Religion Today Summaries - July 7, 2006

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - July 7, 2006

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:

  • Catholic Church to Excommunicate Stem Cell Researchers
  • Priest Knifed in Northern Turkey
  • International Christian Retail Show Set for Second Year in Denver
  • Money Does not Mean Happiness, Study Says

Catholic Church to Excommunicate Stem Cell Researchers

Family News in Focus reports that the Catholic Church has decided Women who donate eggs and scientists who do embryonic stem cell research are subject to the Church’s most drastic sanction - excommunication. Cardinal Trujillo told a Catholic magazine that stem cell research is the same as abortion because it takes a human life. Phil Lawler of Catholic World News says the penalty is immediate. “It’s called Latae sententiae excommunication. That means that it’s not the result of a canonical trial, a trial and a church tribunal. It’s something that you incur by yourself. You have cut yourself off from the community of the church. You’ve done it to yourself.” CJ Doyle of the Catholic Action League says the church’s stance doesn’t leave much wiggle room for Catholic senators who may vote for the upcoming stem cell research bill in the Senate.

Priest Knifed in Northern Turkey

A man with a history of feeding Turkish media false rumors of proselytizing by Father Pierre Brunissen knifed the elderly French Catholic priest on Sunday night (July 2), Compass Direct reports. The lead prosecutor insisted there was no religious motive. The attack on the 75-year-old Fr. Brunissen in the northern port city of Samsun left him bleeding profusely from a stab wound four inches into his thigh. After an overnight stay in intensive care at the May 19 University Medical Hospital, he was released the following morning. It was the fourth attack on Catholic clergy this year in Turkey, where two Turkish Protestant church leaders also have been assaulted in the past six months. The assailant, a diagnosed schizophrenic named Atilla Nuran, 47, was taken into police custody shortly after the attack. Nuran has appeared on Turkish TV accusing the church of smuggling heroin, showing pornographic videos and paying students to attend church. The church’s lawyer has won a series of court cases for libel against Nuran and other critics for spreading false rumors about its ministry.

International Christian Retail Show Set for Second Year in Denver

Up to 10,000 people representing all segments of the Christian retail industry are expected to attend the International Christian Retail Show to be held July 9-13, 2006 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Retailers from all 50 states and 58 countries will converge for the largest annual gathering of Christian retailers and product suppliers in the world. Bill Anderson, President and CEO of CBA, said, “It is the event that drives the business of the Christian Retail Channel.” The exhibit floor will feature Christian books, music, and gifts from over 406 different companies in 1,140 booth spaces, including 76 first-time exhibitors. Representatives from Christian retail stores from every state and around the world will place orders, research new product and marketing trends, and glean ideas for merchandising techniques and store promotions. Attendees will hear from best-selling authors such as Phillip Yancey, Randy Alcorn, and Staci and John Eldridge, and recording artists such as Selah, Casting Crowns, Jars of Clay, and Michael W. Smith. The show is not open to the general public.

Money Does not Mean Happiness, Study Says

Baptist Press reports the common belief that people who make more money are happier is mostly an illusion, according to a study appearing in the June 30 issue of the journal “Science.” “People with above-average income are relatively satisfied with their lives but are barely happier than others in moment-to-moment experience, tend to be more tense, and do not spend more time in particularly enjoyable activities,” the study led by two Princeton University professors found. “Moreover, the effect of income on life satisfaction seems to be transient.” Researchers examined data gleaned from a 2004 study and a 2005 study of working women in Texas and Ohio and discovered that higher income played a relatively small role in people’s daily happiness. “We argue that people exaggerate the contribution of income to happiness because they focus, in part, on conventional achievements when evaluating their life or the lives of others,” researchers wrote.