Churches - updates

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Cebu church masses go online amid coronavirus ban on crowd gathering

Mar 19, 2020 - 3:19 PM

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma suspends masses to help stop spread of novel coronavirus

MASSES SUSPENDED. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma suspends masses in Cebu. File photo by Gelo Litonjua/Rappler

New coronavirus cluster linked to different South Korean church

Mar 16, 2020 - 11:21 AM

The Grace River Church continued holding services despite repeated government requests for the public to avoid group activities, including religious meetings

DOGGIE. Shoppers wearing face masks amid concerns over the novel coronavirus outbreak walk through a market in Seoul on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Ed Jones/AFP

Mormon Church halts all public gatherings worldwide due to coronavirus

Mar 13, 2020 - 11:16 AM

The church says it took the measures after consulting government and medical officials, and has 'sought the Lord's guidance in these matters'

CONGREGATION. Over 20,000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints attend the 185th Semiannual General Conference of the Mormon Church on October 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

Manila churches suspend Masses amid coronavirus lockdown

Mar 13, 2020 - 10:04 AM

(3rd UPDATE) Most Catholic churches in Metro Manila suspend public Masses starting March 14

PRAYER. People wear face masks while praying at Baclaran Church in Paranaque City. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

Vatican closes to tourists – but not the faithful

Mar 11, 2020 - 11:31 AM

A Vatican source clarifies that anyone who expresses a wish to pray at the basilica can still pass through the police barrier and walk onto the main square

WINDOW. Pope Francis addresses the crowd from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking Saint Peter's square during his Sunday Angelus prayer on July 29, 2018 at the Vatican. Photo by Tiziana/Fabi

No holy water, 'mano po': Church's 12 measures vs coronavirus

Mar 10, 2020 - 4:48 PM

The novel coronavirus changes even the way people practice their faith in predominantly Catholic Philippines

FAITH. A Catholic wears a face mask while praying after Mass at Baclaran Church in Parañaque City on February 2, 2020, as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

San Sebastian Basilica offers Lent tours for the public

Mar 07, 2020 - 5:26 PM

The tours are scheduled on March 14, March 28, and April 5

GRAND CHURCH. A tour guide leads guests inside the main hall of the San Sebastian Church. Photo from the San Sebastian Church Conservation and Development Foundation

French cardinal exits over failure to report alleged sex abuser

Mar 06, 2020 - 9:49 PM

Archbishop of Lyon Philippe Barbarin is the most senior French priest to be caught up in a global pedophilia scandal that has seen clergy hauled before courts from Argentina to Australia

RESIGNATION. In this file photo taken on January 7, 2019 Lyon archbishop, cardinal Philippe Barbarin gestures as he arrives in Lyon court to attend his trial charged with failing to report a priest who abused boy scouts in the 1980s and 90s. File photo by Jeff Pachoud/AFP

Discrimination fears hamper virus checks at Korean 'cult'

Mar 02, 2020 - 12:02 PM

In a message to his followers, the sect's founder calls the outbreak the 'work of the devil,' but also says they are 'the sons of God' and will triumph over it

WAITING. People wait in line to buy face masks in front of a store at Dongseongro shopping district in Daegu on February 27, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

Seoul seeks murder charges against sect founder over coronavirus

Mar 02, 2020 - 11:07 AM

The Shincheonji Church of Jesus is accused of submitting false lists of its members to authorities

CHURCH. South Korean health officials are wearing protective suits and spraying disinfectant in front of the Daegu branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Photo care of Daegu Metropolitan City Namgu/AFP

Vatican opens archive on pope's silence during Holocaust

Mar 02, 2020 - 9:31 AM

Why did Pius XII stay silent during the extermination of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust?

PONTIFF. Pope Pius XII meets with people from Rome's San Lorenzo district, after a violent bombardment caused severe damage to the buildings and the entire neighborhood during WWII. Photo by ANSA/AFP

South Korea starts virus checks on 200,000-plus 'cult' members

Feb 27, 2020 - 8:10 AM

Most of South Korea's novel coronavirus are linked to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, an entity often accused of being a cult

SPRAY. Market workers wearing protective gear spray disinfectant at a market in the southeastern city of Daegu on February 23, 2020 as a preventive measure after the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Photo by Yonhap/AFP

Vietnamese dissident monk who was a Nobel Prize nominee dies at 93

Feb 23, 2020 - 2:46 PM

Head of the banned Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, Thich Quang Do has spent most of his life advocating for religious freedom and human rights in communist-run Vietnam

