A mountain is reflected in a bay that used to be covered by the Sheldon glacier on the Antarctic peninsula, January 14, 2009. REUTERS/Alister Doyle
 

One of the biggest icebergs on record has broken away from Antarctica, scientists said on Wednesday, creating an extra hazard for ships around the continent as it breaks up. The 1 trillion ton iceberg, measuring 5,800 square km, calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica sometime between July 10 and 12, said scientists at the University of Swansea and the British Antarctic Survey.

the Web Editors 7-12-2017

FILE PHOTO: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill. June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
 

In a letter published in Teen Vogue Wednesday, 114 survivors of sexual assault ask Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos not to dismantle Title IX guidance they say “enabled many of us to complete our education.” The letter comes the day after it was announced that DeVos would this week meet with survivors’ rights groups — alongside men’s rights groups — to advise the department on the government’s role in ensuring Title IX enforcement.

More than 500 people gathered in a hot and dusty Pennsylvania cornfield yesterday afternoon to join the Catholic sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for the dedication of a new outdoor chapel, built on land about to be seized from them by a corporate developer planning to build a natural gas pipeline.


FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis walks at the end of a canonization mass for seven new saints in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 16, 2016. REUTERS/Tony Gentile /File Photo
 

Pope Francis made one of the most significant changes in centuries to the Roman Catholic Church's saint-making procedures on Tuesday, adding a new category for people who give their lives to save others.

FILE PHOTO - Donald Trump Jr. arrives at Trump Tower in New York City, Jan. 18. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo
 

Donald Trump Jr. was told in an email before meeting a Russian lawyer who he thought had information damaging to Hillary Clinton that the material was part of a Russian government effort to help his father's presidential campaign, the New York Times reported on Monday.

Citing three people with knowledge of the email, the newspaper said publicist Rob Goldstone indicated in the email to President Donald Trump's eldest son that the Russian government was the source of the potentially damaging information, according to the Times.

Image via RNS/Pew Research Center

Do churches and religious organizations have a positive impact on the way things are going in the United States?

Americans are divided on that point, according to a Pew Research Center survey released on July 10 that shows they align along predictable party lines.

the Web Editors 7-10-2017

Image via Reuters/Brendan McDermid.

Sexual orientation change efforts — more commonly known as "reparative therapy" or "conversion therapy" — are currently legal in the United Kingdom. While the government condemns the practice, conversion therapy is not illegal. In March, a petition seeking to change the practice's legal status failed to garner enough signatures to be considered in Parliament. 

the Web Editors 7-10-2017

Counter-protesters lock arms after members of the Ku Klux Klan rallied in support of Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Va. Image via Reuters/Jonathan Ernst.

This is the second widely-publicized white supremacist rally in Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of the statue — the first a white nationalist "torch night" in May. 

 
 
Tom Heneghan 7-07-2017

Image via RNS/WCRC/Anna Siggelkow

Amid ceremonies this year marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, one of Protestantism’s leading branches has officially said it now agrees with the Vatican on the main issue at the root of its split from the Roman Catholic Church half a millennium ago.

Photo courtesy of RNS/the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York

 

According to the U.S. attorney for the Eastern Division of New York, which brought the civil complaint against Hobby Lobby, the company in 2010 imported thousands of artifacts that originated in Iraq and were smuggled through the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

the Web Editors 7-07-2017

1. ICE Officers Instructed to Take Action Against All Undocumented Immigrants, Regardless of Criminal Histories
“Between February and May, the Trump administration arrested, on average, 108 undocumented immigrants a day with no criminal record, an uptick of some 150 percent from the same time period a year ago.”

2. Officials Say the Answer to Chicago’s Violence Is Jobs. But On What Scale?
WBEZ Chicago did the calculation. Here’s how much it would cost in the first year to employ the target group of more than 30,000 people.

3. Liberating Theology from the Intellectual One-Percenters
How can people who do not reside within academia gain access to the treasure trove of knowledge that is Christian theology?

Image via RNS/Tony Gentile/Reuters

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who transformed the Vatican’s press office into a modern media operation, has died.

The former Vatican spokesman, 80, was a Spaniard and the first layperson and journalist to hold the job, when he was appointed by Pope John Paul II in 1984. Navarro-Valls served as the papal spokesman for 22 years, embracing technology and holding regular, colorful briefings.

the Web Editors 7-05-2017

On June 3, the United Church of Christ passed a resolution on climate change in which they criticized President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord agreement, reports the Boston Globe.

In approving the resolution, the United Church of Christ may have become the first U.S. Christian denomination to officially stand against President Trump’s decision. The resolution asks for people of faith to also take a stand.

Image via RNS/Emily McFarlan Miller

At a Fourth of July concert hosted by First Baptist Church Dallas at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., President Trump pledged never to forget the men and women who have served in the U.S. military — or the people of faith who put him in the White House.

“My administration will always support and defend your religious liberty,” Trump said at the event on July 1. “We don’t want to see God forced out of the public square, driven out of our schools, or pushed out of our civic life.”

Alikay Wood 7-05-2017

stock_photo_world / Shutterstock.com

Christian universities are a sizable business in the United States — the National Center for Education Statistics counts nearly 600 Christian colleges and universities nationally. Title IX makes it illegal for schools to discriminate on the basis of sex, but private universities can apply for an exemption from parts of the law they claim conflict with their religious beliefs. And while many schools seek religious exemptions from nondiscrimination, particularly on beliefs around LGBTQ individuals, entrenched beliefs at many institutions regarding female leadership continue to affect their students.

the Web Editors 6-30-2017

Image via Kokoulina/Shutterstock.com

On June 30, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages do not have a right to spousal benefits, reports the Austin American-Statesman.

The decision of the Texas Supreme Court, which consists entirely of Republican members, affects the legal status of same-sex marriages in Texas, and potentially defies the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 affirmation of same-sex marriages.

Image via Dustin Pearlman/RNS

On Monday, the Supreme Court said it would rule on the executive order in its next term; in the meantime, the order could go into effect — with exceptions. Federal officials could not keep out of the country people who had been accepted to a U.S. school, offered a job by an employer, or enjoy a “bona fide relationship” with a person in the United States.

Image via RNS/LifeWay Research

Researchers also asked about what people think motivates religious believers who oppose sexual freedom. Almost half — 49 percent — said faith is the motivator. A fifth — 20 percent — said the motivator is hate. Another 31 percent were not sure.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Tony Gentile

Pope Francis has defrocked an Italian priest who was found guilty of child sex abuse, three years after overturning predecessor Benedict XVI’s decision to do the same after allegations against the priest first came to light.

Mauro Inzoli, 67, was initially defrocked in 2012, after he was first accused of abusing minors, but Francis reversed that decision in 2014, ordering the priest to stay away from children and retire to “a life of prayer and humble discretion.”

Image via RNS/Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

One of the most senior officials in the Vatican took a leave of absence and pledged to defend his name after being charged with multiple historical sex crimes in Australia.

Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’ most trusted advisors and head of the Holy See’s finance department, is the highest ranking official in the Catholic Church to face abuse charges.

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