WEEK IN RELIGION

A medieval art history professor at Arizona State University recently resigned his position at the school after the Catholic Church exposed him as a former priest who was defrocked for sexual abusing children. Jaime Lara served in the Catholic ministry for 19 years in New York City before being defrocked in 1992 for the sexual abuse. An ASU spokesman confirmed Lara resigned but didn’t respond to questions about whether the school knew about his past life as a priest. Lara, along with seven other priests, were publicly identified for being defrocked for sexual offenses against children by the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program. The IRCP will provide financial compensation to abuse survivors. Lara authored multiple books and publications and taught at numerous colleges (Yale, Notre Dame and California State University-Los Angeles) after being removed from the priesthood.

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STUDY SAYS

Orthodox Christian numbers declining around the globe

According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, among the global Christian community, just 12 percent of Christians are Orthodox compared to nearly 20 percent in 1910. In the same time span, Catholics have risen to 50 percent from 47 percent, while Protestants and other Christians have risen to 38 percent from 32 percent.

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GOOD BOOK?

“The Meaning of Belief: Religion from an Atheist’s Point of View” by Tim Crane

An atheist himself, Tim Crane writes that there is a fundamental flaw with most atheists’ basic approach: religion is not what they think it is. Atheists tend to treat religion as a kind of primitive cosmology, as the sort of explanation of the universe that science offers. They conclude that religious believers are irrational, superstitious, and bigoted. But this view of religion is almost entirely inaccurate. Crane offers an alternative account based on two ideas.

— Harvard University Press

THE WORD

chalice: A cup used by a priest or clergy member to serve Communion wine.

— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Norway is:

— Church of Norway: 82.1 percent

— Other Christian: 3.9 percent

— Muslim: 3.9 percent

— Roman Catholic: 1.8 percent

— Other: 2.4 percent

— Unspecified: 7.5 percent

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