June 25th, 2012
04:26 PM ET

Reporter leaves Fox News to join Vatican staff

By Eric Marrapodi and Dugald McConnell, CNN

(CNN) - Correspondent Greg Burke has left Fox News  to join the Vatican as a senior adviser of communications to the secretariat of state at the Holy See, the Vatican announced late Sunday.

"This new figure will have the task of dealing with communications issues in the work of the secretariat of state and will oversee relations with the Holy See Press Office and other media institutions of the Holy See," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

Burke has been based in Rome as a journalist for more than two decades, first as a correspondent for the National Catholic Register, then as a stringer and correspondent for Time magazine before he moved to Fox News in 2001.

"While I don’t think I'll have power, I think I'll be at the table with people who do," Burke said from Rome on Monday.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

Catholic bishops launch religious liberty campaign
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, sings at a Fortnight for Freedom event Sunday in Washington.
June 25th, 2012
03:53 PM ET

Catholic bishops launch religious liberty campaign

By Becky Perlow, CNN

Washington (CNN) -  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched a two-week crusade against what it calls the federal government's violations of its religious liberty.

The campaign, known as the Fortnight for Freedom, is about “prayer, education and action,” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, in an interview Sunday with CNN.

The campaign, to conclude on Independence Day, has drawn support from Catholic parishioners across the nation, who have held religious rallies, prayer vigils and weekly mass to raise awareness for a new health care mandate the church opposes.

“We’re here to pray. We’re here to educate about freedom. We started this campaign to say religious liberty is eroding,” said Wuerl before a rally Sunday afternoon at George Washington University in Washington.

CNN's Belief Blog: the faith angles behind the big stories


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity

Sandusky’s pastor addresses conviction from pulpit
Jerry Sandusky leaves court on Friday morning. His church wrestled on Sunday with how to respond.
June 25th, 2012
11:58 AM ET

Sandusky’s pastor addresses conviction from pulpit

By Dana Garrett, CNN

State College, Pennsylvania (CNN)– Jerry Sandusky sits in a county jail cell in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, but his presence and the weight of the 45 guilty verdicts rendered against the former Penn State football coach on Friday night hung in the air Sunday morning at the State College church where he and his wife are longtime members.

Ed Zeiders, the senior pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, did not shy away from addressing the conviction of his congregant and friend on child sex abuse charges, asking his congregation to “pray for all of those who are victims and for all of those who are predators.”

Zeiders began his sermon with a question.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Church • Courts

‘Clown question, bro’ takes off, with a T-shirt, a beer and a trademark
Bryce Harper has trademarked the phrase "That’s a clown question, bro.”
June 25th, 2012
11:31 AM ET

‘Clown question, bro’ takes off, with a T-shirt, a beer and a trademark

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – You know a quote has entered the national lexicon when a major sports merchandise company plans to plaster it on T-shirts, it inspires a brand new beer and the Senate majority leader invokes it to respond to a reporter.

“That’s a clown question, bro,” Washington Nationals baseball phenom Bryce Harper told a Canadian reporter who earlier this month asked the 19-year-old about his favorite beer. Though the drinking age in Ontario is 19, Harper is a Mormon. His religion prohibits alcohol consumption.

Harper’s quip lit up the internet, becoming a trending topic on Twitter. Four other ways Harper’s one-liner has reached meme status:


- Dan Merica

Filed under: Mormonism • United States

June 25th, 2012
04:29 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, June 25

By Laura Koran, 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: A rabbi, a Mormon and a black Christian mayor walk into a room...
Mayor Cory Booker waits in his wood-paneled city hall office for his next visitors. His life, even on a Sunday, is tightly scheduled. He checks the time on his cell phone and lets the ribbing of his two friends, who are now late, begin. “Jewish time is even worse than black time,” he says, “although I should never drag all the Jewish people down with Shmuley.” And then, about the other guy: “I thought Mormons were always 15 minutes early?”

CNN: Philadelphia abuse trial has taken toll on very Catholic city
A Philadelphia sex abuse trial in which a jury reached a mixed verdict on a church higher-up accused of protecting sexually abusive priests was closely watched for its national implications. Monsignor William Lynn was convicted of one count of child endangerment on Friday, and victims groups hope that conviction will pave the way for prosecutors across the country to go after church officials – and not just accused priests – in confronting sex abuse.


- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

June 2012