DISSIDENT MONK. In this file photo, Vietnam's dissident Buddhist monk Thich Quang Do sits inside the Thanh Minh Zen Monastery in Ho Chi Minh City on July 27, 2007. Photo by Aude Genet/AFP

1st South Korea virus patient dies as number of infections doubles

Feb 20, 2020 - 11:54 AM

(UPDATED) A man in his 60s in North Gyeongsang province tests positive for the coronavirus after dying Wednesday, February 19, following symptoms of pneumonia

CULT. South Korean health officials wearing protective suit and spraying disinfectant near a church in the southeastern city of Daegu. Photo by Yonhap/AFP

[OPINION] Walking away from the golden calf

Feb 16, 2020 - 11:00 AM

'I could no longer claim membership in the Catholic Church in good faith – not just because of the hypocrites in her, but because of the inherent hypocrisy in her system'

Pope convenes bishops' synod in 2022

Feb 15, 2020 - 11:32 PM

Pope Francis also issues a message of support to nongovernmental organizations and governments coming to the aid of migrants

SYNOD. Pope Francis calls for a synod. File photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Masses suspended in Singapore, Hong Kong due to coronavirus

Feb 15, 2020 - 10:53 AM

'As Catholics, we need to be responsible in playing our part to contain the spread of this virus,' says Singapore Archbishop William Goh

HOLY MASS. Mass at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd in Singapore. Photo by Paterno Esmaquel II/Rappler

Deaf Argentine child abuse victims accuse pope of inaction

Feb 14, 2020 - 11:12 AM

'We were raped, sexually assaulted, and physically tortured by Catholic priests, nuns, and lay people,' the victims write to the pope

ABUSER. Italian Catholic priest Nicola Corradi is being escorted out of court after being sentenced to 42 years in prison for sexually abusing deaf children at the Provolo Institute in Mendoza, in this Argentine city, on November 25, 2019. Photo by Andres Larrovere/AFP

Pope urges Amazon 'outrage' but stays silent on married priests

Feb 13, 2020 - 10:27 AM

In the Pope's highly anticipated text, there is no mention of priestly marriage, a controversial suggestion for increasing the number of priests in remote areas of the Amazon

AMAZON. In this file photo taken on October 06, 2019 representatives of one of the Amazon Rainforest's ethnic groups (Front) take part in Pope Francis' (L) mass at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Pope expected to stand firm on celibacy in text on Amazon synod

Feb 12, 2020 - 11:47 AM

The Pope is being pressured to open the priesthood to married men in the Amazon, as well as to give women a greater role to play

GREEN. Pope Francis speaks as he celebrates a mass on October 6, 2019 at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, for the opening of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region. Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP

In sickness and in health: Mass wedding in South Korea defies virus fears

Feb 07, 2020 - 2:43 PM

The Unification Church founded by Sun Myung-Moon distributed face coverings to the 30,000 crowd, but only some donned them

MASS WEDDING. Couples wearing protective face masks attend a mass wedding ceremony organized by the Unification Church at Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, South Korea on February 7, 2020. Photo by Jung Yeon-Je/AFP

Court clears French cardinal of shielding alleged pedophile priest

Jan 30, 2020 - 10:20 PM

The trial court rules that Cardinal Philippe Barbarin chose not to tell the authorities of the abuse allegations 'in order to preserve the institution to which he belongs'

CLEARED. File photo of French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin (right), the former Archbishop of Lyon. Photo by Jeff Pachoud

[PODCAST] I've Got An Opinion: I don't believe in god

Jan 22, 2020 - 8:18 PM

What led our podcast guest David Ong to his atheism? What values does he hold? Would he raise his child godless or marry a staunch Catholic? Let's find out!

Manila Cathedral opens slots for weddings affected by Taal Volcano eruption

Jan 16, 2020 - 4:25 PM

The church says it is accommodating January and February weddings scheduled in places affected by the eruption

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle leads the first day of the traditional Simbang Gabi at the Manila Cathedral on December 16, 2019. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Ex-pope Benedict rejects opening up priesthood to married men

Jan 13, 2020 - 8:49 AM

'I cannot keep silent!' Benedict writes in a book, which follows an extraordinary meeting of bishops last year that recommended the ordination of married men in certain circumstances

PONTIFFS. Pope Francis (L) meets with Pope Benedict XVI (R) at the Vatican. (Photo by Handout/Vatican handout/AFP)

Pope appoints new envoy to France after abuse claims

Jan 11, 2020 - 8:15 PM

French investigators have looked into claims made against former ambassador to France Luigi Venture, who has denied the allegations of sexual abuse

