Can Christian unity help a troubled Ukraine?

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Pod people: Vatican III? Nicea III? Press blind spot 666?

The questions jumped into Twitter in a flash, which is what one would assume would happen when there is a chance that a once-a-millennium news story could be breaking. So Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Pope Francis have proposed a 2025 event to mark the great Council of Nicea. Line up, religion-news consumers, to ask [Read More...]

What language did Jesus speak? The Tablet knows

So, did the pope and Israel’s prime minister have a rancorous exchange in Jerusalem over the topic of Jesus’ mother tongue? One thing is certain: Headline writers had a field day with the “spar”, as Reuters characterized the encounter. Was it a “spat,” as per The Chicago Tribune? Did they “publicly bicker” as per The Age [Read More...]

Near-death experiences: Is ‘Heaven Is For Real’ for real?

MICHAEL-ANN ASKS: How well do you think [the current "Heaven Is For Real" movie] addresses communicating out-of-body spiritual experiences? AND ART ASKS: [Regarding the "countless books" on near-death experiences such as "Heaven Is For Real"]: Is there any legitimate connection between these and Christian views of the next life? THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS: Since maybe [Read More...]

What was the ‘real’ reason Francis made this pilgrimage?

It’s time, once again, to face the obvious. There is no subject in the world of religion that matters more to the big-hitters in mainstream journalism than the world travels of a pope. Therefore, we have work to do, after the wave of media coverage of the Middle East trip by media superstar Pope Francis. [Read More...]

Is Cardinal Dolan’s star fading? NYTimes ‘somes’ it up

I’ve just made up a rule for reading news: The confidence a writer places in an article is inversely proportional to the number of times he/she uses “some.” Such words often substitute for actual findings. I know, because I occasionally did it myself as a reporter. But I’m not sure I used it six times [Read More...]

The pope and the Palestinians: AP tries balanced reporting

As Pope Francis prepares to visit the Holy Land this weekend, the Associated Press takes a stab at balance in a story on West Bank Palestinians — a report that nevertheless leaves a number of holes. The story at first walks the beaten path of the Palestinian plight — poverty, crowded camps, unemployment — but [Read More...]

NPR asks Vatican experts to discuss hopes of the Orthodox

Try to imagine a story about crucial, tense talks between Democrats and Republicans that only offered material drawn from interviews with Republicans, even when talking about the beliefs and aspirations of the Democrats. Try to imagine a report about, oh, talks between liberal Episcopalians and conservative Anglicans that only featured commentary from one side or [Read More...]


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