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Pope Francis issued a blistering critique Monday of the Vatican bureaucracy that serves him, denouncing how some people lust for power at all costs, live hypocritical double lives and suffer from "spiritual Alzheimer's" that has made them forget they're supposed to be joyful men of God.
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Minister encourages unity among Utah evangelical leaders

Whitney Evans  |  posted Dec 21st - 6:45pm
The Rev. John Jenkins of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Maryland visited local evangelical leaders to encourage them in their work of unity among Christian churches.
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Iraq's Shiite fighters desert over shortages

By Sameer N. Yacoub and Sinan Salaheddin, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 19th - 11:20pm
Abu Murtada al-Moussawi answered the call last summer from Iraq's top Shiite cleric to help save the country from the Islamic State group, but after less than three months on the front lines he and several friends returned home because they had run out of food.
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Egypt's gays go deeper underground, fearing crackdown

By Maggie Michael, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 19th - 10:31pm
Just before midnight, the police navigated down the narrow alleys of an old downtown Cairo district and descended on a rundown bathhouse. They dragged out dozens of nearly naked men, who covered their faces as they struggled to hold up towels, and loaded them into police trucks.
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Poland suspends abuse probe of Vatican ex-envoy

The Associated Press  |  posted 26 minutes ago
A prosecutor says that Poland has suspended an investigation into the alleged sex abuse of minors in the Dominican Republic by a Polish-born former Vatican ambassador due to a lack of evidence.
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India lawmakers demand Modi speak on Hindu conversions

By Nirmala George, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 5:00am
Opposition lawmakers, charging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done little to stop hard-liners in his party from forcibly converting religious minorities to Hinduism, threw Parliament into an uproar Monday, with the upper house repeatedly adjourned after descending into shouting matches.
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Protester takes perch on St. Peter's facade

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 21st - 2:01pm
An Italian entrepreneur has lowered himself onto the facade of St. Peter's Cathedral, the fifth time he has evaded Vatican security to mount a public protest from the cathedral against government reforms.
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Pope's role in Cuba deal fractures Cuban-American flock

By Matt Sedensky, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 21st - 9:33am
The key role Pope Francis played encouraging talks between Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro left fractures among his flock in South Florida, where many older Roman Catholics equate the Castro brothers with the devil.
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Jury rules for Indiana woman in firing over IVF

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 19th - 6:20pm
A federal jury ruled Friday that a northern Indiana Roman Catholic diocese discriminated against a former teacher in one of its schools by firing her after church officials learned she was trying to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization.
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Franciscan religious order in 'grave' financial crisis

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 19th - 5:03pm
The main Franciscan religious order in the Roman Catholic Church is in a financial crisis because of alleged wrongdoing from within and outside its ranks, head of the order said.
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Ohio Muslim woman sues over jail church attendance

By Mark Gillispie, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 19th - 3:50pm
A Muslim woman who says she was forced to attend Christian church services during a 60-day jail stint on an assault charge has sued the county.
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Sheriff: Beheading photo sent to New York lawmaker

By Jim Fitzgerald, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 19th - 2:32pm
A suburban New York sheriff said Friday he has contacted federal authorities to investigate a threatening photo of a beheading sent to an Orthodox Jewish lawmaker.
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