Columnist Gives Top 10 Religion Stories of 2000

December 30, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 30, 2000, The Boston Globe ran Michael Paulson's "Top 10 religion stories of 2000:"

1. "Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) is nominated as the first Jewish candidate for vice president of the United States." Among other things, this caused Jews to question the "assumption that orthodoxy, at least for Jews, is incompatible with success in America."

2. "Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Bernard F. Law, and other Catholic prelates offer sweeping apologies for sins as part of celebration of Jubilee year." The Pope apologized for "injustice toward Jews, women, indigenous peoples, immigrants, the poor, and the unborn." Law's apologies were for "the anti-Semitism and racism of Boston Catholics and for the sexual misconduct of parish priests."

3. "Boston's Jesuit Urban Center strips a nun and a priest of their duties after the nun performs aspects of baptismal rites reserved for priests or deacon." Sister Jeannette Normandin's firing "sparks a debate over the place of women and gays in the Catholic Church."

4. "God-talk permeates presidential campaign," as "George W. Bush declares Jesus to be his favorite political philosopher [and] Al Gore says he is born-again."

5. "Southern Baptists declare women should not serve as senior pastors; Jimmy Carter drops out of denomination."

6. "Gay rights issues roil American religious institutions." In Vermont the Catholic Church tried "to defeat a law allowing same-sex couples to enter marriage-like relationships called civil unions." The Central Conference of American Rabbis votes to support same-sex weddings, but the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Episcopal Church vote not to.

7. "Mormons construct 100th temple, and it's in Belmont."

8. "Cardinal John O'Connor dies." He was "the most visible American prelate, a close ally of the Vatican, an outspoken opponent of abortion, and an advocate for labor unions and the poor."

9. The Right Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, Episcopalian bishop, "takes a month off to work as a congressional intern. He returns vowing to pursue more ways that the church can work with government to alleviate suffering."

10. "First woman bishop elected in predominantly African-American denomination." The Tampa Tribune gives her name as the Reverend Vashti McKenzie of Baltimore.