Religion

Megachurch Pastor Ousted: Caught On Hot Mic Talking About Planting Child Pornography On Critics’s Computer

The Christian Post reports: Longtime leader of the Chicago-area megachurch Harvest Bible Chapel James MacDonald has been ousted as senior pastor in light of unsavory remarks he made on a hot mic that were aired on local media last Tuesday. MacDonald’s firing comes after the publication of a lengthy investigative piece by Julie Roys in World magazine. Her article, “Hard …

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Pope Defrocks Cardinal For Sexual Abuse Of Minors

The Guardian reports: A former Roman Catholic archbishop and cardinal has been dismissed from the priesthood after the Vatican found him guilty of sexually abusing minors in a sign of an increasingly hardline stance taken by the church. Theodore McCarrick, 88, one of the prominent figures in the church, was defrocked just days before an unprecedented global summit of bishops …

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FRANCE: Vatican Archbishop Envoy Investigated After Accusation Of Groping Male Employee Of Paris Mayor

The Wall Street Journal reports: French authorities placed the Vatican’s envoy to France under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting a local Paris official last month, the latest in a string of embarrassing episodes involving Holy See diplomats. Paris prosecutors opened an inquiry targeting Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the Vatican’s 74-year-old papal ambassador to France, after receiving a complaint from the office …

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Investigation Commissioned By Catholic High School Finds Catholic High School Students Did Nothing Wrong

Axios reports: An investigation commissioned by the Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School found no evidence of “racist or offensive statements” by Covington Catholic students during their encounter with Native American activists at the Lincoln Memorial in January. Investigators were not able to interview either Native American elder Nathan Phillips or Nicholas Sandmann, the student at the center …

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Southern Baptists Exposed For Widespread Sex Abuse

The Houston Chronicle reports: Hundreds of people who worked or volunteered in Southern Baptist churches have been charged with sex crimes, an investigation by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News reveals. It’s not just a recent problem. In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. …

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Pope Confirms Priests Abuse Nuns As “Sexual Slaves”

CBS News reports: Nuns have suffered and are still suffering sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests and bishops, and even being held as sexual slaves, Pope Francis confirmed on Tuesday. The abuse was so severe in one case that an entire congregation of nuns was dissolved by former Pope Benedict. The scope of the abuse of nuns by …

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Kamala Smashes Record For Most-Watched Town Hall

Axios reports: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) broke records Monday when her televised town hall became the most viewed event of its kind in cable news history, according to CNN. The town hall averaged 1.957 million views — the most of any cable-news, single-candidate town hall and 75 percent more than CNN’s average for that hour over the past four weeks, …

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NEW YORK: Senate Unanimously Passes Child Victims Act After Years Of Opposition By The Catholic Church

Buffalo’s ABC affiliate reports: The New York State Senate passed a series of historic reforms Monday that will allow victims of child sexual abuse to seek justice through the court system once they become adults. The Senate unanimously passed the long-awaited Child Victims Act as victims of priests from the Diocese of Buffalo and other institutions looked on. Victims of …

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UTAH: LDS Church Won’t Oppose Hate Crimes Bill

Ben Winslow reports at Salt Lake City’s Fox affiliate: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it will not oppose a bill that would expand Utah’s hate crimes law to include protections for LGBTQ people. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been the recipients of hate crimes over the years. We understand that,” Marty Stephens, …

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NEW YORK: Police Thwart Terror Plot Against Upstate Muslim Enclave, 23 Firearms And Three Bombs Found

The New York Times reports: A seemingly offhand remark in a high school lunchroom set off an investigation that uncovered an arsenal of weapons and a plot to attack a Muslim enclave in upstate New York, law enforcement officials said. The comment was made by a 16-year-old student at Greece Odyssey Academy in Greece, N.Y. On Friday, he showed classmates …

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Audio Tape Reveals Notorious Anti-Gay Televangelist Ernest Angley Admitting Sex Romp With Male Staffer

