March 9th, 2012
10:23 PM ET
Case of Boys Town founder shows long road to making a saint
By Jen Christensen, CNN
(CNN) - Surrounded by TV cameras and an excited crowd, the archbishop of Omaha, Nebraska, taped a notice to the doors of St. Cecilia’s Church last week announcing to the world that his archdiocese was launching a formal process to try to elevate one of its most famous members to Catholicism’s highest honor.
Archbishop George Lucas wants the Vatican to recognize Father Edward J. Flanagan as a saint.
As the founder of Boys Town – the famous Nebraska community for at-risk kids – Flanagan radically transformed how people handle troubled youth. He is known for the saying, “There are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking.”
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
But just because someone does good doesn’t entitle that person to be a saint, at least in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church. Many faiths have their saints, but attaining sainthood may be hardest in the Catholic Church.
By posting a notice about Flanagan, the Omaha archdiocese is embarking on a complicated legal, scientific and surprisingly expensive journey that could take over 100 years to accomplish – if sainthood is achieved at all.
“To be recognized as a saint these days, it may cost upwards of $1 million,” said Steven Wolf, the lead volunteer and president of the Father Flanagan League Society of Devotion. “You essentially need it to pay for a good lawyer and an expensive multi-media campaign.”
October 5th, 2011
01:53 PM ET
School tells girl wearing rosary violates dress code
An Omaha, Nebraska, sixth-grader was told she could not wear a necklace with a cross to school because the rosary has become an identifying symbol for gangs, CNN affiliate KETV reported.
Elizabeth Carey told KETV that wearing a rosary is an expression of her faith, but Fremont Public Schools says it is a violation of its dress code.
"I'm wearing a cross necklace, a cross T-shirt and a cross bracelet. I'm thinking of how Jesus died on the cross and how he gave up all his sins for us," Elizabeth told KETV.
April 25th, 2011
12:52 PM ET
How one boy met Jesus
11-year-old Colton Burpo says he met Jesus eight years ago when the boy almost died from a burst appendix.
His father, Todd, chronicles it all in the book, "Heaven is for Real," a New York Times paperback bestseller.
CNN's Don Lemon spoke with Todd and Colton, who describes what Jesus was like.
August 28th, 2010
11:01 PM ET
Man fires pepper spray on church protesters outside Marine's funeral
A motorist fired pepper spray Saturday at a group of demonstrators and counter-protesters outside a funeral for a U.S. Marine in Omaha, Nebraska, police said.
The incident occurred shortly before 10 a.m. (11 a.m. ET) as members of a small Kansas church that protests at military funerals and counter-protesters stood nearly a block away from First United Methodist Church during services for Staff Sgt. Michael Bock, 26, who died August 13 in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
A man in a Ford-150 pickup truck drove by, extended his arm and sprayed with a large can, police said. His vehicle was stopped a few minutes later.
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.