JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The Republican presidential candidates
have discussed how faith would guide them as president.
In Thursday's CNN debate, Congressman Ron Paul said his religion
affects his character and how he lives and treats people, but would
not guide his policy making.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he believes every
president should go to God for guidance.
Former Governor Mitt Romney agreed that he would pray about
decisions he'd make as president.
Former Senator Rick Santorum said he would be guided by "faith
and reason." He and Romney emphasized that Americans' rights comes
from God, not government.
But Gingrich said those rights need defending because, in his
words, "There has been an increasingly aggressive war against
religion, and in particular against Christianity in this country."
GAY MARRIAGE-FIRST LADY
Md. first lady: Gay marriage opponents are cowards
BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland First Lady Katie O'Malley is blaming
"cowards" for the failure of gay marriage legislation last year.
The first lady, speaking Thursday at the 24th annual Conference
on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality, said "there
were some cowards that prevented it from passing." A bill to allow
same-sex marriage passed the Senate, but stalled in the House of
O'Malley, who is a Baltimore judge, says she's hopeful things
will be different this year. Her husband, Gov. Martin O'Malley, is
making same-sex marriage legislation a priority of the legislative
The first lady says religion shouldn't play a role in
determining the laws of the state of Maryland. She says same-sex
marriage is a civil rights issue, not a religious one.
CHURCHES-SUPER BOWL PARTIES
Legal advice offered for church Super Bowl parties
GRAPEVILE, Texas (AP) - A Texas law firm has some advice for
churches that plan to throw Super Bowl parties next weekend.
David Middlebrook of the Church Law Group says the National
Football League has only two requirements.
First, churches must not bring in rental equipment for their
parties, but must show the game on equipment that's regularly used
for worship. Secondly, churches must not sell tickets or charge
admission. But they are allowed to take up an offering to defray
To be on the safe side, Middlebrook also recommends that in
promoting their parties, churches avoid using the words "Super
Bowl," which are trademarked by the NFL. He suggests they call
their events "Big Game" parties instead.
Gospel singer gives birth to girl
NEW YORK (AP) - Erica Campbell of the Grammy-winning sister duo
Mary Mary has given birth to a new daughter.
Campbell's representative says Zaya Monique was born Tuesday.
The baby weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces.
Erica and her sister Tina comprise the gospel duo.
It's the third child for Campbell and her husband,
producer-songwriter Warryn Campbell. The singer said she was
blessed by the baby's birth and tweeted, "God is so amazing! Love
Campbell will be taking a few weeks off, but she'll soon have to
return to work. Mary Mary, known for hits like "Shackles" and
"God in Me," have a self-titled reality show that debuts March 29
on We TV.
Pa. bishop draws criticism over Hitler remark
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A Roman Catholic bishop in Pennsylvania
is drawing criticism for comparing American public schools to those
under Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Harrisburg Bishop Joseph McFadden said in an interview last week
with WHTM-TV that totalitarian governments "would love our
system" of education. He said Hitler and Mussolini also tried to
set up systems that would teach children "one set of beliefs and
one way of doing things."
McFadden told The Patriot-News in an email Wednesday that he
didn't mean to offend. He says in an interview about school
vouchers, he was making a "dramatic illustration" of how public
schools curtail parental choice.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania called
McFadden's comments inappropriate.
ISRAEL-HOLOCAUST-KEEPING THE FAITH
Observant survivors keep the faith after Holocaust
JERUSALEM (AP) - As the world marks this Holocaust Remembrance
Day, Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jews are remembering the victims with
prayer, study of scripture and faith in a grand plan that is beyond
their earthly comprehension.
Many survivors, including Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel (EL'-ee
vee-ZEHL'), have questioned where God was during the Holocaust. But
survivors from the ultra-Orthodox community say they felt a divine
presence even in the worst places imaginable.
After years of silence, some pious survivors have formed a
weekly support group at a senior center in Jerusalem, where they
share how they've reconciled with a God who allowed the destruction
of their homes, their families and 6 million of their people.
Alex Seidenfeld, an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor from Hungary,
says, "The almighty knows what He is doing. He has a plan that we
sometimes don't understand."
Muslims call for NYPD chief to resign over movie
NEW YORK (AP) - Muslim groups are calling for New York's police
commissioner to step down because of his appearance in a film they
say paints their religion and its adherents in a bad light.
About 20 activists held a news conference on the steps of City
Hall on Thursday and criticized Ray Kelly for giving an interview
to the producers of the movie "The Third Jihad."
