Religion

Diocese of Boise

A new leader has been named for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise.

Bishop Peter F. Christensen will be installed as the eighth Bishop of Boise at a Dec. 17 Mass in St John Cathedral.

He replaces Bishop Michael P. Driscoll, who submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Francis on Aug. 8 when he turned 75.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise in a statement Tuesday said Pope Frances announced earlier in the day that he had accepted Driscoll's resignation and named Christensen to replace him.

Christensen has been at the Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin.

A group in the Boise area is in the midst of fundraising for a new attraction in the Northwest. It'll be called the Northwest Science Museum.

A divided county council in Pierce County, Washington Tuesday voted to display the motto "In God We Trust" in its chambers. That makes it the first jurisdiction in the Northwest to become part of a national campaign to feature the motto.

Diego Andres / Flickr Creative Commons

The Mormon church is expanding a program that gives missionaries iPad minis and broadens their proselytizing to social media.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a news release this week that a test program that began last fall with 6,500 missionaries serving in the United States and Japan went well. That has prompted the church to expand the initiative.

Church leaders expect to have the specially configured mobile devices in the hands of more than 32,000 missionaries by early 2015. Most missionaries will cover the cost of the $400 device.

The founder of a Mormon women's group pushing for gender equality says the church is trying to excommunicate her.

Kate Kelly says she was shocked and dismayed when she received a letter this week from her bishop in Virginia informing her of a disciplinary hearing June 22. Two months ago Kelly led hundreds in a demonstration to shed light on gender inequality in the religion, defying church orders to stay off Temple Square.

Mormon church, temple square, salt lake city
Doug Kerr / Flickr Creative Commons

A Mormon women's group pushing for gender equality is shifting from public demonstrations to small discussion groups.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Ordain Women is aiming to find new supporters among the 15 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The group has created six discussion topics that highlight gender disparity in the faith.

The group formed last year to advocate for women's inclusion in higher-level positions, including the lay clergy.

For John Thavis, the timing couldn’t have been better. His book, “The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church,” was released in February 2013, just as Pope Benedict XVI announced he would be the first pope in 600 years to resign.

It was a stroke of luck that put his book – the culmination of nearly 30 years as a journalist covering the Vatican – in exactly the right place at the right time.

A little-known display of the 10 Commandments in north Idaho has attracted the attention of a couple of national legal organizations.

A conservative advocacy group says it will represent the city of Sandpoint for free in a potential lawsuit over a Ten Commandments monument in a public park.

The Bonner County Daily Bee reports that Hiram Sasser of the Plano, Texas-based Liberty Institute made the offer at a public hearing concerning the monument on Wednesday.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A new Gallup survey shows six in 10 Utah residents identify as Mormon.

That's more than double the proportion in any other state. Idaho ranks second with 24 percent of its residents belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The survey is based on phone interviews with 500 adults in each state done in 2013.

Past Gallup surveys show the percentage of Utah residents who call themselves Mormon has held steady around 60 percent for the past six years.

Christian Scientists who treat their sick children with faith healing, instead of medical care, have special protection under Washington law. But that could soon change.

catholic church, religion
Emilie Ritter Saunders

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena filed for bankruptcy protection Friday as part of a proposed $15 million settlement with victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

Diocese spokesman Dan Bartleson says the diocese does not expect to have to liquidate any of its assets or close any programs because of the filing.

The settlement details are being worked out, but the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Montana would be responsible for approving and supervising the disbursement of $15 million to compensate the 362 victims identified in two lawsuits.

Lynn Luker
Idaho Legislature

Idaho lawmakers and conservative Christian allies contend their faith is under siege by gays, lesbians and the government, so they're launching a "pre-emptive" strike to bolster rights of licensed professionals to refuse service to somebody they conclude violates their religious beliefs.

On Tuesday, Rep. Lynn Luker introduced a measure to shield religious people from the threat of having their professional licenses revoked for declining service.

Luker, a Boise Republican, knows of no Idaho example where this has arisen.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Many churches view feeding the poor as an important responsibility. But none go about it quite like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Across the country, the LDS church has farms, orchards and ranches. And the crops go to church-owned food processing facilities. Six of these facilities handle perishable food like meat and fruit, including this cannery in Garden City, Idaho.  

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

You’ll find menorahs all over Dorothy Geffon’s immaculate Boise home. These candelabras are the symbol of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Each night of the eight-day festival, Jews light one candle or oil-light. Some of Geffon’s menorahs are traditional. Others…not so much.

Take the wind-up one that hops around on little plastic legs. “This I have for the little kids,” she says. “It’s fun for the youngest grandchildren.”

As the former Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service, few understand the inner workings of the seat of Roman Catholicism better than John Thavis. His book reveals that Vatican City’s public image of power, hierarchical authority and reverence for the past often masks a disorganized, inept and uncertain organizational culture.

The president of the Mormon church says worldwide membership has hit 15 million, representing a three-fold increase over the three decades.

President Thomas S. Monson announced the milestone during the opening session of the two-day Mormon church conference Saturday morning.

The biannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brings 100,000 members to Salt Lake City. More than half of church members live outside of the United States.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The typical image of Mormon missionaries going door-to-door with pamphlets is antiquated. Colby Denton says in Boise they only do it if they have a few minutes to kill between appointments. Denton is serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Boise mission.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

At 23-and 21-years-old Colby Denton and Davis Jones introduce themselves as Elder Denton and Elder Jones. That’s traditional for young men serving as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Both are relentlessly cheerful. Both say they wouldn’t trade their two years in the Boise, Idaho Mission for anything.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

The season of Lent often means abstaining from an indulgence, a time of doing without.  But for the pie makers at St. Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral in Boise and their Lenten Lunch, it’s a time of fellowship and tradition.  Using recipes that have been handed down for almost 40 years, the pies are a favorite at the Friday event.

Sally Terrill rolls out pie crusts. “This will be either a coconut cream or a chocolate pie.”

Alongside Sally is her husband, Alan. “Oh, I’ve been here, how many years?”

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