "The only reasons we killed this man this is because Muslims are dying daily. This British soldier is an eye for an eye a tooth for tooth.FULL STORY
March 10th, 2013
11:51 AM ET
Rome (CNN) – Crowds lined the walls and spilled out the front door of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Monte Mario on Sunday to catch a glimpse of the gregarious American Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, who smiled broadly as he came into the church, stopping to wave to photographers and kiss a baby whose parents were holding him up.
Dolan has made the short lists of some Vatican watchers as a likely choice to be elected as the next pope by the College of Cardinals, a designation called "papabili" in Italian.
A local officiant began the service by saying it was great to have Dolan at the church close to Easter.
"All these people are showing the power of the church," he said.
Dolan thanked the officiant in Italian.
March 3rd, 2013
02:08 PM ET
By Josh Levs, CNN
(CNN) – A cardinal at the center of an international scandal over alleged sexual abuse reversed course Sunday, acknowledging wrongdoing.
"I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal," Cardinal Keith O'Brien said in a statement.
Until days ago, O'Brien was the archbishop of Scotland.
O'Brien has been dogged by allegations he abused four men studying to be priests in the 1980s.
"In recent days certain allegations which have been made against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them," O'Brien said.FULL STORY
February 25th, 2013
09:34 AM ET
By John L. Allen Jr., CNN Senior Vatican Analyst
Rome (CNN) - Scotland's Roman Catholic archbishop, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, has resigned amid allegations that he abused four men studying to be priests in the 1980s.
It is the second potential scandal to emerge amid preparations for the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI this week and the concave to select a successor.
In addition to O'Brien's resignation, Italian media has been abuzz in recent days with allegations that gay clergy may have made themselves vulnerable to blackmail by male prostitutes. That has set off speculation - denied by the Vatican - that a brewing scandal may have triggered Benedict's resignation.
O'Brien said he submitted his resignation to the pope months ago, citing his upcoming 75th birthday and his health, according to a statement released by the Scottish Catholic Media Office. Benedict accepted his resignation last week, the Vatican said Monday.
The resignation follows a Sunday report by the British newspaper The Observer that three priests and one former priest leveled allegations against O'Brien that date back 30 years.FULL STORY
January 30th, 2013
04:49 AM ET
By Susannah Cullinane, CNN
London (CNN) - Rupert Murdoch has apologized for a "grotesque, offensive" cartoon of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published in Britain's Sunday Times.
The cartoon by Gerald Scarfe depicts Netanyahu atop an incomplete brick wall with screaming Palestinians and body parts in the mortar. Netanyahu is holding what appears to be a bloody builder's trowel and the wall's mortar is colored red. The wording beneath reads: "Israeli Elections, Will Cementing Peace Continue?"
The cartoon was published on Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday and prompted complaints that it was anti-Semitic and insensitive.FULL STORY
January 25th, 2013
04:29 AM ET
By Cyrus Farivar, ArsTechnica
(CNN) – For months now, the French-language twittersphere has lit up with a rash of racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic tweets using the hashtags #UnBonJuif (a good Jew), #SiMonFilsEstGay (if my son is gay), and #SiMaFilleRamèneUnNoir (if my daughter brings home a black guy).
Last fall, under pressure from French advocacy group Union of Jewish Students (UEJF), Twitter agreed to remove some offensive tweets. In October 2012, at Berlin's request, Twitter also suspended a German neo-Nazi account based in the city of Hanover, the first time the company had responded to such a government request.FULL STORY
January 15th, 2013
05:39 AM ET
By Laura Smith-Spark and Richard Allen Greene, CNN
London (CNN) - A British Christian woman suffered religious discrimination when British Airways told her not to wear a visible cross over her uniform, a top European court ruled Tuesday.
However, three other British Christians lost related religious discrimination claims at the European Court of Human Rights.
British Airways violated the article of the European Convention on Human Rights that guarantees freedom of religion when it stopped employee Nadie Eweida wearing her cross openly, the court said.
Eweida said she experienced discrimination from 2006 to 2007, when she started wearing the cross visibly and was transferred to another job. The airline has since changed its policy on uniforms to allow employees to wear religious or charity symbols.FULL STORY
January 5th, 2013
09:34 AM ET
By Ben Brumfield, CNN
(CNN) - Men in a civil union will now be allowed to become bishops in the Church of England, but they are not allowed to have sex.
Intercourse between two men - or two women - remains a sin.
"Homosexual genital acts fall short of the Christian ideal and are to be met with a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion," according to Anglican doctrine.
Men and women in same-sex unions were already allowed to serve as priests in the Church of England, but there was a moratorium on advancement to the episcopate - becoming a bishop - while the church considered the issue.
The church announced Friday that if men in celibate civil unions may be priests, then there is no reason for them not to be bishops, as long as they are "living in accordance with the teaching of the Church on human sexuality."
November 9th, 2012
08:41 AM ET
By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
London CNN) - 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.
Although Welby has been a bishop for just less than a year, his experience beyond the pulpit may be what has given him the edge over his rivals for the top job.
He will take over from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who has headed the church for more than a decade, in March.
Welby faces the challenge of holding together an increasingly fractured Communion as it wrestles with the issues of homosexuality and women bishops, as well as tensions between the shrinking Western provinces of the Anglican Communion, including the United States and United Kingdom, and the exploding growth of the provinces in the Global South, many of them in Africa and Asia.
October 18th, 2012
11:27 AM ET
By Ben Brumfield and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
(CNN) - Twitter will withhold content from a neo-Nazi account at the request of German authorities, the first time it has put into action a policy of local censorship it adopted in January and a step that will probably reignite debate over freedom of expression on the Internet.
Alex Macgillivray, Twitter's general counsel, tweeted the company's decision Thursday: "We announced the ability to withhold content back in Jan. We're using it now for the first time re: a group deemed illegal in Germany."
But although Twitter, hailed by many as a powerful enabler of free speech, is taking its first step toward limiting hate speech, some groups say it still has a long way to go.
The Anti-Defamation League has said it "lags far behind" other social media networks in setting clear standards over racism.
A barrage of anti-Semitic abuse prompted by a series of hashtags in France has highlighted the problem there in recent weeks, with the French Union of Jewish Students adding its voice to the concerns raised by the ADL.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.