Religion

Maine Diocese Hit With Abuse Suits Under New Law

The Associated Press reports: The first lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland since Maine took away a limitation on claims of child sexual abuse were filed on Thursday. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed a law last year that allowed victims to bring civil lawsuits about older abuse cases. Abuse survivors previously could not bring lawsuits if they experienced …

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Gallup: Belief In God Dips To New Low For US Adults

Gallup reports: The vast majority of U.S. adults believe in God, but the 81% who do so is down six percentage points from 2017 and is the lowest in Gallup’s trend. Between 1944 and 2011, more than 90% of Americans believed in God. Gallup’s May 2-22 Values and Beliefs poll finds 17% of Americans saying they do not believe in …

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92 Year-Old Retired Priest Charged In 1968 Child Rape

The CBC reports: A retired priest has been charged with indecent assault in connection with a decade-long RCMP investigation into a Manitoba residential school. Retired Father Arthur Masse, 92, was charged in connection with the sexual assault on a 10-year-old girl, who was a student at the Fort Alexander residential school, northeast of Winnipeg. The alleged assault occurred between 1968 …

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NC School Pastor Gets 5 Years On Child Sex Charges

Greensboro’s Fox affiliate reports: A former assistant principal at Union Grove Christian School and pastor has been sentenced to five consecutive 10-12 month sentences in relation to multiple felony counts of sexual activity with a student. On July 11, 2019, Jason Keller was arrested for a series of sex crimes that he committed nearly a decade earlier from 2008 to …

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Southern Baptists Condemn “Prosperity Gospel”

The Christian Post reports: Southern Baptists adopted a resolution Tuesday rejecting the prosperity gospel, calling it false teaching and distortion of Scripture, particularly regarding Jesus Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Assembled in Anaheim, California, this week for the denomination’s annual meeting, messengers passed Resolution 2, which defines the prosperity gospel as the belief that “Jesus’ sacrificial and atoning death …

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Southern Baptists May Boot California Megachurch For Ordination Of Female Pastors: “Contrary To Scripture”

The Christian Post reports: The Southern Baptist Convention has delayed a decision on whether to remove Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church from the denomination in light of the California megachurch’s ordination of three female pastors last year. Saddleback Church’s ordination of the three pastors last May in what the church called a “historic night” drew the ire of many in the …

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Saudi Officials Seize “Homosexual” Rainbow Items

Agence France-Presse reports: Saudi officials are seizing rainbow-colored toys and articles of clothing from shops in the capital as part of a crackdown on homosexuality, state media reported. Targeted items include rainbow-colored bows, skirts, hats and pencil cases, most of them apparently manufactured for young children, according to a report broadcast Tuesday evening by the state-run Al-Ekhbariya news channel. “We …

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Lawsuit: Florida Abortion Ban Violates Jewish Rights

Reuters reports: Florida’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy violates the religious freedom of Jews because Jewish law requires the procedure in some cases, a Boynton Beach synagogue said in a lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in state court on Friday by Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor, also says that the abortion ban violates the right to privacy guaranteed by the …

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United Arab Emirates Bans “Lightyear” Over Gay Kiss

ABC News reports: The United Arab Emirates has banned the upcoming Pixar animated film Lightyear from showing in cinemas amid reports that the film includes a kiss between two female characters. The Emirates, home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, announced through its Media Regulatory Office of the country’s Ministry of Youth and Culture that the film would not be opening …

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Megachurch Pastor Arrested For Sexual Assault

The Toronto Star reports: A pastor at one of Canada’s largest megachurches has been arrested and charged with sexual assault by Hamilton police after an external investigation concluded he allegedly abused his power and sexually harassed a parishioner. Bruxy Cavey, a teaching pastor at The Meeting House in Oakville, confirmed his resignation in a blog post acknowledging the investigation, saying: …

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Nevada Pastor Charged With Sexual Abuse Of Inmate

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports: A pastor at a women’s prison in Las Vegas has been charged with sexually abusing an inmate, according to police and court records. Donald Burse, 55, was booked at the Clark County Detention Center on May 24. Court records show the Nevada attorney general’s office has filed two felony counts against Burse of sexual abuse …

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Rumors Swirl That Pope Francis May Soon Step Down

The Associated Press reports: Pope Francis added fuel to rumors about the future of his pontificate by announcing he would visit the central Italian city of L’Aquila in August for a feast initiated by Pope Celestine V, one of the few pontiffs who resigned before Pope Benedict XVI stepped down in 2013. Italian and Catholic media have been rife with …

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TX Youth Pastor Gets Eight Years On Child Sex Charges

Houston’s ABC News affiliate reports: Former Hudson ISD teacher and youth pastor James Dillon English was sentenced on Thursday to eight years of confinement in prison for indecency with a child and having an improper relationship with a student. English was accused of engaging in multiple sexual relations with a student in late 2019, his second year at the school. …

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Baptist Youth Leader Charged With Child Sex Crimes

South Carolina’s Rock Hill Herald reports: A youth leader at two South Carolina churches in York County has been charged with sex crimes involving children, according to sheriff’s office and court documents. William Pinckney Carpenter III, 62, of Chester, was arrested late Wednesday, records show. The allegations happened from 2016 to 2021 to children victims as young as 7, warrants …

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Police: Pastor Murdered Man Over Affair With His Wife

Baton Rouge’s CBS News affiliate reports: A Missouri husband has been charged with first-degree murder for fatally shooting the man he says his wife was having an affair with, according to police. Matthew Dedmon, 47, is charged with first-degree murder for the death of Joe Newburn, 57. Dedmon told investigators he is a pastor at Heritage Baptist Church in Rogersville. …

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$2M Gold Relic Stolen From Brooklyn Catholic Church

The Associated Press reports: Police say someone busted into the altar at a New York City church, stole a $2 million gold relic and removed the head from a statue of an angel at some point late last week. The incident happened at St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church, known as the “Notre Dame” of Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood. The tabernacle, …

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FBI: Church Official Embezzled $360K From Food Pantry

The Marysville Appeal-Democrat reports: The wife of a former Marysville police chief was arrested in Oklahoma after a federal grand jury indicted her on multiple counts, including fraud. On May 19, a federal grand jury in Sacramento returned an indictment against Chanell Easton, 36, of Oklahoma City with charges that included 22 counts of wire fraud and two counts of …

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Pope Snubs Archbishop Who Denied Communion To Pelosi, Elevates Lower-Ranked Archbishop To Cardinal

The Los Angeles Times reports: Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, one of Pope Francis’ ideological allies who has often sparred with more conservative U.S. bishops, was named by the pope on Sunday as one of 21 new cardinals. Among his notable stances, McElroy, 68, has been one of a minority of U.S. bishops harshly criticizing the campaign to exclude …

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Massachusetts Lawmakers Pardon Last Salem “Witch”

The Associated Press reports: It took more than three centuries, but the last Salem “witch” who wasn’t has been officially pardoned. Massachusetts lawmakers on Thursday formally exonerated Elizabeth Johnson Jr., clearing her name 329 years after she was convicted of witchcraft in 1693 and sentenced to death at the height of the Salem Witch Trials. Johnson was never executed, but …

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Former Louisiana Priest Charged With Rape [VIDEO]

New Orleans’ Fox affiliate reports: A former Jesuit priest and non-profit director has been arrested a second time for sex crimes allegations, jail records show. Stephen Sauer is accused of taking lewd photos and videos of unconscious men and sexually abusing at least one victim. Sauer was removed from his position with the Arc of Greater New Orleans, an agency …

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