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The Vatican has launched a website as part of its efforts to protect children from clerical sexual abuse and promote healing and reconciliation.

It’s the first time that the Vatican has published resources and documents on the issue, and the site is sponsored by the commission set up by Pope Francis to protect minors.

the Web Editors 12-07-2016

A new short documentary, "What Happens When an Evangelical Church Welcomes LGBTQ Members," features Rev. Adam Phillips, a pastor in Portland, Ore., whose church was kicked out of the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination in 2015 when Phillips revealed his full acceptance and support of the LGBTQ community.

"I hadn't really grown up in a faith community, and the Covenant Church was my faith family," he says. "I poured myself into it, and for a long season they poured themselves into me. I was one of the young emerging leaders...to be the future leaders of the church."

the Web Editors 12-07-2016

President-elect Donald Trump & Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with potential cabinet members at Trump International on Nov. 19. a katz / Shutterstock.com

TIME magazine unveiled its annual Person of the Year, and to little surprise, President-elect Donald Trump's mug appears on the cover. He beat out a handful on the "short list," which included Hillary Clinton, Beyoncé, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the CRISPR Pioneers at the University of Pennsylvania, and "The Hackers" — who TIME reports "took aim at democracy itself" this year.

the Web Editors 12-06-2016

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On Dec. 6 German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for face-covering veils to be banned in Germany, reports the Washington Post.

“The full veil is not appropriate here, it should be forbidden wherever that is legally possible,” said Merkel, speaking to attendees of the Christian Democratic Union's conference

Image via RNS/Reuters/Mike Segar

If President Obama’s appearance at the Notre Dame commencement in 2009 sparked an unprecedented uproar among American Catholics, imagine what inviting President Trump to graduation might provoke.

That concern is making Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John Jenkins, think twice about making a pitch for the incoming U.S. president to receive an honorary degree, an appearance that almost any school would normally covet — and one that the iconic Catholic university has been more successful than others in securing.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Andres Stapff

If I’ve learned anything since my time in Rome, it’s that people — not just Catholics — are hungering to connect peace with justice. This is why those of us who traveled to Rome just before the election, accompanied by Stockton, Calif., Bishop Stephen Blaire, and Houma-Thibodaux, La., Bishop Shelton Fabre, are preparing for a regional WMPM meeting in Modesto, Calif., in February.

Shane Claiborne 12-06-2016

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Dec. 4 was a beautiful reminder, in the long struggle for justice, that, no matter how long we wait, God hears our cry. And love and justice will win.

A few weeks ago, Chief Arvol Looking Horse issued an invitation to clergy and faith leaders to stand in solidarity with the people of Standing Rock. He said he was hoping maybe 100 would respond. But I joined thousands, in a procession of faith leaders, to gather around the sacred fire at the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock.

I knew something special was happening here.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Mike Segar

Science and education professionals are increasingly alarmed about the impact Donald Trump’s cabinet picks — many of them evangelical Christians — could have on science standards in public schools.

Candidate Trump repeatedly pledged to end the existing Common Core curricula standards for math and English. Critics worry that could open the door to rethinking science standards, and lead to the teaching of creationism and Intelligent Design, pseudo-scientific notions about Earth’s origins with little or no support from scientists.

the Web Editors 12-05-2016

Image via Joe Brusky/flickr.com

A mistrial has been announced in the murder trial of the Charleston, S.C., police officer who was recorded on video fatally shooting Walter Scott, a black motorist, after a traffic stop, reports the Washington Post.

On Dec. 5, Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman read aloud in court a statement from the jury. “We as the jury regret to inform the court that despite the best efforts of all members, we are unable to come to a unanimous decision,” the statement read.

Rick Jervis 12-05-2016

Image via RNS/Reuters/Gregorio Borgia/pool

Even in his death, announced on Nov. 25, Castro defied the church by requesting that his remains be cremated, a practice accepted but discouraged by the Vatican.

But his death could also embolden the church to take a more proactive role on the communist island, in the years to come, and bolster its budding relationship with his brother, President Raúl Castro, said Enrique Pumar, head of the Sociology Department at Catholic University of America, who has studied the Catholic Church in Cuba.

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