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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vatican Defends Pope Benedict

from ReligionNews.com

The Vatican "heatedly defended" Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday, according to the AP, saying that charges that the pope mishandled cases of predatory priest are part of anti-Catholic "hate" campaign motivated by Catholic opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

"The pope embodies moral truths that aren't accepted," said the Vatican's dean of the College of Cardinals, "and so, the shortcomings and errors of priests are used as weapons against the church." In Germany, nearly 2,700 people have called a church-run sexual abuse hotline in its first three days in operation; most were victims.

NPR says a big question lies at the heart of two sex-abuse lawsuits wending their way through federal court: Does the Vatican control its priests? Vatican observers say the sex abuse scandal lays bare the Vatican's central flaw: its outmoded and inept management.

President Obama spoke in deeply personal terms of his faith in redemption through Christ's resurrection at an Easter breakfast at the White House on Tuesday. Before breakfast, he met privately with about 20 prominent black clergy, amid grumbling that African Americans are low on his agenda.

White House advisers plan to remove terms like "Islamic radicalism" from a national security report to emphasize that the U.S. does not view Muslims through the lens of terrorism, the AP reports. The administration has authorized the assasination of an American-born Muslim cleric with ties to the accused Fort Hood shooter and Underwear Bomber.

Los Angeles, the nation's largest Roman Catholic diocese, has a new archbishop, Jose Gomez, who will become the highest ranking Latino Catholic in the country. The Archdiocese of Chicago is bestowing a lifetime achievement award the Rev. Michael Pfleger, who was suspended from ministry briefly during the 2008 presidential campaign for mocking Hillary Clinton.

When Supreme Court Justice John Stevens retires there will be no more Protestants on the high court, NPR reports, unless of course he's replaced by one.

Government officials in two FLDS communities misused government funds, according to Utah officials. The ACLU wants a Louisiana politician to stop washing employees' feet during Holy Week. A man arrested in Texas claims that his religious beliefs justify his use of "deadly force" to stop abortions.

California lawmakers are working to repeal a state law that classifies homosexuals as "sexual deviants" and looks for the "causes and cures" of homosexuality. Students in Mississippi held a private prom to avoid inviting a lesbian.

The WaPo traces the journey of a young Russian to Islamic radical. Morocco expelled about 50 Christians for proselytizing last month. Australian cops stopped a graphic reenactment of the Crucifixion (pic at top left). Nepal's "living goddess" wants to be a banker when she grows up.

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