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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2014 | By Nicole Santa Cruz
Though the Rev. Robert H. Schuller was the face of the once-global "Hour of Power" television ministry, he was never alone. His wife, Arvella, was always behind the scenes, working to make sure everything ran smoothly. Arvella Schuller, who served as a producer of the television show and was one of the main creative forces of the Crystal Cathedral, died Tuesday at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange after a brief illness. She was 84. In a statement, her grandson, Bobby V. Schuller, said she died "peacefully of natural causes.
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WORLD
April 16, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
MAALOULA, Syria - From the debris-strewn front garden of the Safir Hotel, Syrian military commanders barked orders to troops taking cover in the smoke-shrouded maze of streets below. "If you hear any movement, throw hand grenades immediately!" a general advised on his two-way radio as he peered at the battle unfolding like a distant video game at the bottom of the hill. On Tuesday, Syrian forces were targeting the remnants of a rebel force in this historic town, long a center of Christian worship and pilgrimage.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Nardine Saad, This post has been updated. See below for details.
Leah Remini is opening up further about her controversial decision to leave the Church of Scientology, calling herself a "hypocrite" for staying with the organization and saying everything the church taught her was "a lie. " The "King of Queens" alum made headlines last summer because of her break with the high-profile organization . In a Buzzfeed interview published Wednesday, Remini, who had been a Scientologist for more than 30...
NATIONAL
March 30, 2014 | By Richard Simon
Its official name is the Safe Carry Protection Act. Critics call it the "guns everywhere bill. " Legislation awaiting the governor's signature in Georgia would allow guns in bars, churches, airports and schools. It has drawn national attention because of its sweep. The National Rifle Assn. called the bill's passage a "historic victory for the 2nd Amendment. " Americans for Responsible Solutions, founded by Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was wounded in a 2011 shooting, called it the most extreme gun bill in the nation.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 18, 2013 | By Jessica Gelt
Christian charity will be hitting the small screen in the middle of next year when "It Takes a Church" is to debut on GSN. The network announced Tuesday that it has greenlighted the new original series, which features 2014 Grammy Award nominee Natalie Grant as host. The hourlong reality show is to visit a different congregation at churches across the U.S. in order to find the perfect romantic partner for a preselected single person. The church's pastor will then ask his or her congregation to try to find a match.
NEWS
November 27, 2012 | By Michael McGough
Religious conservatives in the United States  have been complaining that developments in the political arena - the Obamcare contraceptive mandate, the progress of same-sex civil marriage - threaten religious freedom. They're crying wolf, but similar alarums in the Mother Country make a bit more sense.  Because England has an established church, some of whose bishops sit in Parliament, the political question of same-sex marriage has religious reverberations that  don't sound here.
OPINION
February 12, 2013
Re "Church used funds meant for the dead," Feb. 10 Several years ago I visited the small Roman Catholic church in Loreto, Mexico. There, I saw an older, probably poor woman with a small boy dropping a few coins into the collection box. A few years later, fortune brought me to the Vatican. It was beautiful and the works of art were stunning, but I couldn't stop thinking about that poor woman and child in Loreto giving what little they had to such a wealthy organization. As we stood in St. Peter's Square, the pope's private white helicopter flew overhead; our guide said, "There goes his holiness to his summer retreat.
OPINION
May 15, 2013
Re "A posthumous fall from grace," May 12 On the one hand, men like Cardinal Roger Mahony and the late Msgr. Benjamin Hawkes, who was accused posthumously of sex abuse, seemed to be just the men to act in the best interests of the Los Angeles archdiocese at a time of a rapid expansion of the Catholic population. On the other, they were unable to resist profound moral pitfalls while working to meet those needs. Mahony is trying to reinstate himself as a moral leader after having been exposed as a protector of sexual predators.
OPINION
May 12, 2010 | Tim Rutten
"To live is to change," wrote the 19th century English Cardinal John Henry Newman, "and to be perfect is to have changed often." Pope Benedict XVI will preside over Newman's beatification — sainthood's honorific antechamber — when he visits Britain in September, but between now and then he's likely to hear growing demands for change in the governance of an ancient but scandal-ravaged institution In a stunningly blunt editorial, for...