The movie uses dramatic footage to warn against the dangers of
radical Islam. Muslim groups say it encourages Americans to be
suspicious of all Muslims.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday that he stands by Kelly,
but added that the commissioner will have to redouble his outreach
efforts to Muslims.
Case against Mo. bishop set for September trial
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri Catholic bishop will go to
trial in September on a misdemeanor charge that he and the Kansas
City-St. Joseph Diocese failed to report suspicions of child sexual
abuse by a priest.
Bishop Robert Finn is scheduled to go to trial Sept. 24.
The charges against Finn and the diocese stem from claims that
the diocese waited five months before telling police about
pornographic photos of children found on a priest's computer.
A computer technician found hundreds of "troubling images" on
the Rev. Shawn Ratigan's computer in December 2010. Finn
acknowledged that he knew of the photos in December, but didn't
report them to police until May.
Man charged in priest's death found dead in jail
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi corrections officials say a
man accused killing a Catholic priest and setting off in his car on
a Disney vacation has been found dead in a prison cell of an
Jeremy Wayne Manieri was charged with shooting the Rev. Ed
Everitt of Hammond, La., in July 2011 at a beach house in Waveland,
Miss. The 33-year-old Manieri's attorney, Brian Alexander,
confirmed that his client was found dead early Thursday morning.
Manieri was a handyman at the house used by priests as a beach
retreat. Prosecutors said he shot Everitt with the priest's own
Manieri had claimed he shot Everitt after he passed out from
alcohol and marijuana use and found the priest fondling him. But
investigators had charged robbery was the motive because when
Manieri was arrested in Florida authorities said he had the
priest's car, gun and wallet.
Austrian priest publishes names of ex-Catholics
VIENNA (AP) - Austria's Vienna archdiocese has apologized for
the publication of a list of people who've left the Roman Catholic
A statement says those affected have been asked for forgiveness,
noting that publicizing the names "is not allowed by state or
church rules." The statement was issued Thursday after a priest in
a village north of Vienna listed local church-leavers in the
The archdiocese says the priest has since "apologized in the
form of a Mass and has written those affected a letter" of
The rash of sex abuse scandals hitting the Catholic church has
led to an increased number of Austrians formally renouncing their
affiliation. That also frees them from paying a mandatory church
Vatican defends transfer of official to Washington
VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican has defended its transfer of a
top official to Washington after he exposed alleged corruption in
the awarding of Holy See contracts.
The Vatican also warned Thursday that it could take legal action
against a TV show that reported on the case. The Italian news
program showed letters from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano to Pope
Benedict begging not to be transferred after exposing corruption
costing the Vatican millions of dollars.
The Vatican statement Thursday said transferring the Italian to
the prestigious post of apostolic nuncio to the U.S. is proof of
the pope's "undoubted esteem and faith."
The Holy See also said it would pursue "all opportune ways, if
necessary legal ones" to protect the reputation of Vatican
officials mentioned in the report.
Nigeria police chief tarnished over 2001 violence
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) - Nigeria's president has selected a new
officer to lead the nation's police force as a radical Islamist
sect increasingly targets it for attacks. However, that man already
has a past tarnished by allegations he allowed religious and ethnic
violence that killed 1,000 people to spiral out of control.
Mohammed Abubakar served as police commissioner in Plateau state
in 2001, leading up to rioting that saw Muslim and Christian groups
attack each other in the restive central Nigerian city of Jos
(jahs). While some victims burned to the death in the street, civil
society groups said Abubakar refused to send officers into the
street to stop the violence.
Abubakar replaced Inspector Gen. Hafiz Ringim, who was widely
criticized for his response to attacks by the sect known as Boko
UK lawmakers complain over Jay Leno joke
LONDON (AP) - British lawmakers say Prime Minister David Cameron
should complain to the United States over a Jay Leno routine which
joked about the holiest site in the Sikh religion.
In a motion published at Parliament on Thursday, two legislators
said Leno had shown a complete misunderstanding of the Sikh faith.
Leno made a joke on Jan. 19 on the "Tonight Show" in the U.S.,
when he showed a photo of an impressive gold building and claimed
it was Republican Mitt Romney's summer home. The site was actually
the Golden Temple, a revered Sikh site.
British opposition Labour Party lawmakers proposed a motion
demanding Cameron call on the U.S. to show more respect toward
Sikhs. The move does not compel Cameron to take any action.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)