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Today's Top Five

1. Ireland not very Catholic now, says Chicago Tribune
At a Dublin Catholic church, the Chicago Tribune's Tom Hundley writes, "you might expect to see Father O'Sullivan at the altar. Or perhaps Father O'Reilly or Father O'Flaherty. Father Owuamanam comes as a bit of a surprise." Ireland isn't turning out enough priests to minister to its churches, the paper reports, so it's importing them from places like Nigeria. But soon it might not be a problem: there might be dramatically fewer churches. "As recently as the 1970s, 90 percent of the Irish identified themselves as Catholic and almost the same number went to mass at least once a week; now the figure for mass attendance is closer to 25 percent, according to church officials in Dublin," Hundley reports. His chronicle of the reasons behind the exodus are worth reading—and adding to prayer lists. (One unanswered question is whether Ireland is becoming secular, or whether at least some of those Catholics are turning to evangelical Protestantism, as seems to be happening in Boston.)

2. Billy Graham preaches in Baltimore
You know the song—one of our favorites—so everybody sing along: Billy preached what may be his last public sermon to tens of thousands, and about four percent responded to his invitation to commit their lives to Jesus. His sermon drew heavily upon Scripture and pop culture references, and contained numerous allusions to whether his listeners were prepared for death. It's a great song, isn't it?

3. Church of England votes to allow female bishops It's "a huge change in centuries of policy for a church that ordained its first female priest just 12 years ago," The New York Times explains. The vote itself argued, in essence, just the opposite: ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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