Religion

MINNESOTA: “Bankrupt” Catholic Archdiocese Agrees To $210 Million Settlement With 450 Sexual Abuse Victims

The Associated Press reports: The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has agreed to a $210 million settlement with 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse as part of its plan for bankruptcy reorganization, an attorney said Thursday, making it the second-largest U.S. payout in the priest abuse scandal. Victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson said the settlement was reached with the survivors …

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HAWAII: Governor Signs Ex-Gay Torture Ban Into Law

Hawaii News Now reports: Hawaii is now the 12th state in the country with a law that prohibits therapists from offering so-called “conversion therapy” to minors. Conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, is universally rejected by national organizations that guide accepted practices for licensed psychological professionals and is considered …

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Pope Warns Bishops To Vet Priesthood Applicants: Keep Your Eyes Open, If They Seem Gay, Turn Them Away

Reuters reports: Pope Francis warned Italian bishops this week to vet carefully applicants to the priesthood and reject anyone they suspected might be homosexual, local media reported on Thursday. “Keep an eye on the admissions to seminaries, keep your eyes open,” the pope was quoted as saying by newspaper La Stampa’s Vatican Insider service. “If in doubt, better not let …

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan Hails Pope Francis For His “God Made You Gay” Comment: Jesus Would Have Said That

From the Catholic site Crux Now: Pope Francis’s reported comment to a Chilean sexual abuse survivor, “That you are gay doesn’t matter,” has made major headlines in recent days – and on Tuesday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York affirmed Francis’s comments, saying “Jesus would have said that.” “Juan Carlos, that you are gay doesn’t matter,” Francis reportedly told clerical …

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AUSTRALIA: Archbishop Becomes Highest Ranking Catholic Convicted Of Covering Up Child Rape [VIDEO]

The Associated Press reports: An Australian archbishop on Tuesday became the most senior Roman Catholic cleric in the world convicted of covering up child sex abuse in a test case that holds to account church hierarchy that kept silent in the face of an international pedophile crisis. Magistrate Robert Stone handed down the verdict against Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson …

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REPORT: Pope Francis Says God Made You Gay

The Guardian reports: A survivor of clerical sexual abuse has said Pope Francis told him that God had made him gay and loved him, in arguably the most strikingly accepting comments about homosexuality to be uttered by the leader of the Roman Catholic church. Juan Carlos Cruz, who spoke privately with the pope two weeks ago about the abuse he …

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Worshiping At “The Church Of Beyonce” [VIDEO]

Vice reports: Beyoncé is undeniably the most powerful force in pop culture. So it makes sense that someone decided to bring her music and philosophy into church, where it belongs. Broadly recently attended a jam-packed Beyoncé Mass held at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, which was organized by reverend and theologian Yolanda Norton, who teaches a class on Beyoncé and …

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GOP Maryland Gov Signs Ex-Gay Torture Ban Into Law

The Associated Press reports: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed a bill to prohibit health professionals from practicing “gay conversion therapy” on minors, as a growing number of states and municipalities are banning the practice. The Republican governor signed the bill Tuesday. Maryland is the 12th state to enact legislation against the practice of trying to alter a person’s sexual …

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Pastor Busted On Child Porn Charges, Allegedly Posed As Teen Boy To Entice Preteen Girls On Skype [VIDEO]

The Detroit News reports: A Port Huron pastor is facing federal charges amid allegations he enticed underage girls to engage in sex acts online. FBI agents learned about Jackie Douglas Woodburn’s virtual interactions while probing a chatroom-based website that attracts adult men who pose as youths “seeking to sexually exploit minor teenage and preteen girls.” Among the more than 50 …

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Catholic Priest Arrested For Molesting Boys, Allegedly Forced One Victim To “Confess” To Him About Assaults

The Philly Voice reports: A Catholic priest in the Diocese of Erie is charged with sexually assaulting two boys, including an altar boy whom the priest allegedly abused after Mass on Sundays and then made go to confession to describe the incidents, authorities said. Rev. David Poulson, 64, was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with indecent assault, endangering the welfare …

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Mormon Church Severs Ties With Boy Scouts

The Salt Lake Tribune reports: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is ending its relationship with the Boy Scouts of America and will create new youth programs for its members. The church said the move will be effective Dec. 31, 2019, according to a news release. The announcement comes soon after the Boy Scouts of America changed their …

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Southern Baptist Women Denounce Their Leader For Saying That It’s “Biblical” To Lust After Underage Girls

The Washington Post reports: More than 1,000 Southern Baptist women have signed an open letter to the trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary that says they are “grieved by the dangerous and unwise counsel” that the group’s president, Paige Patterson, has given by telling abused women not to divorce, and are shocked by his comments that “objectify a teenage girl.” …

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OKLAHOMA: GOP Gov Gets Anti-LGBT Adoption Bill

The Associated Press reports: Oklahoma legislators approved a measure Thursday to grant legal protections to faith-based adoption agencies that cite their religious beliefs for not placing children in LGBT homes and lawmakers in Kansas were close to passing a similar measure. The Oklahoma House’s 56-21 vote sent its measure to Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, who has not said whether she …

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US House Chaplain Rescinds His Resignation

The Washington Post reports: The Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, the House chaplain who announced his resignation under pressure last month, informed Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) Thursday that he wanted to rescind his offer and remain in his position at least through the end of this year. In a two-page letter, Conroy informed Ryan that he gave in to pressure …

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IRELAND: National Ex-Gay Torture Ban Advances

Ireland’s Gay Community News reports: Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Arts, Youth Affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has welcomed the passing of the Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill 2018 through second stage in the Seanad today. The bill aims to make the practice of performing so called ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapies illegal in Ireland and would carry fines …

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Catholic Cardinal To Stand Trial For Sexual Abuse, Highest Ranked Vatican Official Ever Charged [VIDEO]

The Sydney Morning Herald reports: George Pell will be the most senior Catholic leader to face a jury after being committed to stand trial on multiple historic sexual assault charges. In a decision that will ring loud through the Vatican and around the religious world, Australia’s most senior Catholic and the man who a year ago oversaw management of the …

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Four Dem House Reps Launch Freethought Caucus To Promote Principle Of Separation Of Church And State

The Hill reports: Four Democratic congressmen on Monday launched a congressional caucus dedicated to fostering atheist and nonreligious beliefs. California Reps. Jared Huffman (D) and Jerry McNerney (D) joined forces with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) to launch the Congressional Freethought Caucus. The goals of the caucus include pushing “public policy formed on the basis of reason, …

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Trump’s Most Reliable Mouthpiece Is Christian TV

Politico today published a fascinating (and frightening) deep dive into the growing influence of rabidly pro-Trump Christian television networks. An excerpt: In the past two years, largely out of view of the coastal media and the Washington establishment, a transformation has taken place. As Christian networks have become more comfortable with politics, the Trump administration has turned them into a …

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ALABAMA: Wife Of Evangelical Arrested For Sex With Teen Boy Wants Restraining Order, Divorce, Their House

Earlier this week locally famous Alabama evangelical Acton Bowen was arrested on multiple charges of sex with a boy under 16 years old. Now his wife says she’s physically afraid of him and wants a divorce, a restraining order, the house, and her maiden name back. The Birmingham Herald reports: Ashley Nabors Bowen filed for divorce from Acton Bowen on …

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