December 1st, 2013
06:00 AM ET
The C.S. Lewis you never knew
By John Blake, CNN
(CNN) - He looked like a “red-faced pork butcher in shabby tweeds,” lived secretly with a woman for years and was so turned on by S&M that he once asked people at a party whether he could spank them.
We’re talking, of course, about C.S. Lewis, the Christian icon and author of classics such as “Mere Christianity” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
It’s tempting to remember Lewis only as the self-assured defender of Christianity who never met an argument he couldn't demolish. His death 50 years ago, on November 22, 1963, was overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He has since become a patron saint of American evangelicals.
But the actual man whom friends called “Jack” had a “horrible” personal life, thought he had failed as a defender of Christianity and spent so much time in pubs that his publishers initially struggled selling him to a religious audience, scholars say.
October 23rd, 2013
01:24 PM ET
Baby Prince George is baptized
London (CNN) - Prince George made his first public appearance in three months Wednesday, as he arrived with his parents, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, for his christening at St. James's Palace.
The baby prince smiled as he was shown off to family members including his great-grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, before the royals entered the Chapel Royal.
George was dressed in an elaborate lace and satin christening gown that's a replica of one made in 1841 for the christening of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter.
Being baptized into the church is more significant for George than for most people, since he is in line to become king, which would also make him the supreme governor of the Church of England.FULL STORY
September 12th, 2013
04:08 PM ET
English Football Association issues 'yid' warning
(CNN) - English football fans have been warned they face criminal prosecution if they continue to chant a word which has been deemed anti-Semitic.
The English Football Association (FA) have told fans to stop using the word "Yid", a term which at different times throughout history has been used by Jews and also to abuse them.
Tottenham Hotspur, a north London-based club, are known for having a large number of Jewish supporters. A section of Spurs fans have attempting to reclaim the "Y word" by referring to themselves as the "Yid Army" and chanting it at matches.
But the FA has warned that such practices are no longer acceptable as it continues its fight against discrimination in the English game.FULL STORY
May 22nd, 2013
05:05 PM ET
Brutal cleaver assault on man in London street is suspected terror attack
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 3rd, 2013
02:08 PM ET
Embattled Cardinal O'Brien apologizes for 'my sexual conduct'
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
Scotland's Roman Catholic archbishop, mired in abuse claim, resigns
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 15th, 2013
05:39 AM ET
Split ruling on discrimination against UK Christians
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
Priests in same-sex relationships may become Anglican Bishops
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
New archbishop of Canterbury is former oil exec who faces global challenges
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.
August 14th, 2012
12:19 PM ET
Mohammed retakes top spot in English baby names
By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
Mohammed reclaimed its place as the most popular name for baby boys born in England and Wales in 2011 - convincingly ahead of Harry, in second place, according to data released by the government this week.
The government declared that Harry was the most popular boy's name, but if you add up the five most popular different spellings of Mohammed, that name comes top.
Mohammed is also the most popular boy's name of the past five years for England and Wales, ahead of Oliver and Jack. It came first or second every year since 2007, the only name to do so.
And it could become even more popular in 2012, given the adulation around long-distance runner Mo Farah, who won two gold medals for Britain at the Olympics.
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.