Religion Briefs

Kentucky
Presbyterian Church agencies cut staff
– LOUISVILLE — Staff cuts are continuing at several agencies of the Louisville-based Presbyterian Church (USA), further evidence that the global financial crisis also has enveloped churches.
The church’s Presbyterian Foundation, headquartered in Jeffersonville, Ind., laid off five employees late last month and seven more took early retirement.
The 2.5 million-member denomination’s Louisville-based Office of the General Assembly cut $400,000 from its $14 million budget for 2009 and $800,000 from the 2010 budget.

Utah
Gore meets with LDS church leaders
– SALT LAKE CITY — Officials say former Vice President Al Gore has met with Mormon church President Thomas S. Monson to discuss concerns over carbon dioxide emissions.
In a statement, the church said Gore met with Monson and other senior leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He gave a 30-minute presentation about CO2 emissions, which was followed by several minutes of questions and answers.
Gore, who served as vice president for eight years, is now the chairman of a firm focused on sustainable investing and a co-founder of an independent cable and television network that uses viewer-created content.

Nevada
Group warns
not to fund church
– RENO — A group that advocates the separation of church and state is warning a Nevada city that it will sue if the city gives more money to a church that Mark Twain helped build in his 20s.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State decided not to sue over Carson City’s two past payments to the First Presbyterian Church, In February, supervisors awarded $78,800 to the church for sidewalks, landscaping and roof repairs. In 2006, the city gave $67,700 to help with design costs for a new church, which is adjacent to the original one built in the 1860s.
Twain raised $200 — worth about $2,200 today — to help complete construction of the church by charging admission to his January 1864 “roast” of Nevada lawmakers in Carson City, the state capital.

Pennsylvania
Colleges say they didn’t distribute condoms
– SCRANTON — Seeking to reassure their region’s outspoken bishop, the presidents of four Roman Catholic institutions of higher learning in northeastern Pennsylvania say their schools do not provide condoms or other contraceptives in conflict with church teaching.
The presidents of Marywood University, the University of Scranton, Misericordia University and King’s College jointly wrote to Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino to address his concerns.
Martino asked the schools for clarification on their contraceptive policies after a March 25 article in the student newspaper at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia that said the school finds “middle ground” between church doctrine and health care. Martino has earned a reputation as a watchdog of orthodoxy, singling out Catholic politicians who do not line up with church teaching against abortion. He interrupted a parish forum on last fall’s election to say opposition to abortion was by far the most important issue to consider when voting.
The Associated Press

 

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