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Faith & Parish

Call To Action conference shifts to Louisville

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The Catholic church reform group Call To Action will hold its annual conference Nov. 9-11 in Louisville, Ky., veering from its usual host city of Milwaukee. The shift in venue is part of the organization’s ongoing commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression principles, said Call To Action communications and programs director Nicole Sotelo.

To reach out to new people in different parts of the country, future national conferences of the Chicago-based organization will alternate between various locations and Milwaukee, where it has been for the last 10 years, Sotelo said.

Plenary in Chicago brings together Catholic-Muslim regional dialogues

Bringing members of three Muslim-Catholic regional dialogue groups together for their first national plenary session in Chicago was a groundbreaking event, but its members agreed that the dialogue must move forward.

The "Living Our Faiths Together" plenary, held Oct. 3-5 at Catholic Theological Union, included a retrospective look at Muslim-Catholic dialogue, keynote talks by both Catholic and Muslim speakers, and opportunities for members to share what they have done so far and what direction they think the dialogue should take in the future.

Poll: Most Americans don't think Scientology is a religion

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Most Americans do not believe Scientology is a real religion, according to a recent poll by 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair.

The survey, conducted by CBS News, found that 70 percent of Americans say that Scientology is not a true religion; 13 percent believe it is; and 18 percent either don't know or don't care.

US Catholics urged to renew commitment 'to defend' life during October

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During October, designated each year as Respect Life Month by the U.S. Catholic Church, Catholics should "renew their personal commitment to defend all human life, especially the most vulnerable members of the human family," said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

Vicar general of Diocese of Tyler, Texas, named its bishop

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Msgr. Joseph E. Strickland, the 53-year-old vicar general of the Diocese of Tyler, to serve as its bishop.

The appointment was announced Saturday in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Strickland succeeds Bishop Alvaro Corrada del Rio, who was named bishop of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, in 2011 after heading the Tyler Diocese for more than a decade.

He will be ordained a bishop and installed Nov. 28 at a special Mass to be celebrated in Caldwell Auditorium in Tyler.

Judge blocks New Orleans law that prevents preaching in French Quarter

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NEW ORLEANS -- A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of a city law recently used to arrest Christian evangelists preaching on Bourbon Street during Southern Decadence, the annual celebration of gay culture in the French Quarter.

Part of the city's recently enacted "aggressive solicitation" ordinance orders people not to "loiter or congregate on Bourbon Street for the purpose of disseminating any social, political or religious message between the hours of sunset and sunrise."

"That's no longer in effect," American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Justin Harrison said.

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon granted a temporary restraining order Friday and set a hearing for a preliminary injunction for Oct. 1.

Nine Christian preachers and activists were arrested in one well-publicized incident during the gay-themed celebration. One reportedly held a sign reading "God Hates Homos," and others shouted what witnesses characterized as slurs.

But Harrison said his client, Kelsey McCauley of Kenner, La., had nothing to do with that incident.

Pope names new bishop for Orange, Calif.; New York bishop retires

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WASHINGTON -- Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Fort Worth, Texas, 61, to be bishop of Orange, Calif., and accepted the resignation of Bishop Tod D. Brown, 75, who has headed the diocese since 1998.

The pope also accepted the resignation of Bishop Matthew H. Clark of Rochester, N.Y., 75, and named Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of Syracuse, N.Y., 69, as apostolic administrator of the Rochester diocese until a successor to Clark is named and installed.

Survey: Americans overstate size of religious minorities

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The typical American underestimates how many Protestants there are in the U.S., and vastly overestimates the number of religious minorities such as Mormons, Muslims, and atheist/agnostics, according to a new study.

Grey Matter Research and Consulting asked 747 U.S. adults to guess what proportion of the American population belongs to each of eight major religious groups: Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, atheist/agnostic, believe in God or a higher power but have no particular religious preference, and any other religious group.

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July 4-17, 2014

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