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Tim Tebow pulls out of speaking at Dallas church
February 21st, 2013
10:40 AM ET

Tim Tebow pulls out of speaking at Dallas church

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(CNN) - NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has canceled an appearance at a controversial Dallas-area church. The outspoken Christian quarterback was scheduled to speak at First Baptist Church on April 28.

The church is led by Robert Jeffress, who has been widely criticized for views against homosexuality, Islam and Mormonism. Tebow, announcing his decision Thursday on Twitter, said that he was canceling his appearance “due to new information that has been brought to my attention.”

Tebow’s statement appeared over a series of four tweets on the social media site.

“I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those needing a brighter day. Thank you for all of your love and support. God Bless!” he wrote to his Twitter followers.

Tebow was scheduled to speak at the 11,000-member Dallas church as part of a monthlong celebration of the megachurch’s completion of a new building campaign, a $130 million dollar project that encompasses five blocks of the downtown.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Baptist • Christianity • Church

Before he's a man, bar mitzvah boy goes viral
Daniel Blumen of Atlanta offers a fresh take on the bar mitzvah save-the-date announcement.
February 21st, 2013
09:31 AM ET

Before he's a man, bar mitzvah boy goes viral

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) – According to Jewish tradition, a boy becomes a man at 13, when he's called before his community to read from the Torah and become a bar mitzvah, meaning “son of the commandments.”

In the case of Daniel Blumen, who will make this rite of passage in May, this homestretch of childhood has suddenly become a viral event.

Rather than send out simple save-the-date cards or e-mail announcements, Daniel busted out and did something different. A fan of rap music, this only child and “clever little guy,” as described by his father, made a music video – for which he wrote most of his own lyrics – playing off Jermaine Dupri's “Welcome to Atlanta," featuring Ludacris. FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Culture wars • Georgia • Internet • Judaism • Media

Archbishop deposed in abuse lawsuit
Cardinal Timothy Dolan sat for questions from lawyers for victims of sexual abuse by priests, his office said Wednesday.
February 20th, 2013
08:04 PM ET

Archbishop deposed in abuse lawsuit

By Matt Smith, CNN

(CNN)–New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan sat for questions from lawyers for victims of sexual abuse by priests in Milwaukee while he was that city's Roman Catholic leader, his office disclosed Wednesday.

"Today Cardinal Dolan had the long-awaited opportunity to talk about his decision nine years ago in Milwaukee to publicize the names of priests who had abused children and how he responded to the tragedy of past clergy sexual abuse of minors, during the time he was privileged to serve as archbishop of Milwaukee," Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said in a written statement.

"He has indicated over the past two years that he was eager to cooperate in whatever way he could, and he was looking forward to talking about the good work and progress that took place to ensure the protection of children and pastoral outreach to victims."

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Church • Sex abuse

February 20th, 2013
05:48 PM ET

Where does an ex-pope go?

CNN's Ben Wedeman reports on Pope Benedict's plans after he leaves his post and where he will live.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

Vatican: Pope may change rules to allow replacement vote sooner
Pope Benedict XVI walks in front the crib as he attends the Christmas night mass at the St. Peter's Basilica on December 24, 2012 in Vatican City.
February 20th, 2013
10:47 AM ET

Vatican: Pope may change rules to allow replacement vote sooner

From Hada Messia, CNN

(CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI is considering changing the Vatican constitution to allow a vote for his successor to begin before March 15, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Wednesday.

Benedict, 85, shocked the world last week when he announced his intention to stand down effective February 28, citing the frailty of old age.

Existing rules say the Roman Catholic Church's cardinals should start voting on a replacement from 15 to 20 days after the papal throne becomes vacant. With Benedict's resignation due to start February 28, the cardinals' conclave ordinarily would start no sooner than March 15.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Benedict XVI

Police: Man raped woman he met on Christian dating website
Sean Banks was arrested on suspicion of raping a woman he met on the online dating website, Christianmingle.com.
February 19th, 2013
03:10 PM ET

Police: Man raped woman he met on Christian dating website

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

(CNN) - A California man is accused of raping a woman he met on a Christian dating website - and police fear there may be other victims.

