Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 prisoners Thursday and urged them to serve one another as brothers, as he ushered in the solemn pre-Easter rituals made more poignant this year following the devastation of Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral.
Faith and Family
Stay up to date on the latest news and discussions on religion, faith and family.
By Christopher Vondracek - The Washington Times
Some conservative U.S. Catholics are dismayed by the official schedule for Pope Francis' Vatican summit with bishops on clerical sex abuse that begins Thursday, saying it ignores the root cause of the scandal: gays in the priesthood. Published February 20, 2019
By Yuras Karmanau and Nataliya Vasilyeva - Associated Press
Ukrainian officials on Friday upped the ante in the growing confrontation with Russia, announcing a travel ban for most Russian males and searching the home of an influential cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church. Published November 30, 2018
A New Jersey man has been arrested after entering St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City with two cans of gasoline.
Legislation that would require consent from a parent or guardian before a girl under 18 could obtain an abortion passed the Florida House on Wednesday night after a lengthy debate and amid questions about its constitutionality.
The Justice Department is directing officials of a small town in East Texas to undergo sensitivity training and post a notice in City Hall saying they do not discriminate against any religions, as part of a lawsuit settlement involving an Muslim group's bid to create a cemetery on the outskirts of town.
For the chaplain of the Paris fire brigade, the hardest thing about the blaze at Notre Dame Cathedral was cracking the security codes to rescue its most precious relic.
President Trump on Wednesday said he offered condolences to Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, over the "the horrible and destructive" fire that consumed a large portion of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
North Carolina lawmakers have given final passage to a bill to require doctors and nurses to care for babies born alive during a failed late-term abortion, a measure critics say is really intended to intimidate abortion providers.
Melissa Buck of Holt, Michigan, keeps track of her growing family by tattooing her arm, and she might need more ink — only if the adoption agency she and her husband, Chad, use manages to remain open.
Sen. Bernie Sanders doesn't want to talk about public policy surrounding third-term abortions because it's being "made into a political issue."
Firefighters declared success Tuesday morning in their more than 12-hour battle to extinguish the flames that engulfed Paris' iconic Notre Dame cathedral.
One of France's richest families promptly stepped up to calls from the country's president to help rebuild the Cathedral of Notre Dame and pledged about $113 million to restore the gutted Paris icon. Shortly after, another wealthy family offered $226 million to the restoration fund.
The world watched as social media and television cameras tracked the red, yellow and orange inferno spreading remorselessly across the roof of the 850-year-old national symbol. "It seems that they're saving the majority of the cathedral, but I can only imagine how much is lost inside."
A bill requiring doctors and nurses to protect and care for children born alive during a failed late-term abortion cleared the North Carolina Senate on Monday, handing social conservatives a victory that could ultimately be undone by the Democratic governor.
In New York, it's easier than ever to obtain an abortion up until the moment of birth. Not so in states like Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio, which passed bills this year banning most abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, or as early as six weeks.
U.S. measles cases have surged again and are on pace to set a record for most illnesses in 25 years.
Actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli and other prominent parents are pleading not guilty in the college admissions bribery scam.
The San Jose City Council in California has voted to fly flags representing the LGBTQ community near a new Chick-fil-A that's set to open next month at the San Jose International Airport.
A Dutch fertility doctor who used his own sperm to father 49 children, without telling their mothers he was the donor, may have even more children.
"Gosnell," a 2018 movie about convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, is scheduled to be screened Friday at the White House, sending an unabashedly pro-life message from the Trump administration and touching off a media dust-up.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 presidential hopeful, continued to criticize Vice President Mike Pence for his view that religion discredits LGBTQ rights in an interview airing Friday.
All Steve and Bridget Tennes want is to sell their apples, peaches and blueberries at a Michigan farmers market without being required to get into the same-sex wedding business, and they are hoping for an assist from Colorado baker Jack Phillips.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Thursday blamed the sexual revolution of the 1960s for the clergy sex abuse crisis roiling the Roman Catholic Church in a lengthy essay that reads as part-memoir and part-polemic against progressive theology.
A bill imposing one of the most stringent abortion restrictions in the nation was signed into law in Ohio.
Vice President Mike Pence responded Thursday to attacks from presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg on his religion and views of LGBTQ people.
Anti-abortion bills are moving forward in state legislatures in North Carolina, Texas and Ohio, revealing more fallout from legislation passed earlier this year in New York that may have loosened abortion prohibitions in the Empire State but energized social conservatives in middle America.
The Dalai Lama has been hospitalized in the Indian capital with a chest infection and is feeling better.
If a fetus is administered anesthesia during surgery on the mother, then the government has the right to block abortions beyond that point as well, pro-life advocates argued to the Senate on Tuesday.