Ohio.com reports: In 1996, internationally known televangelist Ernest Angley admitted to his assistant minister that he had had sexual relations with a man who was employed by their church, Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls. The telephone conversation was tape-recorded and made available to the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com last month. The person who provided the tape did so for a …

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EGYPT: TV Host Imprisoned For Interviewing Gay Man

Agence France-Presse reports: An Egyptian court on Sunday sentenced a television host to one year in prison for interviewing a gay man last year, a judicial source said. Mohamed al-Gheiti, who has expressed his stance against homosexuality on several occasions, was accused of promoting homosexuality and contempt of religion. The misdemeanors court in Giza also fined him 3,000 Egyptian pounds …

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Catholic Cardinal Apologizes To Sexual Abuse Victim, Claims He “Forgot” He’d Been Told That It Happened

The Washington Post reports: D.C.’s embattled Catholic leader, Donald Wuerl, under fire in recent days for untruthful statements regarding what he knew about the alleged sexual misconduct of his predecessor, Theodore McCarrick, apologized late Tuesday, saying he forgot he knew about the allegations and that it was “never the intention to provide false information.” Wuerl apologized to former priest Robert …

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Russian Patriarch: Phones Are Bringing The Antichrist

The Moscow Times reports: The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church has said that humans’ dependence on modern technology will result in the coming of the Antichrist. In an interview with Russian state media, Patriarch Kirill explained he does not entirely oppose gadgets, but warned against “falling into slavery” to smartphones. “Control from a single point is a harbinger of …

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Opus Dei Settled $1M Sexual Misconduct Suit Against Prominent Priest Known For Converting Republicans

The Washington Post reports: The global Catholic community Opus Dei in 2005 paid $977,000 to settle a sexual misconduct suit against the Rev. C. John McCloskey, a priest well-known for preparing for conversion big-name conservatives — Newt Gingrich, Larry Kudlow and Sam Brownback, among others. The woman who filed the complaint is a D.C.-area Catholic who was among the many …

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Pope Blasts US Bishops Over Abuse Crisis: Your Finger Pointing Is Damaging The Credibility Of The Church

Axios reports: In a lengthy and highly unusual letter to U.S. bishops on Thursday, Pope Francis wrote that the mounting child sex abuse crisis has jeopardized the Catholic Church’s credibility. He lambasted church leaders for focusing “more on pointing fingers than on seeking paths of reconciliation.” “This has led to a growing sense of uncertainty, distrust and vulnerability among the …

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Vatican Spox Resigns Amid Abuse Coverup Scandal

The Associated Press reports: The Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke, and his deputy resigned abruptly Monday amid an overhaul of the Vatican’s communications operations and a crisis period in Pope Francis’ papacy. The departures of Burke and his deputy, Paloma Garcia Ovejero, signaled that problems associated with Francis’ reform of the Vatican bureaucracy came to a head at a bad time. …

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Accuser Says Cardinal Molested Him During Confession

The Associated Press reports: The Vatican’s sexual abuse case against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has expanded significantly after a man testified that the retired American archbishop sexually abused him for years starting when he was 11, including during confession. The Vatican is under pressure to finalize its case against McCarrick before Francis hosts church leaders at a February sex abuse prevention …

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Pope’s Xmas Message: Abandon Greed, Embrace Love, Peace In Middle East, Stop Seeing Danger In Difference

Reuters reports: Pope Francis, in his Christmas message to the world, urged people on Tuesday to see differences as a source of richness instead of danger and called for reconciliation in places torn apart by conflict. Francis delivered the traditional papal “Urbi et Orbi” message to tens of thousands of people in a sunny St. Peter’s Square from the same …

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IDAHO: Pedophile Catholic Priest Gets 25 Years In Case That Prosecutors Called Among “Worst Ever Seen”

The Idaho Statesman reports: The Rev. W. Thomas Faucher, a longtime priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise who pleaded guilty to five felony crimes, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole and will be required to register as a sex offender. Faucher, 73, was accused of amassing thousands of child porn images and videos on …

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