Members of the Religion News Association have named Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry RNA’s newsmaker of the year.
RELIGION NEWSMAKER OF THE YEAR
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, whose riveting sermon at the royal wedding “stole the show,” according to the British press, and raised his profile as a progressive religious voice.
OTHER NEWSMAKERS ON THE BALLOT
Evangelist Billy Graham, whose death at 99 caps the most influential ministry in modern evangelical history.
Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who emerged as a voice of lament and peace after an anti-Semitic gunman killed 11 at his Tree of Life / Or L’Simcha synagogue.
Rachael Denhollander, who emerged as an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual misconduct in churches and whose victim-impact statement — balancing justice with forgiveness — at the sentencing of pedophile doctor Larry Nassar went viral.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who rocked the Catholic Church with hotly disputed contentions that Pope Francis covered up sexual abuse and should resign.
Brett Kavanaugh, who drew strong support from religious conservatives in a Supreme Court confirmation dominated by an explosive allegation of attempted rape as a teen, making it a signature case in the #MeToo movement.
Megachurch pioneer Bill Hybels, who retired early from Willow Creek Community Church amid accusations of sexual misconduct.
Notable write-in votes included retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (4 votes), President Donald Trump (2 votes) and Pope Francis (2 votes).
The top two religion stories named by RNA members were
1. Pennsylvania grand jury reports 301 Catholic priests were accused of sexually abusing at least 1,000 minors. Other state & U.S. probes begin. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, faulted for past role as bishop of Pittsburgh, resigns as Washington archbishop.
2. In the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S history, a gunman kills 11 worshipers at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, home to three congregations. Attack comes amid surveys showing growing anti-Semitism in West and decreasing awareness of Holocaust.