New York City declared a public health emergency Tuesday over a measles outbreak centered in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and ordered mandatory vaccinations in the neighborhood.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 presidential hopeful, took another shot at Vice President Mike Pence's religious faith Monday, saying it's time for the country to "move on toward a more inclusive and more humane vision" of Christianity.
Actress Felicity Huffman and a dozen other wealthy parents pleaded guilty Monday to participating in a bribery scheme that allowed their children to be admitted to elite colleges around the country.
A woman who was among numerous patients unknowingly impregnated by their Indiana fertility doctor's own sperm says she's pleased with state lawmakers backing a proposal that would make such actions a felony criminal offense.
Failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said Sunday that a bill banning abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected would be "bad for business" in the state.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 presidential hopeful, took direct shots at Vice President Mike Pence Sunday regarding his sexuality, telling the vice president his marriage to a man has moved him "closer to God."
California Democrats again are trying to mandate the abortion pill be stocked in campus clinics across the Golden State's university system, and this time they've got a friend in the governor's office.
Rep. Ilhan Omar prayed for President Trump and people who attack her on Sunday, almost reciting Jesus' last words on the cross about His persecutors.
The most brazen abuses of standardized testing in the college bribery scandal could be chalked up to security lapses: the ringer hired to take the SAT, the proctors paid to look the other way, the accommodations for extra time obtained through false diagnoses of disabilities.
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory acknowledged Thursday that he and the Roman Catholic Church have obstacles to overcome in regaining the trust of parishioners, hours after Pope Francis named him as spiritual leader of the Archdiocese of Washington, which has become a focal point of the church's ongoing clergy sex abuse scandal.
The video game industry is entering new frontiers. Now, you'll increasingly have the choice of subscribing to games, playing for free or possibly just streaming them over the internet to your phone or TV.
Pope Francis on Thursday named Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory as the new archbishop of Washington D.C., choosing a moderate, and the first African-American, to lead the archdiocese that has become the epicenter of the clergy sex abuse crisis in the U.S.
It was like a red carpet event Wednesday outside the federal courthouse in Boston, as reporters and gawkers crowded to see the dozen defendants, including two Hollywood stars, charged in the college admissions bribery scandal make initial appearances before a magistrate judge.
Churches in Pomona Valley, California, are dealing with multiple acts of vandalism against statues and a stained glass window of the Virgin Mary.
White House hopeful Pete Buttigieg raised doubts about President Trump's belief in God during an interview published Wednesday.
The Undergraduate Council at Harvard University voted Sunday to allocate $2,500 to the Palestine Solidarity Committee for hosting Israeli Apartheid Week, a pro-Palestinian campaign aimed at bolstering support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Relatives of Tom Petty launched competing lawsuits Tuesday raising concerns over their control of the late rock star's estate.
New Islamic criminal laws that took effect in Brunei on Wednesday, punishing gay sex and adultery by stoning offenders to death, have triggered an outcry from countries, rights groups and celebrities far beyond the tiny Southeast Asian nation's shores.
Republicans have a long way to go in their bid to defund Planned Parenthood, but the Trump administration has leveraged a federal family-planning grant program to put the squeeze on the reproductive health care and abortion giant.
As Democratic presidential candidates revive a debate over reparations for slavery in their 2020 campaigns, Mexico's new leftist president is bringing up an even older grudge, sparking outrage by demanding that Spain's king and Pope Francis officially apologize for the conquest of Mexico a half-millennium ago.
Actress Alyssa Milano has joined several Georgia-based TV and film industry workers in protesting a "heartbeat" abortion ban awaiting Republican Gov. Brian Kemp's signature.
A wide-ranging college admissions cheating scheme allowed wealthy parents not only to get their kids into sought-after schools but to write off the bribes on their taxes, federal authorities say. Now some parents who are already facing possible prison time could be hit with additional criminal charges and stiff financial penalties, experts say.
Pope Francis said Tuesday women have "legitimate claims" to seek more justice and equality in the Catholic Church, but stopped short of endorsing more sweeping calls from his own bishops to recognize the "urgency of an inevitable change" to give them leadership roles.
U.S. health officials reported Monday that more people have contracted measles in the first three months of this year than they did in all of last year -- a viral outbreak driven by unvaccinated children in various areas of the country two decades after the illness was declared eliminated.
The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up an appeal by the group that secretly recorded Planned Parenthood clinic staffers apparently negotiating the sale of fetal body parts.
Rep. Katherine Clark called for the resignation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Monday, saying her "racist research" makes her "unfit to carry on this job."
Chick-fil-A has been banned from a second airport, this time in New York, amid an ongoing controversy surrounding its charitable donations to Christian and socially conservative groups that allegedly discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
An evangelical Christian congregation is receiving support from the federal government in its efforts to convert a former gentlemen's club into a church in a village in upstate New York.