NEW ENVOY. Pope Francis names Italian Archbishop Celestino Migliore the Vatican's new envoy to France. Photo by Janek Skarzynski/AFP

LOOK: Coco Martin gives thanks during visit to Quiapo Church

Jan 09, 2020 - 6:49 PM

The actor, a known devotee of the Black Nazarene, posts a photo of himself attending one of the masses at Quiapo Church

WATCH: Traslacion 2020 Dungaw pulls in thousands of devotees

Jan 09, 2020 - 6:02 PM

Thousands flock to the San Sebastian Church for the annual Dungaw, where the image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel de San Sebastian looks out from the church's terrace as the Black Nazarene passes

DUNGAW. The image of the Black Nazarene meets his mother, Our Lady of Mount Carmel at the San Sebastian Church. Photo by Angie de SIlva/Rappler

[PODCAST] Who is the Filipino? The Black Nazarene faithful: Devotion or delusion?

Jan 08, 2020 - 7:10 PM

For some Christians, it is idolatry. For the Catholic Church it is a grand case of the so-called 'popular piety'

Texas gun laws saved lives in church attack – Trump

Dec 31, 2019 - 10:54 AM

In a country where critics say guns are too readily available, the laws in Texas are among the most permissible

CHURCH SHOOTING. Authorities work the scene after a shooting took place during services at West Freeway Church of Christ on December 29, 2019 in White Settlement, Texas. Photo by Stewart F. House/AFP

China jails Protestant pastor for 9 years for 'inciting' subversion

Dec 30, 2019 - 3:45 PM

China's officially atheist government is wary of any organized movements outside its own control, including religious ones

JAILED. The charge of inciting subversion has often been used against dissidents as a way to silence criticism of the government and the Communist Party.

Churchgoers kill gunman who shot 2 during Texas service

Dec 30, 2019 - 11:38 AM

A gunman kills a churchgoer and injures another before other parishioners return fire

Defrocked US cardinal gave money to top clerics – report

Dec 28, 2019 - 12:21 AM

Theodore McCarrick, who faces accusations of sexual harassment, sent checks totaling more than $600,000 to clerics in Rome and elsewhere

ABUSE. Evidence of sexual abuse was found against former US cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington. File photo by Chip Somodevilla/AFP

175 children abused by Mexican branch of Catholic Church – report

Dec 22, 2019 - 5:22 PM

The report states that Legionaries of Christ founder Marcial Maciel abused as many as 60 children and that a total of 33 priests or deacons acknowledged to have committed sexual assaults against minors since 1941

Pope shakes up cardinals with further Vatican reform

Dec 21, 2019 - 11:02 PM

Pope Francis limits the college dean's term to two five-year terms – a change from current rules that allow the dean to remain in post as long as he chooses

Pope admits Church losing clout, calls for 'change in mentality'

Dec 21, 2019 - 8:41 PM

'We are no longer the only ones today to produce culture, neither the first nor the most listened to,' says Pope Francis

CHANGE OF THINKING. Pope Francis calls on the Roman Curia to embrace new ideas as they lose influence in the modern world. Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Canada's Jesuits to name priests accused of sexual abuse

Dec 18, 2019 - 9:43 AM

'It is the right thing for us to do,' and for victims of abuse it is 'important to healing,' says Erik Oland, the head of the Jesuits of Canada

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Pope lifts 'pontifical secret' for sex abuse cases

Dec 17, 2019 - 10:10 PM

So-called pontifical secrecy is a rule of confidentiality designed to protect sensitive information related to the governance of the Roman Catholic Church

LIST: Simbang Gabi schedules across the Philippines for 2019

Dec 14, 2019 - 6:14 PM

Rappler compiles the Simbang Gabi schedules in key churches and chapels – including those in shopping malls – across the country

Thousands flock the Saint Joseph Parish church in Las Piñas City in the early morning hours of December 16, 2018, as the traditional "Simbang Gabi" starts. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

Jesus, Mary, Joseph as detained refugees in California nativity scene

Dec 12, 2019 - 10:02 AM

'We put them in different cages, as a symbol representing our community, and all immigrants, who are being held in detention centers and need our help,' says the co-creator of the installation

CLAREMONT, CA - DECEMBER 09: A Christmas nativity scene depicts Jesus, Mary, and Joseph separated and caged, as asylum seekers detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at Claremont United Methodist Church on December 9, 2019 in Claremont, California. The church hopes the display will prompt viewers to ask themselves what the family would face today if seeking refuge in the U.S. as they did when fleeing Nazareth to Egypt to escape capture by the forces of King Herod. The Claremont United Methodist Church has worked to assist asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border. David McNew/Getty Images/AFP DAVID MCNEW / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

