So Are Dogs Going to Heaven or Not?

Categories: Religion

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Wikimedia Commons

First the pope said all dogs can go to heaven, and then he didn't.

On Friday, newspapers all over the world gushed about what appeared to be brand new dog doctrine to come out of the Vatican. Pope Francis, while consoling a boy whose dog had died, promised the kid they would be reunited in heaven. It was viral social media fodder and a huge win for PETA. It also gave Catholic pet-owners everywhere a glimpse at a brighter afterlife full of rough-and-tumble slobber kisses and turds.

Well, turns out the pope was totally misquoted.

See also:
Bachmann Church Claims Catholic Pope Is the Anti-Christ


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River of Life Church Ordered to Stop Hosting Wild Parties

Categories: Religion

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Ben Johnson
River of Life Church

Neighbors say River of Life church in north Minneapolis hosted wild parties almost every weekend since last spring, complete with thumping music, weed smoke, and drunken fights spilling into the street.

"It's like a nightclub, it's not like a church. They should be doing bible study, praying for the sick, but no, instead we hear loud music and fighting every weekend," said neighbor Connie Reine.

See also:
So This Is The Homophobe Who Kept Vandalizing Gay-Friendly Maple Grove Church [PHOTO]

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Father Gerald Funcheon and the Croisers at Center of New "Public Nuisance" Lawsuits

Categories: Religion
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Still from Jeff Anderson & Associates video
Gerald Funcheon doesn't know how many children he sexually abused as a priest. Maybe 12, he responded two years ago in a taped deposition. Maybe 18. "I can't give you an answer on this. Okay?"

However, internal church documents released Thursday by attorney Jeff Anderson show the number of abused children may actually be as high as 50. Five of them have filed "public nuisance" lawsuits against Funcheon and the Croisers religious order, which ordained the man in 1965 and spent decades moving him across the country.

See also:
Jeff Anderson Files "Public Nuisance" Lawsuit Against the Diocese of New Ulm



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Archdiocese Destroyed Father Donald Dummer's Porn Tapes, Records Show

Categories: Religion
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Jesse Marx
In January 2002, a part-time employee of St. Mary's Church in St. Paul sent a letter to a Catholic Parents OnLine in desperation. Five years earlier, the employee had been working in the room of Father Donald Dummer and "I was shocked by one video of boys 10 to 12 years of age playing basketball -- nude."

The once-secret letter, which was released Thursday by attorney Jeff Anderson, contains other allegations and suspicions -- that in the '90s Dummer rubbed his hands across a woman's breast, that he visited young boys after their release from the hospital, that he boasted of getting a hard-on during a wedding ceremony.

See also:
Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Adds Names of 17 Priests to "Credibly Accused" List



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Atheists Just Want to Marry, Too

Categories: Religion

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Cory Doctorow

If you want to marry two of your friends in Minnesota, it's easy. Like, really easy. There's a whole bevy of free options for you to peruse -- spend about a minute filling out a form to be an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church, or be like Lebowski and hook up with theChurch of the Latter-Day Dude.

Grab your credentials from the awesome online church of your choice, bring it to the county government center, get yourself registered, and you're done. You are now free to wed whomever you see fit. Pretty great, right?


See also:
MN Atheists Sponsoring Anti-Dogma Billboards

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Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Adds Names of 17 Priests to "Credibly Accused" List

Categories: Religion
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Jesse Marx
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has added 17 names to its list of credibly accused priests as part of a settlement agreement with Jeff Anderson's law firm. Nine priests allegedly abused minors within the archdiocese and eight allegedly abused minors outside the archdiocese, but held assignments here.

The list has also been updated to include three men whose alleged crimes had previously been considered unsubstantiated. It's not immediately clear why the status of these claims was elevated, but give it time. Some, if not all, of the files are expected to be made public in the coming weeks and months.

See also:
Jeff Anderson Settles Lawsuit with Archdiocese, Sets Up New "Child Protection Protocols"


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Father Richard Rice Refuses Questions About Allegedly Abusive Clergy, Citing Priest Privilege

Categories: Religion
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Father Thomas Stitts, courtesy of Jeffrey Anderson & Associates
Before his death in 1985, Father Thomas Stitts is believed to have confessed his sins of sexual abuse -- and the sins of some of his colleagues -- in a letter. However, that letter may have been burned to protect the parties involved.

There is still one way to get to the bottom of what Stitts knew -- by asking the priests who were close to him near the end, some of whom are still alive. But they're not talking.

See also:
Jeff Anderson Settles Lawsuit with Archdiocese, Sets Up New "Child Protection Protocols"



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Religious Freedom Group Says Transgender Athlete Policy "Treats Children As Guinea Pigs"

Categories: Religion, Sports

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The October hearing, from Jana Shortal on Twitter

As the Minnesota State High School League keeps deliberating on a policy to allow transgendered athletes to choose what sport they play based on their gender identity, it's heard from nearly everybody. Students, parents, administrators, activists.

To us, the policy seemed logical (and simply the right thing to do). But for the Alliance Defending Freedom, it's been anything but.


See also:
"Controversial" MSHSL Draft Policy Really Shouldn't Be

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Jeff Anderson Settles Lawsuit with Archdiocese, Sets Up New "Child Protection Protocols"

Categories: Crime, Religion
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Jeff Anderson & Associates
From left, Jim Keenan with Tim O'Malley, Jeff Anderson, Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Vicar General Charles Lachowitzer, and Mike Finnegan
Jeff Anderson hurries down the historic hallways of the Landmark Center in St. Paul dressed in a blue-pin-striped shirt with a white collar and pauses to hug two men. Both Jim Keenan and Al Michaud have been working with the attorney for years -- both victims of clerical sexual abuse.

"This is a good day," Anderson whispers and steps aside, revealing an odd sight: two priests.

See also:
Thomas Adamson coldly confesses to sexually abusing children as a priest



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LGBT Catholics Call on Archbishop John Nienstedt for Inclusion [VIDEO]

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Todd Wardrope
-- Update at bottom --

The sun is setting on the Cathedral of St. Paul as the sidewalk across the street begins to fill. A woman with a rainbow satchel joins the crowd in singing "Put a Little Love in Your Heart."

She's part of a Thursday night vigil that was organized by the Human Rights Campaign and punctured by honking cars and solemn prayers that someday LGBT Catholics might be respected for who they are.

See also:
Archbishop John Nienstedt crusades against gay marriage



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