Hot words in top 2012 religion stories

'Twas the Sunday night before the election and the Rev. Robert Jeffress was offering a message that, from his point of view, was both shocking and rather nuanced.His bottom line: If Barack Obama won a second White House term, this would be another sign that the reign of the Antichrist is near.Inquiring minds wanted to know: Was the leader of the highly symbolic First Baptist Church of Dallas suggesting the president was truly You Know Anti-who?"I am not saying that President Obama is the … [Read more...]

Serious words at funny Al Smith dinner

Political insiders know that the Alfred E. Smith Dinner strives to honor decades of civic and religious traditions.In election years, it's a tradition that the presidential candidates appear -- wearing formal, white-tie attire -- and satirize their own public images, while also aiming a few gentle shots at their opponent and the ranks of elite journalists in attendance.Thus, Republican standard-bearer Mitt Romney, with a nod to his Mormon fuddy-duddy reputation, reminded the audience of … [Read more...]

So a cardinal, Jesuit and comedian get to chat …

In the year 752, a priest named Stephen was elected pope, but died four days later -- before officially filling the chair of St. Peter in Rome.For centuries Catholic records included him as Pope Stephen II -- until the Second Vatican Council. At that time, Pope Stephen III officially became Pope Stephen II (III) and the other later popes named Stephen received similarly strange titles.So Pope Stephen III kind of vanished and that title became a kind of ecclesiastical inside joke, the kind … [Read more...]

Cardinal praying in a GOP spotlight

Political conventions have always included prayers and, through the decades, legions of preachers, rabbis, bishops and others have stepped to the podium to deliver them -- whether the delegates were paying attention or not.Then Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles faced the Democratic National Convention in 2000. First, he reminded the delegates they were in the presence of God and that true prayers must focus on "moral values, not partisan politics."In his litany, Mahony said: "In You, O … [Read more...]


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