This weekend, tune in to State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, for a new conversation on marriage; to hear from the growing margins of the Catholic Church on the Pope’s resignation; and to learn what to expect after the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

A New Conversation on Marriage
In 2008, social scientist David Blankenhorn testified convincingly in support of California’s Proposition 8, a proposed constitutional amendment restricting marriage to one man and one woman. So when he publicly changed his position on marriage equality last year, Mr. Blankenhorn raised many eyebrows. The founder of the Institute for American Values, Mr. Blankenhorn joins Welton on State of Belief to explain why he thinks the time has come to remove marriage equality from its status as fodder in this country’s culture wars, and instead build alliances among gay and straight couples to strengthen the institution of marriage itself. Click here for extended interview and transcript.

“Benedict’s Painful Legacy”
For the first time in 600 years, a Pope has resigned. In the history of the papacy, it’s only happened 5 times. Since then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger took the helm in 1981 of the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI has had a profound impact on global Catholicism. Elizabeth Drescher, senior contributor to Religion Dispatches, is on State of Belief this week to take a look at how Pope Benedict’s legacy has affected different groups within the Catholic Church, and the reflections of Catholics marginalized by his policies. Her piece, “Benedict’s Painful Legacy,” appeared this week at Religion Dispatches. Dr. Drescher teaches religion and pastoral ministries at Santa Clara University, and is the author of “Tweet If You ♥ Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation” and “Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible.” She is currently at work on “Choosing Our Religion: The Spiritual Lives of Religious Nones.”

Nobody Expects the Papal Resignation
As the world responded in shock to Pope Benedict’s announcement that he would be stepping down as pope on February 28, we were fortunate enough to catch up with Religion News Service Vatican Correspondent Alessandro Speciale, who was able to provide us with an on-the-ground perspective. What are the hierarchical and political implications of Pope Benedict’s resignation? What’s the mood in the Vatican, and on the streets of Rome? And what’s supposed to happen next? Speciale fills us in and gives us an idea of what we should be watching for in the coming month. Click here for extended interview and transcript.

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