OPINION
November 10, 2012
Several readers who disagreed with The Times' Monday editorial , which expressed concern over priests who made political statements from the pulpit before Tuesday's vote, noted that the same day's paper published a photo of Gov. Jerry Brown in the pews of a South L.A. church campaigning for Proposition 30. In a letter Tuesday, Robert S. Rodgers of Culver City asked: "Do the editors approve of Democrats going to churches to push for their causes...
NEWS
March 11, 2014 | By Patt Morrison
What would Jesus shoot? Some churches in Kentucky and in upstate New York are doing what it takes to get people into the pews to hear the word of God - and in their neck of the woods, that means giving away guns. The flier for the raffle at Grace Baptist Church, in Troy, N.Y.,  shows an AR-15 - an assault rifle altered to make it legal in that state - with a quote from the gospel of St. John, “My peace I give unto you.” It isn't spelled “piece,” but it could have been.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2014 | By Kurt Streeter
Pope Francis is one of the best-known religious figures in the world, but a new Pew Research poll seeking to quantify his popularity raises questions about the so-called Francis effect. The poll found an overwhelming embrace of Francis, who has been trying to steer the Catholic Church toward a greater emphasis on compassion for the poor and marginalized. Sixty percent of non-Catholics and 85% of Catholics surveyed said they viewed the pontiff favorably - numbers approaching those of Pope John Paul II, whose peak popularity ratings among Catholics hovered just above 90%. However, the poll found no change in the number of people who self-identify as Catholic or in the number sitting in church pews on Sundays.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
"Is this a church?" Sidonie Smith said as she stood outside Grant Elementary in Santa Monica. "I'm so excited about the impact it will have on our community. I've been praying for a church to come here for 40 years. " Not all residents share Smith's enthusiasm. Since late January, some neighbors have expressed dissatisfaction with the arrangement between City of God church and its landlord, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Six district campuses allow larger churches to rent space when schools aren't in session.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
Each week, thousands of Christians gather for prayer and discussion at Liberty University's cavernous Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va. One Monday morning in January, they listened to husband-and-wife film producing team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey pitch their new movie, "Son of God. " About 10,000 students and faculty members watched as the pair behind the hit History channel miniseries "The Bible" showed clips from the film and discussed its...
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2014 | By Nardine Saad, This post has been updated. See below for details.
Leah Remini is opening up further about her controversial decision to leave the Church of Scientology, calling herself a "hypocrite" for staying with the organization and saying everything the church taught her was "a lie. " The "King of Queens" alum made headlines last summer because of her break with the high-profile organization . In a Buzzfeed interview published Wednesday, Remini, who had been a Scientologist for more than 30...
NATIONAL
February 20, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
As far as congregants at a rural Mississippi church are concerned, God does indeed work in mysterious and miraculous ways. On Wednesday night, the second floor of Freedom Baptist Church in Myrick, Miss., collapsed, sending about 70 parishioners tumbling through the floor during a youth worship service. About 35 were injured with what a church official on Thursday told the Los Angeles Times were “cuts and bruises.” “It was a miracle,” Pastor Tommy Davis told the Times by telephone.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 13, 2013 | By Harriet Ryan
Two men came forward to say that a prominent leader of the Los Angeles archdiocese during the post-war boom years molested them, the L.A. Times reported Sunday. Msgr. Benjamin Hawkes was a power broker in Los Angeles during that era. The second-in-command to two cardinals, he ran the Los Angeles church for three decades, a span during which it grew into the largest, most diverse, and by some counts, wealthiest archdiocese in the nation. His knack for money and real estate gave him influence from Rome to Hollywood.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2014 | By Todd Martens
With the title cut of his latest album, country star Eric Church proclaims himself one of "The Outsiders," but he's definitely among the in-crowd now. "The Outsiders" cruises to the No. 1 spot on the U.S. pop charts, having sold 288,000 copies in its first week in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. That makes it the biggest debut of a young 2013 and Church's second album to hit the top spot on Billboard's charts . His last album, 2011's "Chief," debuted with 145,000 copies sold, according to Billboard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl at a Riverside church, police said Tuesday. Gionatan Ricard Almaraz , who lives in Moreno Valley, was arrested Tuesday after a parent of the alleged victim called authorities, the Riverside Police Department said. Almaraz was a staff member at Riverside Apostolic Church, where the alleged victim was a member. Police said the girl was assaulted at the church. Almaraz was being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on suspicion of felony sexual contact with a minor and seducing a minor via telephone or Internet, police said.
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