"Unplanned," a feature film which takes a stand against abortion, doubled its projected earnings, coming in at fifth place overall with a $6.1 million dollar opening despite previous industry predictions from $2 million to $3 million for its opening weekend. The independent production did well despite a temporary Twitter ban on the film's social media presence, limited release on the nation's movie screens and very little coverage from the mainstream media.
The late evangelist Billy Graham's archives are being transferred from Illinois to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte.
Actor and activist George Clooney is urging Hollywood to boycott several Brunei-owned hotels after the Asian country recently announced that homosexual sex will soon be punishable by death.
Pope Francis has issued sweeping new sex abuse legislation for Vatican personnel and Holy See diplomats overseas, requiring the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors, a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church worldwide.
A southern Chinese city is offering cash rewards for information about "illegal religious groups" as the ruling Communist Party continues to tighten its grip over faith communities.
Recent Opinion Columns
In a speech announcing her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, reminded me of some of the great orators of the past. Her speech was measured in tone, substantive in content and delivered with conviction.
Several years ago during a visit to the United States, President Xi Jinping was interviewed by a Chinese national living in the United States. After the interview, Mr. Xi asked a single question of this reporter — not about his family, not about his studies, not about whether he enjoyed living in America — the one question he asked was "Why do so many Chinese students studying in the United States become Christians?"
George Barna, in his book "What Americans Believe," points out that 87 percent of non-Christians and 77 percent of self-described born-again Christians agreed with the statement "People are basically good." Our culture by and large has discarded the idea of original sin.
Just when you think things couldn't be more upside down, Hillary Clinton declares that only one side is to blame for the vast cultural divide in America.
This past week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed socialist, won the Democratic primary for a congressional seat in New York. Why would a sane person advocate a political movement that was responsible for well over a hundred million deaths in the last century, as well as untold misery? By her comments, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez revealed a couple of things about herself. The first is an ignorance of history — because it is unlikely that she really meant to be an advocate for a cause that often results in mass death and destruction — and that she is unable to think beyond stage 1, or the first order effect of a policy.
Seven justices of the U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was unconstitutionally biased against the religious beliefs of Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop.
From The Vault
More than 1,000 children -- and possible many more -- were molested by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses, while senior church officials took steps to cover it up, according to a landmark grand jury report released Tuesday.
It is fashionable in some circles to purge the presence of God from everyday life, whether it's by banning religious images or language in public places, or media coverage that implies that faith-based anything is not inclusive. Such thinking is not new. In 1966, Time Magazine published an edition titled "Is God Dead?" -- suggesting that the faith was wavering, and the U.S. was on a path to secularization.
The Bible remains a fixture in American culture and lifestyle according to the "State of the Bible" survey, an annual poll conducted by the Barna Group, a California-based research organization, and the American Bible Society.
The Supreme Court vacated a state ruling Monday that found Barronelle Stutzman, the 73-year-old owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, violated state law by refusing to service a same-sex wedding ceremony.
President Trump is hosting his first Iftar dinner Wednesday night at the White House to mark one of the religious observances of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a gesture that was met with surprise and criticism among some U.S. Muslims.
The Christian baker at the center of Tuesday's Supreme Court ruling in a religious-liberty case said Tuesday on the "Today" show that he was "thrilled" with the outcome.
The Supreme Court held Monday a Christian baker's religious liberty was violated when Colorado's Civil Rights Commission penalized him for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
A federal court has ruled that printing "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency doesn't amount to a religious endorsement and therefore doesn't violate the U.S. Constitution.
First lady Melania Trump rolled out an agenda Monday that focused on enhancing the well-being of children, soldiering on in her duties against one of the Washington press corps' most hostile receptions for a first lady and rabid news coverage of the president's alleged infidelity with adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
President Trump signed an executive order Thursday creating a White House office on faith initiatives that will help to ensure religious groups have access to government funding.
For 108 years, the Boy Scouts of America's flagship program has been known simply as the Boy Scouts. With girls soon entering the ranks, the group says that iconic name will change.
Cecile Richards received a hero's send-off on her last day as president of Planned Parenthood, but pro-life activists say her uncompromising stance on abortion and alliance with the Democratic Party have left the organization on shaky ground.
Babies born to teenage mothers reached an historic low between 2015 and 2016, with the birth rate continuously declining for mothers between the ages of 10 and 19 years old, according to new data released on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Babies born using assisted reproductive technology increased in 2016, with 71,296 births counted from the efforts of 377 clinics in the U.S., according to preliminary data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.
Pro-life activists say a federal judiciary freshly stocked with Trump appointees presents the best legal landscape in decades to overturn the 1973 ruling that created a constitutional right to abortion.