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By the staff of The Lutheran, ELCA News Service and Religion News Service

No ‘second-class’ faith

Amid rising rhetoric and crimes against American Muslims, the White House in December broadcast a counter message about religious pluralism. “There are no second- class faiths in the U.S.A.,” said Melissa Rogers, head of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighbor- hood Partnerships. The forum “Cel- ebrating and Protecting America’s Tradition of Religious Pluralism” called for Americans of different religious faiths to strive for more than tolerance. “Pluralism is about participation and engagement with one another across our differences, not simply coexisting beside one another,” Rogers said, paraphrasing Harvard University religion profes- sor Diana Eck, who runs the Plural- ism Project. Neither does pluralism mean a homogenization of religious beliefs. Rather it asks us to “bring our various particularities and beliefs to the table of conversation,” she added.


Marty named publisher of ‘The Christian Century’

eter W. Marty, an ELCA pastor, has been named publisher of The Christian Century, a major

journal of Protestant thinking in America. His role will be to advance the

vision and financial strength of the publication, expand its digital reach, and continue its delivery of religious news, commentary and scholar- ship, according to a news release. He assumes the post Feb. 1. John Buchanan, a Presbyterian

pastor who led magazine since 1999, retired at the end of 2015. David Heim, also an ELCA pastor, contin- ues as executive editor. “I am thrilled to be joining the

community of gifted writers and curiosity-filled readers known as The Christian Century,” Marty said. “While navigating the rapidly chang- ing worlds of print and digital media is an industry-wide challenge, the opportunities in this publishing

lor Angela Merkel led the enterprise in tackling the euro crisis brought on by Greece’s financial woes. She also made a decision to open Germany to Syrian refugees and migrants. “By year’s end, she had steered the [EU] through not one but two existential crises,” Time reported in its article naming her 2015 “Person of the Year.” Raised by a Lutheran pastor in the former East Germany, Merkel was Germany’s first female chancellor and has held the position for 10 years.

Sainthood granted ‘Person of the Year’

Described as the de facto leader of the European Union, German Chancel-


Pope Francis gave final clearance for Mother Teresa—called “the saint of the gutters” for her work with the poor in India—to become an offi- cial saint. The pope signed a decree declaring that the inexplicable 2008 recovery of a Brazilian man who sud- denly woke from a coma caused by

niche are many. I look forward to helping shape America’s conversa- tion about religion and faith in public life.”

Mar ty is pastor of St. Paul

Lutheran, a 3,500-member congre- gation in Davenport, Iowa. He will continue to serve St. Paul while lead- ing the magazine, based in Chicago. The lead columnist for The Lutheran for the past six years, Marty’s column will conclude with the June issue. He is a graduate of Colorado

College, Colorado Springs, and Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Conn. Marty speaks and preaches at churches and conferences across the country, and writes for a variety of journals and publications. The Christian Century, a biweekly

publication, covers theological, moral and cultural issues of the day through feature articles, news, blogs, poetry, book/film/music reviews, and editorials.

a viral brain infection was due to the intercession of the Albanian nun. The pontiff ’s action came three days after a Vatican panel of cardinals and bish- ops affirmed the judgment of medical experts and theologians who con- cluded that no medical explanation existed for the apparent cure. Church observers said Mother Teresa will likely be canonized on Sunday, Sept. 4, the day before the anniversary of her death in 1997.

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