December 12, 2014 |
A group of clergy gathered for a special service Wednesday night in North Philadelphia focused on justice in response to police killings of African Americans. The program at New Vision United Methodist Church on North Broad Street was titled "Strange Fruit: The Seven Last Words of Seven Black Lives. " The name is in part a reference to the traditional Holy Week sermon about the last words of Jesus on the cross. It also was inspired by Strange Fruit, the poem about racism and the lynchings of African Americans that Billie Holiday turned into a song.
December 9, 2014 |
Staging a "die in" to highlight perceived racial injustices by police against black people, protestors planned to lie in the streets near Lincoln Financial Field after the Philadelphia Eagles game Sunday. Led by a group of clergy and lay people called POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild), the event is an example of "people of faith [stepping] into the public sphere in powerful ways," according to a POWER statement. The protestors planned to gather at 7 p.m. at the northeast corner of Broad St. and Pattison Ave. to lie in the street for four and one-half minutes to symbolize the four and one-half hours that the body of Michael Brown, 18, lay in the street on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. Brown was killed by Police Officer Darren Wilson.
November 29, 2014 |
On the summer Sunday after a white policeman killed a black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., the Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler climbed his historic Society Hill pulpit to introduce his congregants to a minister in Ferguson - via speakerphone. "I thought it was important on that day they hear from someone on the ground," Tyler remembered. "They were angry, upset, confused. " In Oxford Circle, his friend and fellow clergyman Bishop Dwayne Royster was already making plans for how the two could travel to Ferguson.
October 8, 2014 |
The Methodist pastors who jointly officiated a same-sex wedding last year in Philadelphia will not face church trials and the potential loss of their credentials. But the decision is far from a green light for other clergy to break the church's same-sex marriage laws without fear of reprisal. Bishop Peggy Johnson, in announcing the move, said future complaints regarding same-sex weddings would be handled "swiftly and with significant and appropriate consequences. " Previously, Johnson has publicly grappled with enforcing laws she believes to be discriminatory.
June 28, 2014 |
The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity said Thursday that District Attorney Seth Williams should have dropped an investigation of five Philadelphia Democrats allegedly caught on tape taking bribes. Williams announced last week that he was taking the case to a grand jury. Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane had dropped the investigation in 2013, calling it tainted by racism and overly reliant on an informant with a checkered past. The Rev. Terrence Griffith, president of the Black Clergy, said in an interview late Thursday that the way the investigation was conducted - using an informant and soliciting the alleged corruption - represents a major problem in the justice system.
May 10, 2014 |
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court agreed Thursday to resolve the contested key legal theory underpinning the landmark 2012 prosecution of the first Catholic Church official charged in the clergy child-sex-abuse scandal. The state's highest court will thus decide the future of Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former Archdiocese of Philadelphia official responsible for investigating and recommending punishment for priests accused of sexual and other misconduct. It could also dictate the standards for prosecutors to bring future charges against any church officials accused of covering up misconduct by clergy they supervise.
March 14, 2014 |
AS IT TRIES to move past the clergy sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced earlier this week that it will host its first Mass for survivors of abuse. The Mass for Healing, which will take place March 22 at Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, will be led by Archbishop Charles Chaput and focus on prayers for the victims, the healing of the church and all those affected by the abuse. The Archdiocese said some survivors have been invited and are expected to attend the 5:15 p.m. Mass, which will also be broadcast via a live stream on the Internet.
July 1, 2013 |
ATLANTA - Former President Jimmy Carter says religious leaders, including those in Christianity and Islam, share the blame for mistreatment of women across the world. The human-rights activist said Friday that religious authorities have perpetuated misguided doctrines of male superiority, from the Catholic Church's forbidding women from becoming priests to some African cultures' mutilating the genitals of young girls. Carter said the doctrines, which he described as theologically indefensible, contribute to a political, social, and economic structure where political leaders passively accept violence against women, a worldwide sex-slave trade, and inequality in the workplace and classroom.
June 18, 2013 |
A pension fund for priests cited as a priority in a $200 million fund-raising campaign by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has fallen precariously short of money, and church officials want parishes and retired clergy to help cover the shortfall. In meetings this spring, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput told priests the plan had been underfunded, poorly managed, and was spent on rising health-care costs for clergy, according to three priests who attended or were briefed on the talks. Chaput said the fund needed $90 million to be solvent but had less than $4.5 million, they said.
April 17, 2013 |
IN RECENT times, Washington, D.C., has increasingly become known for its relentless partisanship, even sometimes at the expense of addressing effectively some of our nation's most urgent problems. This past Wednesday, with Sens. Toomey and Manchin's compromise amendment on background checks for gun sales, a gust of fresh air blew in our nation's capital. We commend these two senators, Republican and Democrat, both gun owners with top ratings from the NRA, for their perseverance in working out a deal, and also for their creativity and their courage in the face of strong opposition from the powerful gun lobby that too often has prevented commonsense progress.