Catholics can be cremated under certain conditions, the Vatican has said, but loved ones should not scatter the ashes at sea, or on land, or into the wind, nor should they keep them in mementos or jewelry.
Instead, say new guidelines released on Oct. 25, the remains should be stored “in a sacred place” that “prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten” and “prevents any unfitting or superstitious practices.”
Many have accused the Catholic Church of being complicit in the government-sanctioned violence, and the Argentinian Pope Francis has been criticized for being silent in the face of such atrocity. But today’s statement says the decision to release the archives came at the pope’s direction.
The move is noteworthy, given that many of the records would traditionally never be made public, while others would not typically be released for decades. The break with tradition, according to the statement, comes “in the service of truth, justice and peace.”
The site where, nearly 2,000 years ago, the Roman army breached the outer walls of ancient Jerusalem, before capturing the city and destroying the Second Jewish Temple, has been discovered, the Israel Antiquities Authority says.
Archaeologists made the discovery last winter, during an exploratory survey at a future construction site, the IAA said on Oct. 20.
Amazigh was one of 125 queer Muslim activists and allies who came together for The Inner Circle’s seven-day Annual International Retreat, from Oct. 14 to Oct. 21, in South Africa. The gathering focused on “building a movement towards an all-inclusive and compassion-centered Islam,” a mammoth task for attendees like Amazigh who live in countries where homosexuality and transgender expression are often taboo and criminalized.
As of Oct. 25, French authorities have begun demolishing the migrant camp known as “the Jungle” in the city of Calais, reports CNN. The camp — stretching nearly 4 square kilometers — was home to more than 3,100 migrants. Many of these migrants have been bussed from the camp to other regions in France.
As many as four white students were accused of putting a noose around the neck of a black student during football practice at Stone High School in Wiggins, Miss., earlier this month. The President of the Mississippi NAACP is now demanding a federal probe to investigate the matter.
Still, it’s rarely easy being a woman and a minister. We lean on one another, finding community in person and online in dedicated groups such as The Young Clergy Women Project and Rev Gal Blog Pals. And, occasionally, we rely on the cathartic release of a snarky internet meme, shared among fellow “Reverend Nasty Women.”
We keep at it, decade after decade, because God continues to call us to bring our stories, our gifts, and our whole selves to serve the church. And if progress is slow, it is nevertheless making a difference.
In “Black Jeopardy,” two African-American contestants play a game of "Jeopardy!" with questions geared toward black culture. The third contestant is usually a white person who’s painfully out of touch with the game's subject matter. In the latest installment, two African-American contestants compete against a Trump supporter — easily the most out-of-touch white person they have faced yet. Or so they think.
Federal law enforcement officials, under fire by civil rights groups, have dropped an effort to create counseling teams to intervene with young people who show signs of drifting toward radical Islamic ideology and terrorism.
The FBI-led program would have tapped teams of mental health workers, clergy and counselors — called “shared responsibility committees” — to meet with troubled individuals, review behaviors, and get them help or get law enforcement involved where needed.
But the program, part of a wide-reaching federal effort known as “countering violent extremism,” was criticized by civil rights groups that claimed it would erode trust in community leaders serving on those teams and raise concerns about privacy and liability.
American evangelicals hold their theological and social views with deep conviction. We tend to add a layer of moral certitude to our positions. This can sometimes be helpful in the struggle for justice. But if every issue becomes the social or theological hill we choose to die on (or to kill on), then there are too many of us killing or dying on too many hills.
In part, this dogmatic tendency stems from the evangelical belief in absolute truth. In a world gone radically relativistic, this belief is a good thing. But when these convictions are challenged, it can feel like an assault against universal truth itself. We may fear that if one of our beliefs needs correction, then our presupposition about any truths that transcend time and culture are at risk.
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