Friday Five: RNS council, execution witness, McCarrick scandal, gamer pastor and more

GetReligion has covered the various happenings at Religion News Service since the firing of former editor in chief Jerome Socolovsky (now with NPR) and the resignations of other key staff and columnists.

This week brought another development for RNS — the appointment of a 19-person advisory council for the news service.

See the full list of members here.

Tell us what you think!

(Full disclosure: I do freelance reporting for RNS in addition to my full-time work with The Christian Chronicle.)

Now, let's dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: While working for The Oklahoman nearly two decades ago, I witnessed four executions. Still, I can't even imagine what Associated Press writer Michael Graczyk has done — serving as a media witness for 429 inmate deaths. 

If you missed it, news coverage of the retirement of Graczyk, a practicing Catholic, is worth your time.

2. Most popular GetReligion post: I'll repeat what I said last week: Reader interest in the ongoing Cardinal Theodore McCarrick scandal remains immense. Our four most-read posts of the week all related to the scandal.

The top one is this: "Why didn't journalists investigate McCarrick earlier? Because they thought conservatives were out to get him" by Julia Duin.

3. GetReligion guilt fodder (and more): Here's an interesting religion story that I don't think we've mentioned: the Washington Post's profile of an online church for gamers.

As the Post explains, Rev. Matt Souza "draws thousands to worship on Twitch."

If you're curious about what Twitch is, I took the liberty of Googling it for you.

4. Shameless plug: More on McCarrick: The Associated Press noted that canon lawyer Marjorie Murphy Campbell "has called for an independent investigation into the scandal."

Campbell's open letter links to GetReligion and mentions Duin (along with Rod Dreher):

More, media disclosures insist that the predatory behaviors of Cardinal McCarrick have been well known for decades. This from religion writer Julia Duin: “Numerous journalists – and Catholics – knew that McCarrick has been accused of this sort of thing for decades and that he cultivated male seminarians for sexual purposes for years.“ The American Conservative writer Rod Dreher makes similar assertions in his article “Cardinal McCarrick: Everybody Knew.”

5. Final thought: Hey, I had some nice personal news this week!

My wife, Tamie, and I are so excited about the arrival of our grandson, Bennett Tyler Ross. Isn't he just perfect?

Happy Friday, everybody!

Enjoy the weekend!

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