Local/World Faith Briefs

Kingdom Dog Ministries is Feb. 22 at Living Word

Kingdom Dog Ministries is Friday, Feb. 22, at Living Word Lutheran Church. At 5 p.m. is the game feed and raffle. There is no cost. At 7 p.m. will be Kingdom Dog Ministries. Hank Hough is dedicated to teaching obedience and spreading the gospel through the unique of Labs. The public is welcome to one or both events.

Christian student loses legal challenge of lesson on Islam

LA PLATA, Md. (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that a Maryland high school’s lesson on Islam during world history class didn’t violate a Christian student’s Constitutional rights.

News outlets reported the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that La Plata High School wasn’t endorsing any particular religion with a lecture on Muslim beliefs during the 2014-2015 school year.

While Caleigh Wood received a lower grade for refusing to complete the lesson, it didn’t affect her final grade.

Wood’s attorney, Richard Thompson, leads a national Christian nonprofit law firm and plans to seek review. He says the lesson led to “forced speech of a young Christian girl.”

The judges’ opinion said court interference would endanger academic freedom. Charles County schools attorney Andrew Scott says religion is crucial to understanding history.

Pope OKs miracle needed for Briton’s sainthood

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has approved a miracle needed to make Cardinal John Henry Newman, a prominent Anglican convert, a saint, the Vatican announced on Wednesday.

Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, beatified Newman during a visit to Britain in 2010. In the Catholic church’s saint-making process, one miracle is necessary for beatification, and a second miracle, occurring after the beatification ceremony, must be certified by Vatican experts for sainthood to be conferred.

The Vatican didn’t give details in announcing Francis’ approval on Tuesday of this second miracle.

But Catholic media last year reported that a pregnant woman’s recovery, with no scientific explanation, from a life-threatening illness, had been confirmed by church officials and attributed to Newman’s intercession.

The London-born Newman, who died in England in 1890, had been hailed by Benedict as a model for ecumenism. Newman renounced an illustrious academic career at Oxford University to convert to Catholicism in 1845, convinced that the truth he sought could no longer be found in the Church of England.

Anglicans split from Rome in 1534 when the English monarch Henry VIII was denied a marriage annulment.

No date was immediately announced for a sainthood ceremony.

The Vatican on Wednesday also said that Francis had approved the “heroic virtues of God’s servant” Hungarian Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty, a staunch foe of Communism who spent more than seven years in prison in his homeland and several years in asylum at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest.

He later was granted permission by Hungarian authorities to live in exile in Vienna.

In 1974, amid pressures from the then-Communist Hungarian government, Pope Paul VI removed his titles as Roman Catholic primate of Hungary and as archbishop in Budapest. Mindszenty pointedly denied he had retired voluntarily from those posts, attributing that decision to the Vatican alone.

Papal recognition of “heroic” virtues is an early step toward possible sainthood.

Mindszenty died in 1975 in Vienna, Austria.

Century-old Catholic church demolished after fails to sell

NANTICOKE, Pa. (AP) — A century-old Roman Catholic church in Pennsylvania has been demolished.

Some emotional parishioners were on hand as the cross-topped steeple of St. Joseph’s Church in Nanticoke toppled to the ground on Monday.

St. Joseph’s has been closed since 2010, and the parish was consolidated with several other churches.

Church leaders had been trying to sell the building but there were no takers.

Lorraine Beck said it’s a sad day. Beck says she was a member of the choir and says she has so many memories from the church.

A spokesman for The Diocese of Scranton said they will try to find a buyer for the property once demolition is complete.

The Citizens Voice said the church was a popular worship site for many Slovak families when it was first built. Many parishioners came from coal-mining families.

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