FAITH AND POLITICS
Clergy weigh in on candidates, politics
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Southern Baptist leader says now might be a
good time for Rick Santorum to consider dropping out of the GOP
The Rev. Richard Land says Santorum has run a strong campaign,
but is young enough to run again someday.
Land appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation," which also featured
a pre-taped interview with New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Dolan
said Catholics may have reasons not to vote for Mitt Romney, but
the Republican candidate's Mormon faith "cannot be one of them."
On NBC's "Meet the Press," evangelist Anne Graham Lotz said
she could not vote for an atheist. But Lotz, the daughter of
evangelist Billy Graham, said she'll cast her presidential ballot
this year based on the candidates' policies rather than their
Christians celebrate Jesus' resurrection in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (AP) - Thousands of Christians have celebrated Easter
in Jerusalem, crowding into one of Christianity's holiest churches,
worshipping, singing and praying.
Catholics and Protestants took turns holding ceremonies in the
ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built on the site where many
Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the
Worship services also were held at the Garden Tomb, another
revered resurrection site.
Meanwhile, Christians belonging to Eastern Orthodox churches,
who celebrate Easter using a different calendar from their Catholic
and Protestant brethren, marked Palm Sunday.
Pope urges end to Syrian bloodshed
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict in his Easter Sunday message
has urged the Syrian regime to heed international calls to end
bloodshed and commit to dialogue.
After celebrating Mass in St. Peter's Square, Benedict voiced
hope that Easter's joy would comfort Christian communities
suffering because of their faith.
He denounced terrorist attacks in Nigeria that have hit
Christians and Muslims alike and prayed for peace in coup-struck
The pope struggled with hoarseness throughout the Mass before a
crowd of more than 100,000 faithful. Only hours earlier he had led
a three-hour nighttime Easter vigil inside St. Peter's Basilica.
Underlining the pope's concern for the Middle East, the Holy See
said Sunday the pope would make a three-day pilgrimage to Lebanon
in September, celebrating Mass in Beirut and encouraging bishops
and other churchmen in the Middle East.
Car bomb near Nigeria churches kills 38
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) - Witnesses say a suicide car bomber
detonated his explosives on a busy road in northern Nigeria after
being blocked from attacking churches holding Easter services.
More than three dozen people were killed by the explosion in
Kaduna, which badly damaged the nearby All Nations Christian
Assembly Church and the ECWA Good News Church as worshippers were
taking communion during Easter services.
Witnesses said it appeared the explosive-laden car attempted to
go into the compound of the churches before it detonated, but was
blocked by barriers in the street and was turned away by a security
guard as police approached.
While no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack,
suspicion immediately fell on a radical Islamist sect blamed for
hundreds of killings in Nigeria this year alone.
Dolan: Jesus is alive today
NEW YORK (AP) - Cardinal Timothy Dolan says the good news of
Easter is that Jesus Christ is alive today.
New York's Roman Catholic archbishop celebrated Easter Mass for
several thousand worshippers at St. Patrick's Cathedral, but he
joked that the New York Jets' new quarterback, Tim Tebow, was
attracting many times that number at a service in Texas.
On a serious note, Dolan said Christians worship Jesus as a
living presence in their lives and not just a historical figure.
As president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Dolan
has led the church's opposition to President Obama's requirement
that church-affiliated groups provide insurance that covers
Tebow draws big crowd to Texas Easter service
GEORGETOWN, Texas (AP) - New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow
says he welcomes the attention to his Christian faith.
Tebow told about 15,000 worshippers at an outdoor Easter church
service in Georgetown, Texas, that it's important for Christians to
be outspoken about their faith and for athletes to be positive role
Some at the "Easter on the Hill" morning service drove more
100 miles to hear Tebow speak. The service took on the feeling of a
rock concert with more than a 100 school buses shuttling people to
the megachurch campus.
The service was peppered with Christian rock songs and Tebow hit
the stage to cheers from those who could see him while others
watched on massive video screens.
Tebow sat for a 20-minute interview with the pastor, who joked,
"In Christianity, it's the Pope and Tebow right now. We didn't
have enough room to handle the Pope."
`Painter of Light' Thomas Kinkade dies in Calif.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Artist Thomas Kinkade, whose brushwork
paintings of idyllic landscapes, cottages and churches have been
big sellers for dealers across the United States, has died at the
age of 54.
A family spokesman says Kinkade died Friday at his home in the
San Francisco Bay Area of what appeared to be natural causes.
Kinkade called himself the "Painter of Light," and his
paintings were beloved by many but reviled by the art
He claimed to be the nation's most collected living artist, and
his paintings and spin-off products were said to fetch some $100
million a year in sales, and to be in 10 million homes in the
United States. Many contain images from Bible passages.
Kinkade, a self-described devout Christian, told the San Jose
Mercury News in 2002 that he was "a warrior for light," a
reference to the medieval practice of using light to symbolize the
NC town writes New Testament in chalk on sidewalk
WHITEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - More than 1,000 residents of Whiteville,
N.C., have celebrated Easter by writing the New Testament in chalk
About 1,300 squares of concrete were labeled with Scripture
references so each person could write his or her part. Fifty area
churches joined the effort after members attended a community
sunrise service Sunday.
Organizers say the goal was to bring Christian denominations
together to mark the holiday.
Photographer Mark Gilchrist proposed the project as a way to get
residents outside and working together. He and a committee of
friends worked on the "Walk with Jesus" idea for months.
NY Catholic quits board over cardinal's gay stance
NEW YORK (AP) - The head of New York City's Roman Catholic
archdiocese faces a challenge to his stance on gay rights with the
resignation of a church official who says he's "had enough" of
the cardinal's attitude.
Joseph Amodeo told The Associated Press on Saturday that he quit
the junior board of Catholic Charities after the cardinal, Timothy
Dolan, failed to respond to a "call for help" for homeless young
people who are not heterosexual.
The conflict began when the head of an organization that helps
homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender homeless young
people wrote to ask Dolan to help the cause.
Dolan responded by saying he was adhering to church teachings.
That prompted Amodeo to quit.
Dolan leads one of the largest dioceses in the country. He also
is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Gay Mormon students come out in web video
UNDATED (AP) - Gay students from a strict Mormon college that
prohibits homosexual activity are coming out in a series of web
videos aimed at reassuring other young gay and lesbian students.
The video recently posted to YouTube by several Brigham Young
University students features young people discussing the conflict
they felt about being gay and Mormon.
In the video, several BYU students say they considered suicide
because they didn't think they could be Mormon and gay.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and BYU's honor
code prohibit "homosexual behavior."
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)