Religious News From Around the Web May 17, 2021
Vatican Cautions Bishops on Refusing Communion, German Catholic Priests Defy Rome to Bless Gay Couples, Supreme Court to Take up Abortion Cases, China Eliminates Religion from School Grounds, Lutherans Elect Transgender Bishop, Fulton vs. Philadelphia is Big Supreme Court Religious Case, Masterpiece Cakeshop Battle Continues
Vatican Cautions Bishops on Refusing Communion
The Vatican cautioned Bishops against denying Communion to politicians who favor abortion. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – who is a Catholic and resides in the Archdiocese of San Francisco – said she was pleased with the Vatican letter. The Archbishop of San Francisco is one church official who recently spoke in favor of barring Catholics from Communion if they advocate abortion.
German Catholic Priests Defy Rome to Bless Gay Couples
Priests in around 100 Catholic churches in Germany are offering blessings to same-sex couples contrary to the Catholic Church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which said that the church “cannot bless sin.” Pope Francis – who approved the decree – earlier indicated a more tolerant stance when he said same-sex couple should have “civil unions” and that couples “have a right to be in a family.”
Supreme Court to Take up Abortion Cases
In February, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear three consolidated cases challenging a Trump administration policy that among other things, restricts Title X federal grants to health providers who refer patients directly to abortion providers.
China Eliminates Religion from School Grounds
“Schools are places to cultivate and produce socialist scholars, and should not be used as places in which to follow rituals and traditions,” say school blackboards in Tibet. Parents of Tibetan schoolchildren may no longer carry rosaries, prayer wheels, or other religious items onto school grounds, and family members are also forbidden now to recite mantras or other prayers when visiting their children’s schools.
Lutherans Elect Transgender Bishop
The Rev. Megan Rohrer was elected bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Sierra Pacific synod on May 8. Rohrer is the first transgender person to serve as bishop in any of the U.S.’ major Christian faiths. Rohrer, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in San Francisco, advocates for LGBTQ rights in street activism, preaching and writing, Rohrer, 41, is also recognized for work with the homeless.
Fulton vs. Philadelphia is Big Supreme Court Religious Case
In Fulton v. Philadelphia, justices have an opportunity to clarify when the government must accommodate religious objectors, a move that could make it easier for faith-based organizations to operate according to their beliefs. Everyone from lower court judges to faith leaders would benefit from additional guidance on what the First Amendment guarantees. A big question is “how do we interpret the free exercise clause?”
Masterpiece Cakeshop Battle Continues
“That’s a dangerous thing, using our court system [and] these laws essentially as an arm of cancel culture to try to push people of faith out of business, out of being able to earn a living.” “They’re being used to target people like Jack, not because of what they’re doing but really because of their beliefs.”