Sean Banks, 37, met the victim on the matchmaking website Christianmingle.com, where he went by the user name "Raritiy," La Mesa Police said in a statement.

Banks used three additional online identities - "Rylan," "Rylan Butterwood" and "Rylan Harbough" - and police said they are concerned "there may have been more cases with other women."

ChristianMingle touts a safety section that includes a warning to avoid contact with members who cannot take "no" for an answer.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Crime

In picking the next pope, Catholic population doesn’t equal power
European cardinals will make up more than 50% of the conclave, despite the fact Europeans make up less than a quarter of the church’s overall population.
February 19th, 2013
01:06 PM ET

In picking the next pope, Catholic population doesn’t equal power

By Eric Marrapodi and Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief'] [twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

(CNN) – Despite calls for a new pope from Latin America or Africa, the areas of the Catholic Church experiencing the most rapid growth, the power in the College of Cardinals is decidedly European.

The rapid growth of the Catholic population in Latin America and Africa has not yet led to a proportional balancing of the College of Cardinals.  The makeup of the college skews overwhelmingly European, while the majority of the congregants are increasingly not European.

“It (the College of Cardinals) doesn't reflect the population, it reflects the power structure,” said William D’Antonio, a professor at The Catholic University of America. “It is like a corporation. The corporation picks its own board of directors. You might own some stock in it, but you are really fighting a battle against a corporation here.”

Dubbed the “princes of the church,” the cardinals’ main role is to select the next pope, which is done in a secret conclave in the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.  Cardinals are handpicked by the pope both to choose his successor and to assist in the daily needs of the church.  When they are elevated to the role they take on a red hat, symbolic of their willingness to shed their own blood for their faith.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Africa • Americas • Belief • Catholic Church • Pope • Pope Benedict XVI • South America

Vatican: Cardinals could meet sooner to choose new pope
February 18th, 2013
10:01 AM ET

Vatican: Cardinals could meet sooner to choose new pope

By Livia Borghese and Laura Smith-Spark for CNN

Rome (CNN) - The cardinals who must pick a successor to Pope Benedict XVI after he steps down on February 28 could meet to make the decision sooner than thought, a Vatican spokesman said Saturday.

The conclave, the meeting which will bring together the 117 cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, could start before March 15 if all the cardinals are already in Rome, Father Federico Lombardi said.

Lombardi had previously said the conclave was likely to start between March 15 and 19.

But he gave new details Saturday, saying that because the pope had resigned rather than the conclave being triggered by his death, there was scope for the time frame to be brought forward.

The decision may not come until after Benedict's departure and lies in the hands of the cardinals, he added.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

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

February 18th, 2013
09:55 AM ET

Could Pope Benedict be put on trial?

(CNN)–Pope Benedict XVI's resignation brings calls for his prosecution. CNN's Nic Robertson investigates the claims.

- CNN Belief Blog

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

Pope delivers one of his final messages
Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives to lead the Angelus prayer from the window of his appartmnents on February 17, 2013 at the Vatican.
February 17th, 2013
01:57 PM ET

Pope delivers one of his final messages

By Hada Messia and Josh Levs, CNN

(CNN) – Pope Benedict XVI led tens of thousands in a prayer for strength Sunday and thanked followers for their support during his second-to-last Angelus prayer as pontiff.

"Today we contemplate Christ in the desert, fasting, praying, and being tempted," the pope said to an unusually large crowd at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.

"As we begin our Lenten journey, we join him and we ask him to give us strength to fight our weaknesses. Let me also thank you for the prayers and support you have shown me in these days. May God bless all of you!"

Read the full story here

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

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

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