As religion editors and writers last month paused to review the significant religion stories of 1975, they seemed to be agreed about the two top choices: the moral and theological aspects of the Karen Quinlan case, and the issue of the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. (The Quinlan case concerns a brain-damaged young woman in New Jersey whose parents unsuccessfully sought court permission to have mechanical life-support systems removed.)

A poll of the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA), an organization of newspeople who report religion in the nation’s secular dailies, placed the women’s ordination issue first and the Quinlan case second. The editors of Religious News Service (RNS) in New York City listed them in the opposite order, as did the editors of Christian Century.

Other top stories listed by the RNA, in order: the continuing controversy in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as it moved from doctrinal to legal and administrative phases; the expensive effort by the churches to resettle the Southeast Asian refugees; the reaction of the churches to homosexuality; the canonization of Mother Elizabeth Seton as the Catholic Church’s first American-born saint; and world hunger.

The RNS choices: refugee settlement program; the United Nations resolution equating Zionism with racism, and the condemnation of the move by Christian groups as being anti-Semitic; the Seton canonization; church-state tensions in a number of countries, including Chile, where the CIA was alleged to have used U.S. missionaries for intelligence purposes; the World Council of Churches’ Fifth Assembly in Nairobi and its emphasis on human rights; the Hartford Appeal that was drawn up by several theologians ...

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