Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
Pope on Mother Teresa: She Suffered from 'God's Silence'
Pope Benedict said on Saturday that even the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta "suffered from the silence of God" despite her immense charity and faith, Reuters reports. The Pope was addressing a youth rally in Italy when he spoke about the new book that cites Mother Teresa's private letters, revealing that she experienced period of doubt and a crisis of faith. That the Pope mentioned Mother Teresa's torment as not being unusual is significant because there was some speculation that the published letters could hurt the procedure to make her a saint. "All believers know about the silence of God," Benedict said in unprepared remarks.
Study Shows Thinking about God Promotes Generosity
Can thoughts of God cultivate co-operation and generosity? Canadian Press reports that a study out of the University of British Columbia found thinking about God influenced positive social behavior, co-operation, and generosity. Researchers found that instilling God into a person's subconscious promoted altruism whether or not people declared themselves believers. The study will be published in the September issue of Psychological Science journal.
Hispanic, Black Churches Call For Bishop's Suspension
According to The Associated Press, a national group of black and Hispanic churches is calling for the minister husband of evangelist and gospel singer Juanita Bynum to be suspended from the ministry because of allegations he beat and choked his estranged wife, badly bruising her. The National Black Church Initiative considers the domestic violence charges against Bishop Thomas Weeks harmful to the entire Christian church, and calls for his apology and counseling. Observers say it's impossible to predict how Bynum's ministry will rebound, but some note it's possible she'll resume with little dropoff.
Psychiatrists the Least Religious of All Physicians
Science Daily reports that a nationwide survey of the religious beliefs and practices of American physicians has found that the least religious of all medical specialties is psychiatry. Among psychiatrists who have a religion, more than twice as many are Jewish and far fewer are Protestant or Catholic. The study, published in the September 2007 issue of Psychiatric Services, also found that religious physicians, especially Protestants, are less likely to refer patients to psychiatrists, and more likely to send them to members of the clergy or to a religious counselor.