RAP Sheet

Ted Cruz Drops Out of GOP Presidential Primary Race After Loss in Indiana

posted on May 4, 2016

At The Wall Street Journal, Janet Hook, Reid J. Epstein and Byron Tau report that Senator Ted Cruz has announced his departure from the Republican presidential contest after defeat in Indiana. His decision essentially cedes the nomination to Donald Trump, as no viable candidates have remained in the race. “We left it all on the field in Indiana,” Cruz said, “but the voters chose another path.”

Read at The Wall Street Journal

Two Steps Back: The USCCB & the Ouster of an Editor

posted on May 4, 2016

At Commonweal Magazine, John Gehring writes on the forced resignation of Tony Spence, the editor-in-chief of Catholic News Service, after he voiced his opposition to the anti-LGBT bill in Tennessee. The ouster of Spence reflects a larger schism in the Catholic church between liberals and conservatives. “Culture warriors are digging in. Self-appointed guardians of orthodoxy will only grow more emboldened now that they can claim another scalp. There is nothing joyful, inspiring, or authentically Catholic about any of this,” Gehring writes. “Catholics on the left and right don’t have to agree on everything to recognize a better path is possible. The ideological purity tests and ugly character assassinations that sicken our secular body politic should be a cautionary tale for our church.”

Read at Commonweal Magazine

The Faithful

posted on May 3, 2016

Graciela Mochkofsky in The California Sunday Magazine writes on the members of a Columbian megachurch who converted to Orthodox Judaism. After a trip to Israel, Juan Carlos, founder and former pastor of Iglesia Cristiana para la Familia, wanted to lead his congregation from Christianity to Judaism. “His experience in Israel was all he could think about. What he had seen there felt closer to the truth. He slowly steered the Iglesia Cristiana para la Familia toward Messianism, changing the title of pastor to rabbi, persuading men to wear kippot and tzitzit, emphasizing the Jewishness of Jesus, the idea that Jesus had been a rabbi himself,” Mochkofsky writes. “The more he did this, though, the more he questioned the dogma of Jesus as the Messiah. If Jesus had been just a rabbi, then how could he be the son of God?”

Read at The California Sunday Magazine

Report: Religious Freedom Deteriorating Around the World

posted on May 3, 2016

Aysha Khan of Religion News Service reports that religious freedom has decreased worldwide, according to a recent report. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued an annual report detailing religious and human rights abuses, focusing on deteriorating conditions in the Middle East and Africa. “At best, in most of the countries we cover, religious freedom conditions have failed to improve,” said Robert P. George, commission chairman. “At worst, they have spiraled further downward.”

Read at Religion News Service

US Navy SEAL Killed in Combat by ISIS Forces in Northern Iraq

posted on May 3, 2016

At ABC News, Luis Martinez and Brian McBride report, “A U.S. serviceman was killed in Northern Iraq Tuesday by direct fire from ISIS forces that penetrated several miles across Kurdish lines.” The casualty is the third American death in Iraq since troops officially withdrew in June of 2014. “This morning a U.S. servicemember advising and assisting Peshmerga forces was killed by enemy fire north of Mosul,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement. “The casualty occurred during an ISIL attack on a Peshmerga position approximately three to five kilometers behind the forward line of troops.”

Read at ABC News

Poet and Prophet: The Peacemaking Legacy of Daniel Berrigan, S.J.

posted on May 2, 2016

The Rev. Luke Hansen of America magazine reports, “Daniel Berrigan, the Jesuit priest and acclaimed poet who for decades famously challenged U.S. Catholics to reject war and nuclear weapons, died on April 30 at the Murray-Weigel Jesuit Community in the Bronx, New York. He was 94.” Hansen cites a quote about Berrigan from the writer Kurt Vonnegut, who wrote, “For me, Father Daniel Berrigan is Jesus as a poet. If this be heresy, make the most of it.”

Read at America

Joe Biden Speaks About Faith and Curing Cancer at the Vatican

posted on May 2, 2016

The New York Times‘ Gardiner Harris reports that Vice President Joe Biden discussed his faith and the role the Catholic Church can play in curing cancer at the Third International Regenerative Medicine Conference at the Vatican on Friday. Both Biden and Pope Francis called for participants to seek cures that might not be profitable in order to help as many people as possible. “This is why the globalization of indifference must be countered by the globalization of empathy,” Francis said.

Read at The New York Times

Clinton v. Trump Shrinks the God Gap

posted on May 2, 2016

At Religion News Service, Mark Silk writes that heading into the general election, it appears that gender will matter more than religiosity in determining voting patterns for the first time. “Since the God gap became salient in the 1990s, it’s always exceeded the gender gap,” Silk writes. “Not, evidently, this year. Between women’s support for one of their own and the misogyny of the other candidate, gender identity is trumping religion.”

Read at Religion News Service

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