Main Menu

February, 2019

 

United Methodists pass Traditional Plan, keep ban on LGBTQ clergy, same-sex marriage

Vocal audience during passage of Traditional Plan at UMCGC.

by: Emily McFarlan Miller ST. LOUIS, Feb 26, 2019 (RNS) — Delegates to a special session of the United Methodist Church decided Tuesday (Feb. 26) to strengthen the denomination’s ban on the ordination and marriage of LGBTQ people. Delegates to the General Conference, the global denomination’s decision-making body, passed the Traditional Plan by a vote of 438 to 384. The Traditional Plan was one of three proposals for the church to move forward together despite deep divides over the inclusion of LGBTQ members that was presented to the conference byRead More


Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore urged senators to support the bill hours before the vote.

Bill to protect abortion survivors dies in Senate

Abortion debate in Senate.

by Tom Strode WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2019 (BP) — The Senate again has rejected legislation to require health care for a child born alive during an abortion, leaving most Democratic members vulnerable to charges of supporting infanticide. In a roll call Monday (Feb. 25), senators voted 53-44 to bring the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act to the floor for a vote on final passage. But the effort failed to reach the 60 votes needed to succeed in the procedural move known as invoking cloture. All but three of the chamber’sRead More


But as a lifelong Methodist, he said, he saw an unmistakable change in the attitudes of the delegates at the special session in St. Louis.

Bishop Will Willimon on why no plan can unite United Methodists

Will Willimon discusses UMC future.

by: Yonat Shimron Feb 26, 2019 (RNS) — Will Willimon, a prominent theologian and a retired bishop of the United Methodist Church’s North Alabama Conference, has some choice words for a denomination in disarray over its views on sexuality. Willimon, like other bishops, couldn’t vote on any of the plans presented this week at the special denominational session in St. Louis — one that would continue to restrict church leaders from ordaining or marrying LGBT people, and another that would allow local congregations to make their own decisions. Church rules don’t giveRead More


But even she was shocked by the persistence of Catholic bias...

In fight over Protestant-only foster agency, lawsuit asks: Who is a Christian

Miracle Hill faces lawsuit over foster care policy.

by: Yonat Shimron, Feb 25, 2019 (RNS) — Growing up in the South, Aimee Maddonna was aware of its jaundiced views of Catholics. But even she was shocked by the persistence of Catholic bias when she applied four years ago to be a mentor to foster children at a group home run by Miracle Hill of Greenville, S.C., an evangelical ministry. Before jotting her signature on a form, Maddonna was asked by the volunteer coordinator at Miracle Hill what church she goes to. “Our Lady of the Rosary in downtownRead More


Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' top financial adviser and the Vatican's economy minister, bowed his head...

Most senior Catholic charged with child sex abuse convicted in Australia

George Pell

by: Rod McGuirk, Feb 25, 2019 MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The most senior Catholic cleric ever charged with child sex abuse has been convicted of molesting two choirboys moments after celebrating Mass, dealing a new blow to the Catholic hierarchy’s credibility after a year of global revelations of abuse and cover-up. Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’ top financial adviser and the Vatican’s economy minister, bowed his head but then regained his composure as the 12-member jury delivered unanimous verdicts in the Victoria state County Court on Dec. 11 after moreRead More


But that doesn't mean the proposal is dead, according to supporters.

United Methodist committee rejects One Church Plan, which would allow LGBT clergy

United Methodist vote on plans.

by: Emily McFarlan Miller, Feb 25, 2019 ST. LOUIS (RNS) — In a surprise, the plan recommended by the United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops was rejected Monday (Feb. 25) by the denomination’s decision-making body. The so-called One Church Plan did not pass out of General Conference’s Legislative Committee to be considered by delegates Tuesday during the plenary session. But that doesn’t mean the proposal is dead, according to supporters. Reconciling Ministries Network, a movement advocating for the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the church, tweeted after the vote thatRead More


Pope Francis called for the eradication of abuse both inside and outside the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis calls for “all-out battle” against child sex abuse

Pope Francis addresses summit participants at a Sunday mass.

by: Jack Jenkins, Feb 24, 2019 VATICAN CITY (RNS) — In his final address to nearly 190 bishops attending this week’s Vatican summit on sex abuse, Pope Francis called for the eradication of abuse both inside and outside the Catholic Church. “I make a heartfelt appeal for an all-out battle against the abuse of minors both sexually and in other areas, on the part of all authorities and individuals, for we are dealing with abominable crimes that must be erased from the face of the earth. This is demanded byRead More


Those delegates ranked a discussion of the church's pension plan as their top priority...

United Methodists vote pensions, “Traditional Plan” as top priorities

by: Emily McFarlan Miller, Feb 25, 2019 ST. LOUIS (RNS) — Delegates to a special session of the United Methodist Church decided Sunday (Feb. 24) to start deliberations over the denomination’s future by talking about money. Then they will talk about sex. Those delegates ranked a discussion of the church’s pension plan as their top priority, followed by a plan that would strengthen a ban on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage. Two-thirds (nearly 64 percent) voted for a discussion of the implications of a church split on pensions as theirRead More


AMP, founded in 2005, promotes extreme anti-Israel views and has at times provided a platform for anti-Semitism.

Opinion: Palestinian Islamists Ally with Left against Israel at Fundraiser in Chicago

Hesham Shehab

Recently fired CNN Contributor Marc Lamont Hill will be keynote speaker for a Chicago-based group the Israel government recently declared “terrorists in suits.” Hill, who was fired as a contributor for CNN following a speech at the United Nations where he used the anti-Israel eliminationist rhetoric “from the river, to the sea”, will be the keynote speaker, at a fundraising event for American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) near Chicago in March. AMP, founded in 2005, promotes extreme anti-Israel views and has at times provided a platform for anti-Semitism. The organizationRead More


Local Northern Illinois Conference churches and ministries offered prayers and vigils.

Methodists pray for the Henry Pratt shooting victims

Memorial for Henry Pratt shooting victims.

AURORA, Ill., Feb. 21, 2019–After the shooting at the Henry Pratt manufacturing facility in Aurora, Ill., local Northern Illinois Conference churches and ministries offered prayers and vigils. Five people were killed and five police officers along with one worker were injured when an employee opened fire inside the facility after he was reportedly terminated. At the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Wesley Foundation’s weekly Hungry Huskies community dinner on Saturday evening, students lit candles, wrote notes, and prayed for one of their fellow students who was killed in the rampage. Trevor Wehner, 21,Read More