Members of the clergy have taken on important roles since the August shooting death of an unarmed black man by a police officer in Ferguson. That’s also true within the St. Louis County Police Department.
The department has 23 volunteer chaplains from 11 denominations who have focused on the needs of police officers and their families, program coordinator Rabbi Mark Shook told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Wednesday. The chaplains often have an opportunity to talk with officers during breaks.
Religious leaders have actively addressed Ferguson issues and participated in Ferguson demonstrations since August. For the Very Rev. Mike Kinman, dean of Christ Church Cathedral, getting involved comes down to one word: Listen.
In 2012, Tony Flannery, an Irish priest and religious writer, found out the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s watchdog group, was displeased with some of his writings about the church.
Though he didn’t want to go to jail, Rabbi Ari Kaiman, the assistant rabbi at Congregation B’nai Amoona, was willing to be arrested in front of the Ferguson police station on Monday.
It was the fifth day of Sukkot, the holiday during which Jews are commanded to dwell outside in temporary houses with open roofs. The holiday calls for an act of vulnerability, Kaiman said, trusting that God will provide the protection needed.
Today, for the first time in the 88 years since the Dominican friars founded Aquinas Institute of Theology, a scholar and priest who is not a Dominican becomes its president.
Father Seán Charles Martin is the new Aquinas president.
“It is a big step for us because in our long history we have always had a Dominican,” the Very Rev Charles Bouchard said. He's the Dominican provincial, its elected leader, over 14 states from Michigan to New Mexico, who made today’s announcement in Chicago.
As communities seek leaders, members of the clergy are responding.
After the death of Michael Brown, followed by looting, riots, peaceful protests and arrests, local clergy and religious congregations are responding to the turmoil in Ferguson. On Wednesday, we talked to some of those leaders:
A newly signed law designed to protect religious expression in Missouri’s public schools reinforces a constitutional amendment passed two years ago, but some say that it could lead to fewer opportunities for students to express their religious views.
The law, HB1303, was signed last week by Gov. Jay Nixon. Dubbed the “Missouri Student Religious Liberties Act,” it says that:
The blues will spill out the open front doors of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis on Good Friday evening as local performers join in a service that blends religion with music rooted in city tradition.
The Very Rev. Mike Kinman, dean of the Episcopal cathedral, says blues will be incorporated throughout the program. The service will begin with a dramatic reading of gospel accounts of the passion of Jesus Christ and will conclude with a live concert.
At the close of World War II, Adolph Hitler committed suicide rather than face a world not shaped to his liking. So too did high-ranking Nazi officials Joseph Goebbel and Heinrich Himmler. But 23 of the leaders of the Third Reich remained alive to face justice for their crimes.
From November 1945 to October 1946, the world watched as the Allied forces tried 21 of those leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity. In the background, unnoticed by most, was an army chaplain from St. Louis named Henry Gerecke.