Religion news in brief

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 15, 2014 22:00 hrs

DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas nurse who has Ebola has been given plasma to fight the virus taken from the blood of a doctor who beat the disease.

The Rev. Jim Khoi, pastor of the Fort Worth church attended by Nina Pham's family, said she received a transfusion of plasma containing Ebola-fighting antibodies Monday afternoon.

Samaritan's Purse confirmed the plasma came from Dr. Kent Brantly, the missionary doctor who survived Ebola. Brantly contracted Ebola while working with the nonprofit medical mission group in Liberia.

Samaritan's Purse spokesman Jeremy Blume says Brantly traveled to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas Sunday to donate the plasma.

Brantly said in a recent speech that he also offered his blood to Thomas Eric Duncan, but that their blood types didn't match. Duncan died of Ebola on Wednesday.


Next gay marriage fight: religious exemptions

Alarmed by the broad expansion of same-sex marriage set in motion by the U.S. Supreme Court, religious conservatives are moving their fight to state legislatures.

They're seeking exemptions from providing service or benefits for gay spouses for wedding vendors like bakers, florists and photographers and faith-affiliated groups that rent their properties for wedding receptions. Exemptions also are being sought for religious charities that provide adoption and other social services, and for individual religious objectors like justices of the peace and government clerks.

But winning religious exemptions will be an uphill battle. Public attitudes against exceptions have hardened, and efforts by faith groups in states where courts have imposed same-sex marriage have had little success.


Catholic bishops take distance from gay document

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Conservative Catholic bishops are distancing themselves from a document showing an unprecedented opening toward gays and divorced people, saying it doesn't reflect their views and vowing to make changes to the final version.

The provisional document produced at the halfway point of a two-week meeting on family life says gays have gifts to offer the church and that their partnerships, while morally problematic, provide gay couples with "precious" support. It says the church must welcome divorced people and recognize the "positive" aspects of civil marriages and even Catholics who cohabit. Vatican spokesman the Rev. Thomas Rosica says the bishops want to avoid words like "intrinsically disordered" or "living in sin.

But amid an outcry from conservatives, organizers of the synod insisted Tuesday that the document was merely a working paper that would be amended.


Christian group singer killed in Indiana crash

LEBANON, Ind. (AP) — Police say a singer and pianist with a Christian musical group was killed when an RV he was driving crashed over the weekend on a highway in Indiana.

The Boone County Sheriff's Department says 61-year-old Roy Bray of Trenton, Kentucky, was driving the RV carrying The Southmen Quartet when it went off Interstate 65 about 2 a.m. Sunday and into a wooded median near Lebanon, about 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

The department says Bray was pronounced dead at the scene, while 72-year-old singer Jim Hefner, of Albertville, Alabama, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Two other group members on the RV weren't hurt.

The group was heading south after a performance in the northern Indiana town of Shipshewana.


Pat Boone: Gospel album will be his last

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Singer Pat Boone says his new album of gospel songs, "Legacy," will be his last.

Boone says he's had success in all kinds of music in his 60-year career, but the new album of 17 Christian songs he wrote himself is what he wants to be his legacy.

The 80-year-old singer says, "I figure if I am going to do a last album, I would rather it be this kind of music. Because I expect to be singing this after I have passed away. I am going to be up there singing some of these songs."

Boone says he can still sing, but it's harder than it used to be. He says when he was young it was "so easy, like breathing."

One of the songs on his "Legacy" album is called "Breathe," a prayer to receive the breath of God.