Religious News From Around the Web December 20, 2021
Pope Reemphasizes Opposition to Latin Mass; Ninth Circuit Clears Expulsions of Seminarians in Same-Sex Marriages; Gorsuch Cites Religious Liberty As Supreme Court Allows New York Vaccine Mandate; Survey: 30 Percent of American Adults “Religiously Unaffiliated;” Dalai Lama Extolls Indian Religious Harmony
Pope Reemphasizes Opposition to Latin Mass
Pope Francis increased his efforts to quash the old Latin Mass, forbidding the celebration of some sacraments according to the ancient rite. The Vatican’s liturgy office issued a document that clarified some questions that arose after Francis in July reimposed restrictions on celebrating the old Latin Mass that Pope Benedict XVI had relaxed in 2007. Francis said then that he was reversing his predecessor because Benedict’s reform had become a source of division in the church and been exploited by Catholics opposed to the Second Vatican Council, the 1960s meetings that modernized the church and its liturgy.
Ninth Circuit Clears Expulsions of Seminarians in Same-Sex Marriages
A Ninth Circuit panel on Monday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging a Southern California seminary’s expulsion of two students for being in same-sex marriages, finding their removal was allowed under a religious exemption in a federal nondiscrimination law. “To the extent that plaintiffs were dismissed because their marriages were with spouses of the same sex, rather than the opposite sex, plaintiffs’ claim fails because the religious exemption applies to shield these religiously motivated decisions that would otherwise violate Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination,” the three-judge panel wrote in an unpublished opinion.
Gorsuch Cites Religious Liberty As Supreme Court Allows New York Vaccine Mandate
In an order that drew a sharply worded dissent by Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, the U.S. Supreme Court on last week declined to block New York’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement, which allows exemptions for medical but not religious reasons. Gorsuch said the ruling violates the plaintiffs’ religious liberty rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Survey: 30 Percent of American Adults “Religiously Unaffiliated”
The latest Pew Research Center survey of the religious composition of the United States finds the religiously unaffiliated share of the public is six percentage points higher than it was five years ago and 10 points higher than a decade ago. Christians continue to make up a majority of the U.S. populace, but their share of the adult population is 12 points lower in 2021 than it was in 2011.
Church of Scientology Wins Fifth Case Against Russia
Every time Russia crosses swords with The Church of Scientology at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Russia loses. In 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2014 the ECHR repeatedly ruled that Scientology had been recognized as a religion in Russia and cannot be banned nor denied registration in Russian republics or cities. This year, the ECHR ruled against Russia for its detention and harassment of a Scientologist, Vladimir Leonidovich Kuropyatnik.
Dalai Lama Extolls Indian Religious Harmony
“In India, the practice of non-violence – Ahimsa and Karuna – have been practiced for over 3,000 years,” said the Dalai Lama. “So, in India different religious traditions of the world such as Islam, Christianity … Judaism and so forth live together. India is an example, role model for religious harmony in the world. Since I came to exile in India as a refugee the practice of non-violence and religious harmony I found to be excellent in India,” he said.