WEEK IN RELIGION

The Vatican’s top theologian, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, has been replaced by Pope Francis after the conservative German cardinal’s 5-year mandate was not renewed. During his tenure as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (the Vatican’s department charged with defending Catholic doctrine), Mueller and the Pope have sparred over Francis’ vision of creating a more welcoming church that concentrates on mercy rather than the strict enforcement of Catholic rules. Mueller was appointed by former Pope Benedict in 2012 and has been specifically critical of the Pope’s papal treatise “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love), which calls for the church to be more compassionate toward “imperfect” members, such as those who have divorced and remarried in civil ceremonies. Under church law, couples who have divorced and remarried cannot receive Communion unless they abstain from sex with their new partner until the previous marriage is annulled. Although the Pope agreed with the progressive proposal in which a priest or bishop can decide jointly with the individual on a case-by-case basis if the member can be fully reintegrated and receive communion, Mueller has stated that there should be no exceptions. Mueller will be replaced by Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith’s No. 2 archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer.

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SURVEY SAYS

Almost half of Americans pray before meals

According to a new poll conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, 48 percent of all Americans say a prayer before meals at least a few times per week, In rural and urban areas, 51 percent of Americans say a prayer before meals, while 45 percent of Americans located in suburbs pray before meals on a regular basis.

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GOOD BOOK?

“Women and Asian Religions” by Zayn R. Kassam

Covering eclectic topics ranging from South Asian religion to motherhood to world dance to ethnomusicology, this book focuses on contemporary selected experiences of women and how their lives interface with religion. “Women and Asian Religions” examines how women draw upon their faith to address the issues they face in the changing contexts of globalization, religion and spirituality, and feminism; reveals the myriad ways in which women across Asia are mobilizing to become agents of change while remaining firmly rooted in their religious and cultural traditions; and highlights how religion can be a powerful force for social change.

— Praeger

THE WORD

Pentecost: A Christian feast held on the seventh Sunday after Easter that marks the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ.

— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Oman:

— Muslim: 85.9 percent

— Christian: 6.5 percent

— Hindu: 5.5 percent

— Buddhist: 0.8 percent

— Jewish: 0.1 percent

— Other: 1 percent

— Unaffiliated: 0.2 percent

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