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April 13th, 2013
07:39 AM ET

Pope asks cardinals to study Church reform

By Hada Messia and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

Rome (CNN) – Pope Francis has appointed a group of eight cardinals from around the world to look into ways of reforming the Catholic Church, the Vatican said Saturday.

The group, which includes U.S. Cardinal Sean O'Malley from Boston, will examine ways to revise the Vatican constitution, Pastor Bonus, which sets the rules for running the Roman Curia, or church hierarchy.

The cardinals - who come from North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe - will first meet in October, the Vatican said.

The move follows on from suggestions made during the General Congregations, a series of meetings that brought together all the cardinals last month before they elected Francis as pope, the Vatican said.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis • Vatican

April 13th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

From anger to forgiveness: Man befriends brother's killer

By Rose Arce, CNN

New York (CNN) - The day Anthony Colon heard his older brother had been gunned down in East Harlem, he began struggling with a rage that would last for years.

The anger wore him down. He missed him desperately.

He hated the three men who had fired 13 bullets into his brother who was unarmed.

“Oh, God, it just - it just put so much hate in my life. I hated everybody. I hated everything. It made me to be a person, like a monster,” said Colon, who considered his brother Wilfredo his only stable family.

“I loved him because he always stood up for me from a little kid. He would not even allow me to fight. He would stand up for me, whatever happened, because he always saw that goodness in me.”

But as the years passed the fog of anger began to lift.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Faith • Spirituality

April 12th, 2013
04:03 PM ET

Battle of the sexes at Western Wall

By Sara Sidner, CNN

Jerusalem (CNN) - A group of women in Israel is again expressing outrage after police detained some of its members for doing two things they say should be perfectly normal and legal: praying out loud and wearing a prayer shawl at the holiest site for prayer in Judaism.

The women who were detained on Thursday are part of a group that calls itself Women of the Wall. For more than two decades, its members have been defying traditionalists and the Israeli government.

The women say they should be able to pray as they wish at the Western Wall and be given the same rights as the men who pray there. The idea - and trying to make it true by just doing it - has outraged some of the ultra-Orthodox who pray at the wall, where a partition separates men and women. FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Jerusalem • Judaism • Prayer • Women

April 12th, 2013
04:00 PM ET

Where do morals come from?

By Kelly Murray, CNN

Editor's note: The Science Seat is a feature in which our sister blog CNN Light Years sits down with movers and shakers from different areas of scientific exploration. This is the eighth installment.

(CNN)–
Being nice to others and cooperating with them aren't uniquely human traits. Frans de Waal, director of Emory University's Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Lawrenceville, Georgia, studies how our close primate relatives also demonstrate behaviors suggestive of a sense of morality.

De Waal recently published a book called "The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates," which synthesizes evidence that there are biological roots in human fairness, and explores what that means for the role of religion in human societies.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Science

April 12th, 2013
03:47 PM ET

Franklin Graham calls for prayer on North Korea

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – In light of threatening statements from North Korea, famed evangelist Franklin Graham says prayer is a viable option for cooling tensions between the communist country and the rest of the world.

“First of all, I think we need to pray,” Graham, the CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian humanitarian organization, said in an interview on CNN’s “Starting Point.” “We need to pray for our president, we need to pray that God will give him wisdom as he makes decision at this point. This is a very critical time, right now, for our country and we need to come behind our president and support him with prayer.”

Through Samaritan’s Purse, an organization founded in 1970, Graham has visited North Korea four times over the last 13 years. The group’s slogan is “Helping in Jesus Name” and it describes itself as a “Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.”

Tensions with North Korea began to rise last month, as the rogue state began issuing increasingly threatening statement towards its Asian neighbors and the United States. Most recently it was uncovered that North Korea may be able to deliver a nuclear weapon via missile with low reliability, according to the Pentagon.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • North Korea • Politics • Prayer

April 12th, 2013
12:01 PM ET

Want your ashes spread where Jesus walked?

By Sara Sidner, CNN

Sea of Galilee (CNN) - When I am visiting the United States and tell people I live in the Middle East I generally get one of two responses:

“Seriously? Isn’t it dangerous? Stay safe out there.”

Or some version of:

“Wow. There is so much Biblical history there. I have always dreamed about going to the Holy Land but doubt I’ll ever get the chance.”

I never thought I’d be able to give the latter this option for a visit.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Israel • Judaism

Rick Warren: Son bought 'unregistered gun'
April 11th, 2013
08:15 PM ET

Rick Warren: Son bought 'unregistered gun'

By Greg Botelho, CNN

(CNN)–High-profile Pastor Rick Warren tweeted Thursday that his son who shot himself late last week had bought an "unregistered gun" from "someone over the internet."

"I pray he seeks God's forgiveness," wrote Warren, a best-selling author and the head of Saddleback Church, referring to whoever sold his son the gun. "I forgive him."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • California • Christianity • United States • Violence

Some Newtown clergy disapprove of Senate compromise on guns
Demonstrators set up more than 3,300 grave markers to symbolize the people killed by gun violence since the Newtown shooting.
April 11th, 2013
04:02 PM ET

Some Newtown clergy disapprove of Senate compromise on guns

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – The bipartisan gun control agreement reached by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey on Wednesday does not go far enough in the eyes of multiple clergy members from Newtown, Connecticut.

In interviews with CNN, religious leaders from Newtown, the site of last year’s school shooting where 20 children and six adults were killed, said that a recent gun control agreement does not do enough to fight gun violence, leading one rabbi to doubt whether Congress was actually working for the American people.

“Who are they compromising with?” said Rabbi Shaul Praver of the Congregation Adath Israel in Newtown. “Ninety percent of the country, 92% really, want the universal background checks. That is it, straight up, no exceptions. That is what the people want.”

Praver continued: “If there are so many people saying, ‘We want you to do this’ and it is not being done, then we are not being represented. I think we have a really big problem. It is called corruption and it is really a problem. You have elected officials who come here to do, you know, serve the NRA and not their constituents that elected them. I think they are out of touch.”

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Guns • Politics

April 11th, 2013
03:21 PM ET

A papal portrait ... made out of condoms

(CNN)–An artist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has created a unique portrait of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

- CNN Belief Blog

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

Vatican seeks to rebrand its relationship with science
Pope Francis graduated as a chemical technician before moving on to study philosophy, psychology and theology.
April 11th, 2013
03:13 PM ET

Vatican seeks to rebrand its relationship with science

By Florence Davey-Attlee, CNN

(CNN) - Dropping to his knees before the 10 cardinals of the Inquisition, dressed in the white shirt of penitence, Galileo Galilei was forced to retract his "heretic" theory that the Earth moved around the Sun. Threatened with torture and interrogated for 18 days, the scientist, who was imprisoned in the 17th century, promised to never again teach the theory and spent the rest of his life under house arrest in his small farmhouse outside of Florence.

Galileo's fate was very different from that of other scientists at the time of the Inquisition. Some were executed for threatening the church's teachings. Italian astronomer Giordano Bruno, an Italian philosopher who argued that the universe was infinite, was burned at the stake.

Now in 2013, as Pope Francis settles into his new role as leader of the Catholic Church, the Vatican's head of science is urging a re-think of the "mischaracterization" of the relationship between the church and science.

The Vatican would like the world to see how much this relationship has changed.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Francis • Science

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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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