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Pope's Twitter account to close as he leaves office, Vatican Radio says
Pope Benedict XVI clicks on a tablet to send his first twitter message at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, December 12, 2012.
February 22nd, 2013
03:01 PM ET

Pope's Twitter account to close as he leaves office, Vatican Radio says

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

(CNN) - At the same time as Pope Benedict XVI leaves office on February 28, his Twitter presence as @Pontifex will also come to an end, according to Vatican Radio.

The news may come as a sad blow to the more than 2 million people who've signed up to follow his tweets in nine languages since his account was launched with fanfare two-and-a-half months ago.

About 1.5 million of those people follow the English language feed, with nearly 700,000 following him in Spanish and just short of 335,000 in Italian. About 22,500 people follow @Pontifex in Latin.

The account will be closed to coincide with the 85-year-old pope's formal departure from office at 8 p.m. local time, Vatican Radio said.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Benedict XVI

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

January 11th, 2013
03:40 PM ET

Hobby Lobby finds way around $1.3-million-a-day Obamacare hit - for now

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

Washington (CNN) - By Friday, Hobby Lobby would have racked up $14.3 million in fines from the Internal Revenue Service for bucking Obamacare. But in keeping with the great American tax tradition, they may have found a loophole.

The company is facing $1.3 million a day in fines for each day it chooses not to comply with a piece of the Affordable Care Act that was set to trigger for them on January 1. The craft store chain announced in December that, because of religious objections, they would face the fines for not providing certain types of birth control through their company health insurance.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Courts

Obama to swear-in on a stack of historic Bibles
President Obama takes the oath of office in 2009.
January 10th, 2013
02:58 PM ET

Obama to swear-in on a stack of historic Bibles

By Conor Finnegan, CNN

(CNN)-– What do the 16th president, a civil rights leader, and Michelle Obama's grandmother have in common? Their Bibles will be used in the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) made the announcement on Thursday that Obama will take the oath of office on the Robinson family Bible on Sunday and on the Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. Bibles on Monday.

The 20th Amendment designated January 20 as Inauguration Day. But traditionally, when inauguration falls on a Sunday, the president takes the oath privately on January 20 and in a public ceremony on January 21.

"President Obama is honored to use these Bibles at the swearing-in ceremonies," said Steve Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee. "On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this historic moment is a reflection of the extraordinary progress we've made as a nation."

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Bible • Christianity • Politics

January 8th, 2013
03:47 PM ET

Giglio: Jesus was the original abolitionist

(CNN)–Pastor Louie Giglio sits down with CNN's Michael Holmes to discuss the Passion Movement's campaign against slavery.  Read more about Giglio being picked to deliver the benediction at the presidential inauguration. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

Justice won't block Obamacare's required emergency contraception coverage
December 27th, 2012
07:52 AM ET

Justice won't block Obamacare's required emergency contraception coverage

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday turned down a request that she block part of Obamacare that would require companies' health plans to provide for coverage of certain contraceptives, such as the morning-after pill.
Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Mardel, Inc. and five family members involved in ownership and control of the corporations had protested the requirement, which is to kick in January 1.

They said they would be required "to provide insurance coverage for certain drugs and devices that the applicants believe can cause abortions," which would be against their religious beliefs, Sotomayor wrote in her opinion.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Christianity • Courts

December 8th, 2012
05:04 PM ET

What the Pope will tweet?

(CNN)–Vatican official Greg Burke explains to CNN's Joe Johns what Pope Benedict XVI will tweet for the first time December 12.

Read more about the Pope's new Twitter account. 

- CNN Belief Blog

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

Catholics to be allowed into the royal club (sort of)
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge married on April 29, 2011. Future royal weddings could see a Catholic marrying into the royal family.
December 5th, 2012
03:38 PM ET

Catholics to be allowed into the royal club (sort of)

By Matthew Fitzgerald, CNN

London (CNN)— Britain is about to change a 300-year-old rule. British kings and queens - who serve as the official leaders of the Church of England - will soon be allowed to marry Roman Catholics. The historic change will end a centuries-long ban on such interdenominational nuptials.

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans last year to change the law, along with another historic amendment - the end of primogeniture, which says that males come ahead of their sisters in the order of succession, no matter who’s older.

It is a move that could affect the younger royals, including the newest member of the royal family, the baby that Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting next year.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity

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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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