U.S. bishop steps down in Church abuse scandal

Dec 05, 2019 - 11:41 AM

The Vatican says in a statement that it accepts the resignation of Bishop Richard Malone, from the Buffalo diocese in New York state

REPLACEMENT. Bishop Edward Scharfenberger speaks to members of the media following the resignation of Bishop Richard Malone, during a press conference at the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo on December 4, 2019 in Buffalo, New York. Photo by Aaron Lynett/AFP

Russian Patriarch warns against 'dangerous' domestic abuse bill

Dec 04, 2019 - 10:07 PM

The Patriarch, a 73-year-old monk who has led the Church for a decade, says the bill targeting domestic violence is an attempt to 'legalise outside forces interfering in family life,' which he called a 'sacred space'

PATRIARCH KIRILL. Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, to commemorate the day of Saints Cyril and Methodius at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 24, 2019. File photo by Mikhael Klimentyev/Sputnik/AFP

Red-tagged Oxfam, NCCP slam military for 'malicious, careless' attack

Nov 06, 2019 - 10:57 AM

The Farmers Development Center also says their inclusion in the red list was meant to 'silence our advocacy' for farmers rights

MILITARY LIST. The military tells lawmakers on November 5, 2019 that 18 groups are allegedly front organizations for the Communist Party of the Philippines. Photo sourced by Rappler

Inside the church with an angry-looking Christ

Nov 01, 2019 - 6:06 PM

An angry-looking Jesus. Images of tormented souls in purgatory. An all-seeing eye. A chapel in Negros Occidental gives us a glimpse of Judgment Day.

Kidapawan church welcomes evacuees after magnitude 6.6 earthquake

Oct 29, 2019 - 6:50 PM

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle also urges other churches from various dioceses to lend a helping hand to communities in need

EARTHQUAKE. An office worker is attended to by colleagues after she faints following an earthquake that hit Mindanao on October 29, 2019. Photo by Manman Dejeto/AFP

Women urge Pope Francis for Church voting rights

Oct 26, 2019 - 7:49 PM

Ecuadorian nun Ines Azucena Zambrano Jara says women took an active part in the synod, with some of them defining themselves as 'synod mothers'

NUNS. Pope Francis his greeted by nuns during his weekly general audience in the Vatican's Saint Peter square on September 25, 2019. AFP photo

The Vatican out of money? Heavens no, says Pope ally

Oct 22, 2019 - 10:45 PM

'To say that the Vatican is at danger of default is false,' says Honduran Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, who heads a group of 6 cardinals that advise Pope Francis on economic reforms

Faithfuls listen to Pope Francis delivering a speech from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking St Peter's Square in The Vatican on April 22, 2019, during the Regina Coeli prayer. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

[OPINION] How Carlos Celdran made me a decisive Catholic

Oct 22, 2019 - 3:52 PM

'Provocative criticisms from skeptics, agnostics, and atheists should in fact be welcomed as a means for us Catholics to let our faith grow deeper and perhaps evolve'

Archbishop stands by disgraced Pell after sex-case appeal lost

Aug 23, 2019 - 7:13 AM

Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli says while he accepted the testimony of the victim that convicted Pell, he believes his colleague was the victim of mistaken identity. He did not offer any evidence to support the claim.

Australian Cardinal George Pell (C) is escorted into the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne on August 21, 2019. Convicted paedophile cardinal George Pell had his appeal against child sex abuse charges rejected by an Australian court on Wednesday, August 20, 2019. Asanka Brendon RATNAYAKE / AFP

Methodist Church: Militarization has turned Negros into 'howling wilderness'

Aug 20, 2019 - 2:56 PM

'The deployment of additional troops complicated the already worsening human rights situation in the areas,' says the United Methodist Church

Human chain and candlelight protest was stages by rights groups in Quezon City to condemn the violence in Negros province. Human rights groups in UP Diliman Quezon City set up human chain and lit candles. The groups then marched to the UP Sunken Garden and plant the crosses and lit candles to symbolizing the massacre of victims of violence According to Ralph Baguinon, spokesperson for the UP Rises Against Tyranny and Dictatorship, the killing spree is being carried out by some elements of the military and police over government opponents He said the administration should address its violence and inability to implement real land reform for farmers. August 20 will be a "day of mourning and solidarity" for the victims of the Negros province massacre. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler