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College of the Holy Cross

The College of the Holy Cross (holycross.edu), located in Worcester, Mass., is among the nation’s leading liberal arts institutions. A highly selective, four-year, exclusively undergraduate college of 2,900 students, Holy Cross is renowned for offering a rigorous, personalized education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition. Since its founding in 1843, Holy Cross has made a positive impact in society by graduating students who distinguish themselves as thoughtful leaders in business, professional and civic life.

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Many religious groups often get labeled as cults. David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images

What is a cult?

A religion scholar explains why the label of ‘cult’ gets in the way of understanding new religions and political movements.
When Pope John Paul II was beatified, Zimbabwe’s ruler, Robert Mugabe, was in attendance and given Communion. Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Controversy over Communion in the Catholic Church goes back some 2,000 years

Biden is not the first public figure to whom the Catholic Church wants to deny Communion. Over the centuries, the Church has often come under criticism for either denying or giving Communion.
People visiting a Christ sculpture at the Santa Maria Magdalena Church during the Holy Week in Granada, Spain. Álex Cámara/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Why parts of Good Friday worship have been controversial

Prayers and symbols have the power to bind people together, writes a religion scholar, and so it is important to understand the history and context of Good Friday prayers.
Army chaplain Emil Kapaun helps a soldier on the battlefield during the Korean War in 1952. Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

US army chaplain Emil Kapaun advancing toward sainthood

In early Christianity, soldiers could be baptized only if they refused to kill other human beings. While this changed over the years, tensions linger over Christian goals.
Lent is a period of fasting and reflection for many Chistians. Pascal Deloche/Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

What are the origins of Lent?

The 40-day Lenten season, when many Christians observe fasting, began in mid-February. A scholar explains how the practice may have emerged around the fifth century.
Children begin to learn grammar well before they start school, when they craft their first short sentences. RonTech2000/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Why does grammar matter?

Grammar isn’t a way to bully people for making mistakes, says a longtime English instructor. It is a way to understand how our language operates, in all its many written and spoken varieties.
Vice President Mike Pence says he ‘welcomes’ objections to Biden’s Electoral College win, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats reject any such effort. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Why Trump’s Senate supporters can’t overturn Electoral College results they don’t like – here’s how the law actually works

The 1887 Electoral Count Act spells out the process for Congress to convene and review election results on Jan. 6, and it requires both the House and Senate to uphold any challenges to Biden’s win.
An image of 15-year-old Carlo Acutis during his beatification ceremony in Assisi, Italy. AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Who are patron saints and why do Catholics venerate them?

Many saints are venerated for specific reasons, professions or even nations. There are saints who are believed to provide assistance in selling a property.
If the House of Representatives selects the president, each state would get a single vote – not one vote per House member. iStock/Getty

Congress could select the president in a disputed election

Judges are generally reluctant to decide elections, as the Supreme Court controversially did in 2000. As a result, Trump’s flurry of litigation could wind up throwing the election to the House.
In ancient Athens, only the richest people paid taxes on wealth, and they were happy to do it. Twospoonfuls via Wikimedia Commons

Only the richest ancient Athenians paid taxes – and they bragged about it

In ancient Athens, the richest people paid taxes to support what the residents considered the salvation of the city. These taxes earned them social and political clout more valuable than money.
The ceremony for the beatification of Carlo Acutis, an Italian boy who died in 2006 of leukemia, is held Oct. 10 in front of the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, Italy. AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

An Italian teen is set to become the first millennial saint, but canonizing children is nothing new in the Catholic Church

Italian teenager Carlo Acutis, who died at the age of 15, is on the path to becoming a saint. A scholar explains the long history of child saints in the Catholic Church.
What happens when an election is contested? Gorilla Studio/Getty

A contested election: 6 essential reads

The presidential election outcome seems to be at least partially in dispute. Six scholars provide a history of contested elections in the US and explain what happens when the results are challenged.
Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is sworn in Oct. 12 for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leah Millis/Pool via AP

The history of oath ceremonies and why they matter when taking office

Taking oath is an important tradition before assuming charge of a public office. It entails a commitment to the future. What is the history of oath-taking?
If the House of Representatives selects the president, each state would get a single vote – not one vote per House member. iStock / Getty Images Plus

How Congress could decide the 2020 election

Biden and Trump are both preparing for a court battle in November. But when the Electoral College produces no clear winner, it’s the House of Representatives that’s supposed to select the president.
Members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal organization, which began in Pennsylvania in 1967, holding a meeting in France. Photo by Jacques Pavlovsky/Sygma via Getty Images

What is charismatic Catholicism?

The Catholic charismatic movement in the United States began during the 1960s. The practices of Catholic charismatics encompass various forms of Pentecostalism.

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