It has been a wrenching season for three of America’s largest religious denominations. Sex-abuse scandals and a schism over LGBT inclusion are fueling anguish within the Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and United Methodist churches.
Church officials are increasingly concerned that the crises will boost the ranks of young people disillusioned by organized religion.
For the U.S. Catholic church, the clergy sex-abuse scandal that has unfolded over two decades expanded dramatically in recent months. The Southern Baptist Convention confronted its own sex-abuse crisis in the form of a newspaper investigation that reported on hundreds of clergy and staff who were accused of sexual misconduct.
The United Methodist Church ended a pivotal conference on Tuesday in a seemingly irreconcilable split over same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBT clergy.