Church Congregations Preparing to Get Out of the Way of Irene; New Archbishop Says Not to Trust...


Ocracoke Island pastors cancel Sunday services

WINDSOR, N.C. (AP) - The only two churches on Ocracoke Island

have canceled Sunday services as Hurricane Irene threatens the

North Carolina coast.

The Rev. Ivey Belch says members of his Ocracoke Assembly of God

prayed fervently at their Wednesday night service, with some

preparing to evacuate the island and others determined to stay put.

Belch says they have faith that God can turn the hurricane away,

but he adds with a laugh that the Bible also says "faith without

works is dead."

Pastor Belch and his family caught a Thursday morning ferry to

the mainland.

He says Ocracoke United Methodist Church also has canceled its

Sunday service.



Archbishop: Media can't be trusted on religion

MADRID (AP) - Archbishop Charles Chaput says most

news outlets display "a combination of ignorance, laziness and

bias against traditional Christian beliefs."

Chaput, who's leaving the Archdiocese of Denver to be installed

Sept. 8 as archbishop of Philadelphia, warned Catholics at World

Youth Day not to trust the secular news media's coverage of


He said most such reporting features "aggressive skepticism

towards any religious community that claims to preach and teach

God's truth."

Chaput said the media's "editorial prejudices" often seek to

undermine and discount Christian arguments on issues like abortion

and gay marriage.




Church-affiliated college offers gay benefits

ELMHURST, Ill. (AP) - A church-affiliated college in suburban

Chicago is offering scholarships to students who identify

themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered.

Elmhurst College, which is affiliated with the United Church of

Christ, is the first in the country to ask students on admissions

applications about their gender identity and sexual orientation.

The college's dean of admission, Gary Rold, says applicants who

respond that they're part of the "LGBT" community may be eligible

for a scholarship that pays up to a third of their tuition.

Rold told the Chicago Sun-Times, "Increasing diversity is part

of our mission statement."


Wash. boy pulled from ocean released from hospital

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A Washington state boy who survived after

being pulled seemingly lifeless from the Pacific Ocean has been

released from a Portland hospital.

Oregon Health and Science University spokeswoman Elisa Williams

says 12-year-old Dale Ostrander was discharged on Wednesday.

Williams says privacy laws prevent her from saying where he was


Ostrander's family could not immediately be reached for comment.

On a blog set up to chronicle his recovery, family members on

Monday asked for prayers that Ostrander would be well enough to

transfer to a hospital closer to home.

The boy was visiting a southwest Washington beach with a church

group when a rip current sucked him out to sea earlier this month.

He was under water for 15 minutes or more but stunned doctors and

his family when he awakened and spoke.


Mosque arson suspect indicted for hate crime

CORVALLIS, Oregon (AP) - Court documents show a 24-year-old man

arrested in the November firebombing of a mosque in Oregon had

ranted against Muslims in subsequent encounters with police

officers and said Christians are also capable of jihad.

Cody Crawford was arrested Wednesday night. He's accused of

setting fire to the Corvallis mosque just two days after FBI agents

arrested a Somali-American on a charge of plotting to set off a

bomb at Portland's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton says Crawford was indicted for a

hate crime because his alleged motives were racial and religious in


Crawford said in an earlier Associated Press interview that he

is "100 percent innocent."


Accused underwear bomber: Judge me by Quran

DETROIT (AP) - A Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a

Detroit-bound plane in 2009 claims he was the victim of excessive

force after he "assaulted" several officers in his prison cell.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab filed a request with a judge Thursday

asking that no excessive force be used against him when he defends

his Islamic religion. He says he was restrained in his cell


In another request, Abdulmutallab wants to be released and be

judged by the Quran, the Muslim holy book. He's charged with trying

to blow up an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight on Christmas Day 2009.

Abdulmutallab is being held at a federal prison in Michigan

while awaiting a fall trial in Detroit.


Pope John Paul II's relics displayed in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Relics of Pope John Paul II have arrived for

public display in Mexico City, kicking off a four-month tour of

Mexico that includes more than 100 locations.

Worshippers applauded, cried and prayed Thursday morning as a

vial of the ex-pontiff's blood and a wax figure of the pope donning

a papal robe arrived at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Mexico was the third-most-visited country by the late pope,

behind his homeland of Poland and France. John Paul died in 2005 at

the age of 84 and was beatified in May.

The relics will be on display at the basilica until Sunday.


Boston archdiocese releases list of accused priests

BOSTON (AP) - Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley has released a

long-awaited list of priests accused of child sex abuse since 1950.

But he has decided to leave some priests off the list of 159 names,

including dead priests who haven't been publicly accused.

O'Malley is citing concerns about due process and the damage to

the reputations of priests who can't defend themselves against

decades-old charges.

The list of names was posted on the archdiocese's website


All the names have been publicly released before, though not

necessarily by the archdiocese. O'Malley says publishing the list

is another step toward taking responsibility for the clergy sex


A total of 250 Boston-area priests and deacons have been accused

of child sex abuse since 1950.


(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


AP-NY-08-26-11 0335EDT


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