High court blocks NY virus limits on houses of worship

WASHINGTON (AP) — With coronavirus cases surging again nationwide, the Supreme Court barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus. The justices split 5-4 late Wednesday night, with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative’s first […]

COVID restrictions on religious services necessary, say Delaware pastors

Dr. Karyl Rattay offered a straightforward assessment during last week’s public update on the current status of COVID-19 in Delaware. “We have seen, unfortunately, a number of outbreaks related to religious services, some with very high numbers of infected people,” the Delaware Division of Public Health director said. And now, allowable in-person church attendance is […]

Biden brings solid Catholic faith to presidency

WILMINGTON — Last Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden — a longtime Delaware resident and the second Catholic to be elected to the White House — got on the phone with Pope Francis. “The President-elect thanked His Holiness for extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation for His Holiness’ leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation and the […]

Pope Francis vows to end sexual abuse after McCarrick report

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis pledged Wednesday to rid the Catholic Church of sexual abuse and offered prayers to victims of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a day after the Vatican released a detailed report into the decadeslong church cover-up of his sexual misconduct. The Vatican report blamed a host of bishops, cardinals and popes for […]

Lawsuit regarding religious worship settled

DOVER — Attorneys for a Delaware cleric say they’ve reached a settlement with Gov. John Carney over the coronavirus restrictions he imposed on worship services. The Rev. Christopher Allan Bullock filed a lawsuit in May claiming Carney’s restrictions were unconstitutional and discriminatory. Carney then rescinded many of the restrictions, and his lawyers argued Bullock’s claims […]

Vatican breaks silence, explains pope’s civil union comments

ROME (AP) — The Vatican says Pope Francis’ comments on gay civil unions were taken out of context in a documentary that spliced together parts of an old interview, but still confirmed Francis’ belief that gay couples should enjoy legal protections. The Vatican secretariat of state issued guidance to ambassadors to explain the uproar that […]

French Muslims, stigmatized by attacks, feel under pressure

PARIS (AP) — The pressure rises with each gruesome attack. After three in five weeks, France’s Muslims are feeling squeezed. A spotlight of suspicion was trained on them again even before the latest acts of extremist violence, including two beheadings. President Emmanuel Macron has forged ahead with his effort to rid Islam in France of […]

‘We’re working on it:’ Pope’s COVID advisers and the mask

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis’ decision to forgo wearing a mask has been noticed, with some concern, by the commission of Vatican experts he appointed to help chart the Catholic Church’s path through the coronavirus pandemic and the aftermath. The Rev. Augusto Zampini, one of the key members of the pope’s COVID-19 commission, acknowledged Tuesday […]

Pope endorses same-sex civil unions in new documentary

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pontiff while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival. The papal thumbs-up came midway through the film that delves into issues Francis cares about most, including the environment, poverty, migration, racial and income […]

Family’s mission work leading to Haiti

GREENWOOD — Back in the 1990s, their paths crossed in Haiti while on different humanitarian missions. As fate and faith would have it, sometime next June — after 20 years as a married couple and as parents of five children — Dan and Stephanie Kramer plan to return to the impoverished Caribbean country, along with […]