Weekly religion rail, with items on the Catholic Church's youth-focused celebration, protests against 'Jerry Springer: The Opera' and more.
Sydney, Australia, to host World Youth Day
Pilgrims are making their way to Sydney, Australia to attend World Youth Day, a youth-oriented event promoted by the Roman Catholic Church during which young people gather to celebrate and learn about their faith.
The six-day celebration, from July 15 to 20, originally was created by Pope John Paul II in 1984. It is celebrated on a diocesan level annually, and at a weeklong international level every two to three years at different locations. The international events attract hundreds of thousands of youth from almost every country on the planet.
Pope Benedict XVI chose Sydney as the 2008 site during the conclusion ceremonies of the 2005 World Youth Day celebrations in Cologne, Germany. This year’s theme will be, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses" (Acts1:8)
‘Jerry Springer: The Opera’ draws protests
Members of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property and its America Needs Fatima campaign are leading a protest against performances of "Jerry Springer: The Opera" in Cincinnati, where the production has just premiered.
The group's Web site explains: “We offered reparation to God for the blasphemies in the Springer performance that insult Him, mock His crucifixion, and refer to His Mother as ‘raped by an angel.’”
The American TFP held a protest prayer vigil, attended by hundreds of Catholics, when the offensive production first staged at Carnegie Hall in New York City last January and plans to continue protesting the production as it travels, according to wire reports.
The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life surveyed more than 35,000 Americans in order to comprehensively examine the country’s religious landscape.
More than two-thirds of adults affiliated with a religious tradition agree that there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their faith, a pattern that occurs in nearly all traditions. The exceptions are Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, 54 percent and 77 percent of whom, respectively, say there is only one true way to interpret the teachings of their religion.
“When Answers Aren't Enough: Experiencing God as Good When Life Isn’t” by Matt Rogers.
On April 16, 2007, the campus of Virginia Tech experienced a collective nightmare when 33 students were killed in the worst massacre in modern U.S. history.
Following that horrendous event, Virginia Tech campus pastor Matt Rogers found himself asking and being asked, “Where is God in all of this?” The cliché-ridden, pat answers rang hollow.
In this book, Matt approaches the pain of the world with personal perspective -- dealing with his hurting community as well as standing over the hospital bed of his own father -- and goes beyond answers, beyond theodicy, beyond the mere intellectual.
“When Answers Aren’t Enough” drives deeper, to the heart of our longing, in search of a God we can experience as good when life isn’t.
Get to Know … John Witherspoon
John Witherspoon (Feb. 15, 1723 – Nov. 15, 1794) was a signatory of the U.S. Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Jersey. He was the only active clergyman or college president to sign the Declaration.
Growing up in Scotland, he became a Church of Scotland (Presbyterian). He moved to New Jersey in 1768 to become the president of what would become Princeton University. Witherspoon was very popular among faculty and students, among them James Madison and Aaron Burr.
As the college's primary occupation at the time was training ministers, Witherspoon was a major leader of the early Presbyterian Church in America. When the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America met in 1789, 52 of the 188 delegates had studied under Witherspoon.
He was elected to the Continental Congress as part of the New Jersey delegation and, in July 1776, voted for the Resolution for Independence.
Missal: A Roman Catholic book that contains all of the Mass prayers and readings for three years of Sundays and two years of weekdays. -- Religioustolerance.org
Religion Around the World
Religious makeup of Syria
Sunni Muslim: 74 percent
Other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze): 16 percent
Christian (various denominations): 10 percent
- CIA Factbook