SUPREME COURT-CROSS DISPUTE
High court sidesteps San Diego cross dispute
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court won't get involved for now
in a fight over whether a 29-foot war memorial cross can remain on
public land overlooking the Pacific Ocean in San Diego.
The justices refused Monday to review an appeals court ruling
that deemed the Mount Soledad cross an unconstitutional mixing of
government and religion.
The case now goes back to the U.S. District Court in California
to decide what should be done to remedy the situation.
Hiram Sasser of Liberty Institute, the legal group representing
the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, says the government could
propose making additions to the war memorial instead of removing
In a statement, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said a new
appeal could be considered once that issue is decided by the
district coSUPREME COURT-IMMIGRATION-CATHOLICS
Border bishop: Ruling shows need for immigration reform
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - The bishop whose Roman Catholic diocese
covers Arizona's entire border with Mexico is glad the U.S. Supreme
Court struck down key provisions of his state's immigration law.
Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas says the church
considers immigration a federal issue, and he believes Monday's
ruling underlines the need for a federal solution.
Kicanas says that while border security is needed to stop drug
and gun smuggling and human trafficking, many illegal immigrants
only cross the border to find work and support their families.
The Tucson bishop hopes the part of the law that the Supreme
Court upheld won't lead to racial profiling of Mexican-Americans.
Sen. Lautenberg to push help for Indonesians
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Some Indonesian Christians facing
deportation from the United States hope federal legislation will
let them renew their bids for U.S. asylum.
The bills proposed by members of New Jersey's congressional
delegation could help Indonesian immigrants who claim to have fled
religious persecution by anti-Christian extremists in the majority
The proposed legislation would not grant them amnesty, but would
allow them to re-apply for asylum.
Nine Indonesians in New Jersey who have been issued recent
deportation orders have taken refuge in The Reformed Church of
Highland Park, where the Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale (KAH'-pur-dayl) has
granted them sanctuary.
He says four of them have children who are U.S. citizens.
Court allows man to pass out Bibles at Pride Fest
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A last-minute court injunction has allowed a
Wisconsin man to give away Bibles at the Twin Cities Pride
Organizers had restricted Brian Johnson to a booth outside the
festival. His request for an injunction against the restriction was
denied by a federal judge earlier this month.
Johnson's attorneys filed an emergency appeal and asked for a
quick decision. The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a
temporary injunction that allowed Johnson and his family full
access to the park Sunday. Johnson's attorney told the Star Tribune
that they'll return to court to argue that Johnson should have
access to future Pride Festivals.
Johnson's lawsuit says festival organizers banned him from the
property after 2009 following an exchange about his views on
CHURCH INSURANCE-SEX OFFENDERS
Church protests insurance rules for sex offenders
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon church is challenging a
requirement by its insurance company that it disclose the identity
of sex offenders to other congregants, allow offenders to attend
only one predetermined service and assign them an escort.
Pastor Chad McComas of Set Free Christian Fellowship in Medford
said his church disclosed that known sex offenders were among the
100 members. Church Mutual insurance company on May 1 responded
with a letter outlining requirements to continue an insurance
McComas told the Mail Tribune that the rules will have a
chilling effect on ministry and will discourage abusers from
But Church Mutual Vice President Patrick Moreland says the
company has covered nearly 5,000 sex-related claims since 1984, and
developed the rules to protect its insured churches and potential
Pa. Catholic official to seek house arrest Tuesday
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Roman Catholic church official convicted
of child endangerment faces a hearing today (Tuesday) to determine
if he'll get out of jail to await sentencing.
Monsignor William Lynn was found guilty Friday, making him the
first U.S. church official convicted for covering up abuse claims.
A judge revoked his bail, but his lawyers want the 61-year-old
priest released on house arrest until his Aug. 13 sentencing. They
suggest he could stay with a family friend in Philadelphia, because
his relatives don't live in the city, as required for house arrest.
Prosecutors say Lynn helped the Philadelphia archdiocese cover
up abuse complaints as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004.
He was convicted of endangering a boy who was sexually assaulted
by a priest in 1999.
Judge tosses priest's testimony in assault case
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - A judge has tossed out a priest's
testimony against a man charged with assaulting him after the
reverend invoked his right to avoid self-incrimination as it became
clear he may be accused of lying on the stand.
The man accused of attacking the priest in 2010 at a retirement
home in San Jose, William Lynch, claims Father Jerold Lindner raped
him and his brother decades ago. Lindner has denied the
The San Jose Mercury News reports that Santa Clara County
Superior Court Judge David Cena allowed Lindner to invoke his Fifth
Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.
Cena tossed Lindner's previous testimony after Lynch's attorneys
argued that it would be unfair to allow it to stand if they could
not cross-examine the priest.
Married man becomes Maine's newest Catholic priest
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine's newest Roman Catholic priest has
a wife and four grown children.
Sixty-two-year-old David Affleck was ordained this month under a
1980 papal provision that allows married Episcopal clergy to become
priests in the Catholic church.
When ordained at Portland's Cathedral of the Immaculate
Conception, Affleck became only the third married man to join the
Catholic priesthood in Maine since the 1980 papal provision.
Church officials say only a handful of former married Episcopal
clergy are ordained as Catholic priests in the U.S. each year.
Affleck told the Portland Press Herald that he left the
Episcopal church and became a Catholic about five years ago.
Anglican parish in Towson joins Catholic Church
TOWSON, Md. (AP) - An Anglican parish in Towson, Md., is one of
the largest U.S. congregations to join the Roman Catholic Church.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Christ the King Church became
Christ the King Catholic Church on Sunday.
The congregation of 140 is among the first in the United States
to join a new "ordinate" established for those who want to become
Catholic but also hold on to Anglican traditions.
Some church members did not make the switch. The parish had
about 200 members when it started the process to become Catholic.
Christ the King follows Mount Calvary Church in Baltimore and
St. Luke's Parish in Bladensburg in becoming Roman Catholic
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)