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Perspectives on Religion

Commentary: Why religious pilgrimages are dangerous

June 26 at 8:02 p.m.

NEW YORK – The World Health Organization is worried about this year’s Hajj to the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Beginning in early October, more than 2 million people will voluntarily gather in the home country of a novel and untreatable virus called MERS that has already infected nearly 700 people and killed more than 200. Respiratory illnesses are only the beginning of the many dangers faced at religious pilgrimages, though. Pilgrims should worry about fires, stampedes, diarrhea and guns. In fact, if you’re in a hurry to meet your maker, a religious pilgrimage may be the most direct route.

Pope meets ex-sex slaves, denounces trafficking

April 10 at 9:42 p.m.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis denounced human trafficking as a crime against humanity Thursday after meeting with four women who were trafficked and forced into prostitution.

Christian school pressures ‘tomboy’ to transfer

March 29 at 5:38 p.m.

FOREST, Va. – Eight-year-old Sunnie Kahle likes to keep her hair short, wear boys’ clothes, collect hunting knives and shoot her BB gun.

  • Catholics reflect on first year of people’s pope

    SEATTLE – In November, the priest at Assumption Catholic Church in North Seattle mailed a letter of welcome to parishioners, including members long dormant – those divorced and remarried, gay, tired or simply disillusioned.

  • Montana Supreme Court rules in church dispute

    HELENA, Mont. – The Montana Supreme Court has ruled the property of a Lutheran church in Great Falls belongs to a few dozen members of the congregation who stuck with its national denomination after the majority split off in protest of the ordination of gay ministers.

  • Pope offended by his own myth and mystique

    VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis finds the hype that is increasingly surrounding him “offensive,” according to an interview published Wednesday, even as the Vatican itself is marking the anniversary of his election with commemorative stamps and coins and a DVD with never-before-seen footage of the pope.

  • Founder of Liberation Theology hailed at Vatican

    VATICAN CITY – The founder of liberation theology, the Latin American-inspired Catholic theology advocating for the poor, received a hero’s welcome Tuesday at the Vatican as the once-criticized movement continues its rehabilitation under Pope Francis.

  • Cardinals delve into divorce-remarriage debate

    VATICAN CITY – Cardinals from around the world delved head-on Thursday into one of the most vexing issues facing the church, how to find ways to provide better pastoral care for divorced and remarried Catholics who are forbidden from receiving Communion and other church sacraments.

  • 1 Year ago, Benedict’s announcement changed church

    VATICAN CITY – It was the quietest of announcements that had the effect of a thunder-clap on the Catholic world: A year ago Tuesday, Pope Benedict XVI said in a voice so soft that cardinals strained to hear (and in a Latin not all could easily follow) that he was becoming the first pontiff to resign in more than half a millennium. On the eve of the anniversary, Benedict’s longtime private secretary credited his boss’ stunning decision with opening the way to the “enormous impact” Pope Francis is having on the church and world at large.

  • Bill Nye: Bible doesn’t tell Earth’s true history

    PETERSBURG, Ky. – “Science Guy” Bill Nye tapped on the podium, threw up his hands and said “billions and billions,” referring to the age of the Earth while speaking at a Kentucky museum that has become widely known for teaching that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

  • Does God care who wins the Super Bowl?

    HACKENSACK, N.J. – More than 100 million people will watch the Super Bowl on TV, with another 78,000 packing MetLife Stadium, but will there be another set of eyes looking down on the Meadowlands? Could an Almighty fan be preparing to pull up a lounge chair a week from Sunday, take in the game and orchestrate the outcome?

  • Creation Museum in Kentucky to host Bill Nye debate

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Bill Nye “The Science Guy” is set to visit Kentucky next month for a debate on science and creation with the man who founded the Creation Museum.

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