RELIGION BRIEFING

RELIGION BRIEFING

Saturday, September 27, 2008

FEMALE PASTORS

Baptist Stores Pull Magazine Over Cover Story

LifeWay Christian stores pulled the September/October issue of Gospel Today magazine from its shelves because its cover story on successful female pastors upset the stores' owner, the Southern Baptist Convention, which believes the position of pastor is reserved for men.

A spokesman for LifeWay Christian Resources based in Nashville said the magazine story, "Women Pastors: Breaking the Glass Ceiling," was contrary to the Southern Baptist denomination's statement of faith and therefore stores were asked not to promote it. Customers may ask for a copy of it at the counter, said spokesman Rob Phillips. The chain is a major distributor, but the magazine is still widely available elsewhere, including Blockbuster, Barnes & Noble, Target, Wal-Mart, Kroger and B. Dalton stores.

The magazine's publisher, Teresa Hairston, said she was "shocked" by the decision.

-- McClatchy Newspapers

FIGHTING ABORTION

Priest Scraps Plans to Form Dedicated Society

An outspoken Catholic priest has scrapped plans to build a religious society of priests dedicated solely to fighting abortion, just two years after its founding.

The Rev. Frank Pavone said the religious community he founded in 2006, the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, was diverting attention and resources from his primary goal: ending abortion.

Nine seminarians were studying to join the society, based in Amarillo, Tex., Pavone said, but he was its only member. The goal was to ordain and train an army of priests free from diocesan duties and dedicated to fighting abortion across the country. The nine will return to their home dioceses.

Priests for Life, founded by Pavone in 1991 and one of the largest anti-abortion groups in the United States, will continue as a "private association of the faithful." Pavone's strident style of anti-abortion activism has at times vexed the Catholic hierarchy. In 2001, Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, where Pavone was living, forced him to step down as head of Priests for Life and accept a parish position. Egan eventually allowed Pavone to transfer to Amarillo.


CONTINUED     1           >

© 2008 The Washington Post Company