Priest confesses sins of Roman Catholics against Pentecostals

"I believe I am led by the Spirit to confess the sins that Roman Catholics have committed against classical Pentecostals," said Kilian McDonnell at a session of the Society for Pentecostal Studies. "I confess the sin of arrogance with which Catholics have treated Pentecostals, leading to intolerance, discrimination and exclusion. … We have employed methods of evangelization not in keeping with the Gospel, using the state to harass and oppress Pentecostals. When we were in the majority, we deprived Pentecostals of their civil rights; when we were in the minority, we demanded our full rights as citizens. … Many Catholics have failed to recognize the true ecclesial and sanctifying elements in Pentecostal churches. … We have labeled them 'enthusiasts' [and 'sects'] and have not received with gratitude the gifts and spirituality they offer." The impromptu statement was very well-received by both Catholics and Pentecostals in attendance, reports Religion News Service.

Soldier penalized for drunken beheading

It was the headline that grabbed Weblog's eye: "U.S. soldier handed sentence for cardinal's head." Whoa! Turns out the headline was wrong (the solider is Canadian) and misleading: the head was that of a statue, not an actual human cardinal. Still, it was the head of a statue on the 18th-century Column of the Immaculate Conception in Rome, and that's a big deal. Handed a hefty fine and a one-year suspended sentence, the Canadian solider now faces a court-martial. (See an earlier story, with photo, here)

Messianic Jewish congregants not all alike, or even all Jewish

Many attend as a compromise measure in an interfaith marriage, reports the Chicago Tribune. Others are Christian Gentiles who want to explore the Jewish background of Christianity. Of course, to traditional rabbis, they're all deluded non-Jews. "They attempt to put a Jewish label on Christianity, and that causes us a great deal of pain," Rabbi Harvey Markowitz tells the Tribune.

Christian organizations in Israel protest new anti-volunteer regulations

Israel's Christian organizations, from schools to hospitals to tourism sites, depend heavily on volunteers from overseas. New regulations from the country's Interior Ministry are cracking down on companies who bring in foreign workers as volunteers, and Israel's Christians are worried that many of their organizations will be forced to close.

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Twin Cities television stations ramping up religion reporting

"Imagine, a story on a religious topic before the first car wreck or homicide," writes Saint Paul Pioneer Press media columnist Brian Lambert. "What is TV news coming to?"

Coltrane Church in trouble

St John Coltrane African Orthodox Church is facing a doubling rent and may have to close. The San Francisco church worships God using Coltrane's jazz music.

Tony Blair reads the Koran

In a Muslim News interview that has garnered worldwide attention, British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he "read[s] a lot about Islam now and [is] now the proud possessor of two different translations of the Koran." He also compares public perception of Islam with his region's troubles: "Often what happens is that if there are extreme groups, and the term 'fundamentalist' gets applied to them, people end up thinking, well this is the Islamic religion - well it's no more the Islamic religion than the Spanish Inquisition was the Christian religion. Nor indeed that some people who in the name of religion-the Christian religion-do terrible things in Northern Ireland are the true reflectors of Christian faith."

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