Patron saint of the internet? Millennial Catholic's relic to start tour in New York
Plus a closer look at Brian Laundrie's social media and a new Netflix show
Hi ReligionUnplugged readers,
On Friday, the relic belonging to the first millennial considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church will begin touring New York in Brooklyn and Queens. Carlo Acutis, a computer genius who died at age 15 from fulminant leukemia, was placed on the path to sainthood after he coded a website to catalogue miracles and sightings of the Virgin Mary.
The relic, seven strands of hair encased in gold, will travel to schools in the city in hopes of inspiring young people to the Catholic faith. They also hope a second miracle will happen so Acutis can be confirmed as a saint. Wes Parnell reports on the artifact — be sure you don’t miss the video!
After the disappearance and death of Gabby Petito, which the FBI has ruled a homicide, many have scoured the internet for clues about her killer and missing fiancé Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in Petito’s death and the subject of a federal arrest warrant for alleged debit card fraud. Our intern Sofia Kioko found that Laundrie’s social media accounts are populated with drawings of popular characters that show an interest in violence, death and demons. Read more and see the images here.
Netflix’s “Midnight Mass” is currently a top trending show and the perfect spooky show to kick off the fall. Created by former altar boy and popular horror director Mike Flanagan, the show takes place in a sleepy town where miracles abound — but those miracles come with a price. Catch up with our review after you’ve watched the series, and let us know what you think.
See you next week!
The social media accounts of Brian Laundrie, the subject of a federal arrest warrant after the remains of his fiance Gabby Petito were found in Wyoming Sept. 19, reveal an interest in dark themes related to violence, demons and death. For example, one image shows grim reapers surrounding sheep with a caption describing that they’re being led to slaughter.
(REVIEW) “Midnight Mass,” a Netflix horror miniseries from creator Mike Flanagan, brings viewers to a small island town visited by a mysterious and charismatic priest and his accompanying “angel.” The show explores the enchanting power of miracles and asks Christians to be careful where they direct their worship.
(ANALYSIS) The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture’s new series called “Portraits of Grace: Honoring Heroes of the COVID-19 Pandemic” offers a space for New Yorkers and Christians to reflect on the pandemic with an eye towards the hopeful.
Courts and police across Kazakhstan have fined at least 15 people and three organizations so far in 2021 for holding meetings for worship or other religious rituals without state permission. “It is not allowed to pray at any location unless it's approved,” an Aktobe police officer said.
An art piece planned to preserve the Christian heritage of the United Kingdom and profile a million answered prayers is coming to life amid data showing increased interest in spirituality and prayer, especially among young people.
Weekend Plug-In: As COVID-19 Vaccine War Rages, Focus On Religious Exemptions Grows by Bobby Ross Jr.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews Proclaim ‘Trump 2024’ In The Midst Of A Religious Celebration by Dr. Michael Brown
For Christians Trapped In Afghanistan, British Bureaucracy Could Be A Killer by Miles P.J. Windsor
Will American Jews Abandon The Democratic Party? by Dr. Michael Brown
Don’t miss our latest podcast
How Will Afghanistan's Next Chapter be Written?
With radical changes to the political, religious and cultural environment in Afghanistan all at once, the norms for how the Afghan people are discussed particularly by western journalists is currently under construction. Senior Contributor and Board Member Roberta Ahmanson and Senior Contributor Terry Mattingly discuss what the future of journalism and religion coverage in Afghanistan might look like and highlight the blind spots that could follow. Find it on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or listen directly on our website.
In case you missed it
Editorial picks from our archives
Pope Francis: 'Lord Wanted To Reward' Jewish Woman Who Took Eucharist by Timothy Nerozzi
Pope Francis told the media aboard his papal plane that he has never denied Holy Communion to anyone and that he once gave the Eucharist to a Jewish woman in a nursing home. In Catholic Church law, only confirmed Catholics in good standing may receive Communion. But the pope found the encounter to be a positive mishap.
Neal Harmon is the CEO of a streaming service called VidAngel that initially started as a "content filtering" service, for families to stream TV and movies without sex, language or violence. Now it has begun to produce original content — such as "The Chosen," a drama series about the life of Jesus. Harmon talks to contributor Joseph Holmes about the service, some of their current projects and what's next.
Thanks again for reading! If you like what you see, share our new newsletter with your family and friends.
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. For $5 a month, subscribe to our Weekend Plug-In Substack. Any news tips for us? Is there a story you think we should be covering? We want to know! Email our managing editor Meagan at firstname.lastname@example.org.