Religion Today Daily Headlines - April 16, 2013

Religion Today Daily Headlines - April 16, 2013

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.

In today's edition:

  • Richard Lane to Head Southern Evangelical Seminary
  • Pope Forms Advisory Board to Reform Catholic Church
  • Obama Awards Catholic Army Chaplain Medal of Honor
  • Brennan Manning Dies at 78
  • Two Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line

Richard Lane to Head Southern Evangelical Seminary

Richard Land, the evangelical culture warrior who was set to leave his job with the Southern Baptists after a series of controversies, will step down early to become head of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, N.C., in July, RNS reports. The Charlotte school focuses on apologetics, or defending the Christian faith in the modern world, a subject Land is passionate about and taught for years as the head of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

"My goal is to join with the SES family to produce an ever increasing number of graduates who will be the green berets and paratroopers of God's army, and who will be used by him to win tremendous victories for Christ and His kingdom," Land said in a statement. A year ago, Land made controversial comments about race and the Trayvon Martin case that resulted in a reprimand from the SBC and the loss of his radio show. Land was also found to have lifted passages, without attribution, from another source for his radio commentaries. Russell Moore, dean of the school of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was elected to succeed Land.

Pope Forms Advisory Board to Reform Catholic Church

Pope Francis has set up an advisory board of 8 cardinals from around the world to look into ways of reforming the Catholic Church, the Christian Post reports. The advisory board was formed to help bring changes in the church's administration, which has been plauged by scandals, particularly in the eight-year reign of former Pope Benedict. The eight prelates come from the U.S., Italy, Chile, India, Germy, Democratic Republic of Congo, Austrailia and Hondoras. This diversity points to Francis' intention to allow bishops from around the world to have more say in Vatican decisions.

Obama Awards Catholic Army Chaplain Medal of Honor

Reverend Emil Kapaun was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama, RNS reports. A candidate for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church, Kapaun was a priest who served as an Army chaplain in the Korean War and was recognized for his bravery on the battlefield and in a prisoner-of-war camp. "Father Kapaun has been called a shepherd in combat boots," Obama said. "His fellow soldiers, who felt his grace and his mervy, called him a saint--a blessing from God. ... I can't imagine a better example for all of us."

Several POWs who survived the camp attended the White House ceremony. Ray Kapaun, Emil Kapuan's nephew, accepted the medal. He said that though he never knew his uncle, stories from the other POWs brought Emil Kapaun to life for him.

For Kapaun to reach canonization, the Vatican must find proof of two miracles attributed to Kapaun's intercession.

Brennan Manning Dies at 78

American author, friar, priest, contemplative and speaker Brennan Manning passed away at the age of 78, reports his offical website. He had battled failing health in recent years. His books, including The Ragamuffin Gospel and Abba's Child, touched many lives and had a profound impact on the way many lived out their faith. His final book was his memoir, All is Grace.

Two Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line

Two explosions have been reported near the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street as thousands of people gathered for the race, reports The Boston Channel. The blast happened around  2:50 p.m. Monday, about three hours after the winners crossed the line. Store fronts have been blown out, and there have been reports of dozens of injuries. The race was stopped and the area is being evacuated.

The first explosion happened across from the Lenox Hotel and the second blast was about 15 seconds later, witnesses said. Many of the injuries appeared to be spectators who gathered to watch the race.