LR bishop: Report old and new abuse

Posted: August 4, 2018 at 2:33 a.m.

FILE - In this March 30, 2018, photo, Sam Young, center, speaks to a group of people demanding an end to one-on-one interviews between Mormon youth and lay leaders during a march to church headquarters, in Salt Lake City. Young, a Mormon man has launched a hunger strike that started Friday, July 27, 2018, to bring attention to a campaign calling on church leaders to bring an end to closed door, one-on-one interviews between youth and lay leaders where sexual questions sometimes arise. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

LR bishop: Report old and new abuse

Bishop Anthony Taylor of the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock released a statement on the resignation of retired Archbishop Theodore McCarrick on Tuesday, and issued a call to abuse survivors past and present to contact the state hotline for reporting such abuse.

McCarrick, 88, was initially removed from public ministry in June after U.S. church officials determined an accusation that he fondled a teenage altar server in New York in the 1970s was "credible and substantiated."

Pope Francis received McCarrick's letter of resignation on July 27, making McCarrick the highest-ranking Catholic church official to be removed "over claims of abuse committed by him personally rather than simply mishandling or even concealing crimes of abuse committed by others," Taylor said in the statement.

McCarrick has been ordered to live a life of "prayer and penance" while he awaits a Vatican trial.

"Pope Francis is clearly making good on his promise to hold everyone accountable, including bishops and even cardinals -- and for that I am grateful," Taylor said. " ... These tragic cases remind us that no one is above the law -- neither civil law nor canon (Church) law."

Taylor also shared the contact number for Arkansas' Crimes Against Children division hotline, (800) 482-5964, and advised also contacting the diocese's victims assistance coordinator at (501) 664-0340, Extension 425, or Matthew Glover, the diocesean chancellor for canonical affairs, at (501) 664-0340.

"I am deeply concerned to see to it that we offer whatever assistance we can provide," Taylor said. "Please know that if you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse by a priest or any other representative of the Church, the Diocese of Little Rock stands ready to offer assistance."

-- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, The Associated Press

Hendrix professor: Teach Five Scrolls

Robert Williamson Jr., a professor of religious studies at Hendrix College in Conway, has written a book contending that Christians are missing out on some of the most interesting parts of the Bible, according to a news release.

Forgotten Books of the Bible: Recovering the Five Scrolls for Today focuses on the Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther -- the books of the Bible that comprise the Chamesh Megillot, also known as the Five Scrolls.

"These five books have had a rich influence in the Jewish tradition, where they are known as the Chamesh Megillot (the Five Scrolls), each being read on a major Jewish holiday," Williamson said in the release. "Christians, however, have in my experience mostly forgotten about them. We hardly ever hear them read or preached on in church. We rarely engage them in Bible study."

Williamson also draws parallels between the lessons found in the Five Scrolls and issues in contemporary society including immigration policies, human sexuality and "protesting police violence from a position rooted in ... faith," according to the release.

"This book is my attempt to show Christians the value of these texts and the ways they speak to the issues of the modern world," he said. "I believe that if we made space for these books as part of the language of faith, we would be richer for it and better equipped to face the challenges of today."

Forgotten Books of the Bible was released Friday through Fortress Press in paperback and Amazon Kindle formats.

-- Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Mormon protests child sex queries

SALT LAKE CITY -- A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has begun a hunger strike to bring attention to a campaign calling on church leaders to bring an end to closed door, one-on-one interviews where young Mormons are asked by adult lay leaders if they are following the religion's strict rules on sexual activity.

Sam Young of Houston said he started his hunger strike on July 27 and is in Salt Lake City holding nightly chats with supporters across the street from the church's temple. It marks the latest protest by Young and his group over interview questions about the religion's law of chastity.

Young and his supporters call the questions inappropriate and contend that they can lead to unhealthy shaming. About 1,000 people marched to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in March demanding change.

The church changed its policy earlier this year to allow children to take a parent or adult with them. Parents were only allowed in a hallway or adjacent room under old rules. Children can still go in alone if they choose.

The church noted in a statement Monday about the hunger strike that it had taken steps to improve relationships between young people, their parents and leaders. The religion said it shares a desire to protect children and that it's familiar with Young's position and noted leaders have met with him.

The movement to end the interviews comes as others push the religion be more accepting of LGBT members. The church has shifted its tone to be more welcoming and compassionate toward gay men and lesbians but hasn't changed its doctrinal opposition to same-sex marriage and the belief that homosexual relations are a sin.

-- The Associated Press

Episcopal leader's prostate removed

NEW YORK -- The American clergyman who preached about the power of love at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has undergone surgery for prostate cancer.

An Episcopal Church spokesman said the surgery was performed Tuesday on the Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry.

The 65-year-old Curry announced his cancer diagnosis last week and said he planned to have surgery to remove the prostate gland.

Curry said he expected to spend four to six weeks recuperating. He said he would resume his duties as presiding bishop of the church in early September.

Curry is the first black leader of the Episcopal Church in the United States. His fiery sermon at the May 19 royal wedding offered a contrast to the more solemn Anglican style that many guests were used to.

-- The Associated Press

Religion on 08/04/2018