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New Mexico town of Belen in fight to keep Nativity scene

Russell Contreras, Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 13th - 4:00pm

For nearly a quarter of a century, a year-round Nativity scene made of metal has rested in the little town of Belen, New Mexico.

Man claims he lost job at Catholic home because he's gay

Alanna Durkin, Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 13th - 2:41pm

A Virginia man said the bishop of a local Catholic diocese forced his removal from the top job at a diocese-owned assisted living home because he's gay and married to his partner of 30 years.

Vatican seeks to quell talk of letter to pope on family

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 13th - 1:01pm

The Vatican spokesman on Tuesday denounced the leak of a private letter to Pope Francis by conservative cardinals complaining about the way his big family meeting is being run. But he reminded those responsible that the meeting procedures are set and they're duty-bound to stick with them.

Republican lawmaker seeks ban on LGBT conversion therapy

Kathleen Ronayne, Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 12th - 4:11pm

A Republican lawmaker is proposing legislation in New Hampshire to ban therapy aimed at changing the sexual orientation of minors, a move that is sure to cause friction within the GOP when lawmakers reconvene in January.

Vatican family synod takes new twist with disputed letter

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 12th - 2:42pm

Pope Francis' divisive meeting on family issues took another controversial twist Monday with revelations that several conservative cardinals wrote to the pontiff expressing serious concerns about "predetermined results" coming out of the meeting — only to have doubts arise over both the content of their letter and the cardinals responsible.

Pope's sex abuse commission taking advice on the road

Nicole Winfield, Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 12th - 11:31am

Pope Francis' sex abuse commission has begun an important new phase of its work: Bringing the expertise of its members to the developing world where bishops' conferences have lagged behind their English-speaking counterparts in crafting guidelines to prevent abuse and care for survivors.

Saudi king reaffirms commitment to hajj after Iran criticism

Abdullah Al-Shihri and Aya Batrawy, Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 12th - 11:31am

Saudi Arabia's King Salman said Monday that "irresponsible comments" and criticism of the kingdom's management of the hajj will not affect his country's oversight of the annual Islamic pilgrimage.

AP Exclusive: Prince says Saudi will stay in charge of hajj

Aya Batrawy, Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 11th - 5:41pm

Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal on Sunday rejected the idea of sharing the administration of the annual hajj pilgrimage with other Muslim nations, saying Riyadh considers it "a matter of sovereignty" and a "privilege."

Lebanon Christian leader presses for elections in rally

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 11th - 6:00am

Lebanon's Christian leader is pressing the country's political elite to pass a parliamentary electoral law and elect a president as thousands of his supporters gathered on a road leading to the empty presidential palace.

Opponent of school religion says teacher insults atheists

Jeff Amy, Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 13th - 4:21pm

A group seeking to keep public schools religion-free is again decrying practices in the Rankin County school district.

Cleveland County school board studies prayer at meetings

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 13th - 12:00pm

The Cleveland County Board of Education has voted to have the superintendent's office look into what the board would have to do to have prayer at its meetings.

Campus minister: Christians sought changes to Wichita chapel

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 13th - 11:20am

Christians, not Muslims, originally sought renovations at a Wichita State University chapel that came under criticism, according to the university's former campus minister.

State wants to prosecute Charleston church shooting first

Bruce Smith, Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 13th - 9:31am

South Carolina wants to prosecute the case of a white man charged with the slayings of nine black parishioners at Charleston church before the federal government tries the defendant.

Correction: Catholic High School story

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 13th - 8:30am

In a story Oct. 11 about a new high school in the Diocese of Springfield, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Bishop Mitchell Rozanski would attend a news conference to update the status of the school. Rozanski is not scheduled to attend.

Cleveland County school board studies prayer at meetings

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 13th - 4:40am

The Cleveland County Board of Education is looking into the process of implementing prayer its meetings.

St. Louis archbishop issues statement supporting immigrants

Jim Salter, Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 12th - 2:21pm

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson issued a pastoral statement Monday in support of immigrants and refugees, citing concerns about what he called "the language and rhetoric of discrimination, hate and alienation."

Vatican homeless shelter opens steps from St. Peter's

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 12th - 9:00am

The Vatican has opened its own homeless shelter that can host up to 34 men a night just steps from St. Peter's Square.

Baptist group looks at former college for retreat center

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 12th - 5:00am

A Baptist church association is pursuing ambitious plans to build a retreat and convention center in Baker at the site of the former Leland College, a historically significant black Baptist school that closed in 1960.

Tenn. bill seeks to curtail teaching of 'religious doctrine'

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 11th - 3:41pm

A state Republican lawmaker is proposing legislation that would ban teaching Tennessee public school students "religious doctrine" until they're in high school.

Protesters gather to hold anti-Islam rally at Phoenix mosque

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Oct 10th - 9:41pm

About 200 protesters gathered in front of a mosque Saturday afternoon to demonstrate against Islam as part of a nationwide campaign that went largely unheeded.