Romney says religion shouldn't be a factor
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says
voters should not elect a president based on the candidates'
religious beliefs or the place where they worship.
Romney was responding Tuesday to recent comments made by Robert
Jeffress, a Dallas minister and supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Jeffress called Mormonism a cult. Romney is Mormon.
At CNN's debate in Las Vegas, Romney said he was troubled that
the minister would imply that people should choose a president
based on the candidate's religion. He says it runs counter to the
Perry reiterated that he did not agree with Jeffress's remarks.
Jeffress introduced Perry at a recent speech and asserted that
Romney isn't a Christian and Mormonism is a cult.
Asked about the comments, Romney said he's heard worse.
KING MEMORIAL-NO GOD
Niece says God is missing from new MLK memorial
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The Rev. Martin Luther King Junior's niece
says most Americans don't know that the slain civil rights leader
was a minister and pastor, and the new memorial in his honor does
nothing to correct that.
The Rev. Alveda King says she appreciates the new King Memorial
in the nation's capital and Sunday's dedication ceremony, but she
was surprised to see no mention of God or Jesus Christ among the
King says if she had been asked, she would have recommended
scriptural passages from her uncle's many sermons.
Nevertheless, she's hopeful that visitors to the memorial who
seek to learn more about the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., will
also learn about the God he served.
Catholics, Jews condemn Sarandon's pope Nazi quip
UNDATED (AP) - Catholic and Jewish groups are condemning actress
Susan Sarandon for referring to Pope Benedict as a Nazi.
The head of the Catholic League says her comment was "obscene"
and the Anti-Defamation League released a statement calling on the
actress to apologize to the Catholic community for the "deeply
Sarandon, who won an Academy Award for her role in the 1995
anti-death penalty film, "Dead Man Walking," made the comment
during an interview Saturday at the Hamptons Film Festival on Long
As first reported by Newsday, Sarandon said she gave a copy of
the book on which the film is based to the German-born pope,
referring to him as a Nazi.
No joint prayer at pope's interreligious meeting
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict has invited Hindus, Jews,
Taoists and Muslims to join him next week for a peace pilgrimage to
the hilltop town of Assisi - but they won't pray together.
The Oct. 27 event marks the 25th anniversary of the first such
interreligious prayer for peace, which was promoted by Pope John
Paul II and held in the town known for its native son St. Francis.
Benedict, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, didn't attend that
first 1986 meeting and later criticized it as an example of
religious relativism - the idea that there are no absolute truths
and that all religions are equal - since people of different faiths
were seen praying together, jointly.
Top Vatican cardinals have emphasized that the 2011 Assisi
gathering is merely a pilgrimage of people of different faiths, and
that it in no way will involve any religious syncretism, or
combining of different beliefs and practices.
DEAD SEA SCROLLS-ANCIENT STONE
Ancient stone to be part of scroll exhibit in NYC
NEW YORK (AP) - A three-ton stone from Jerusalem's Western Wall
will be part of an upcoming exhibition on the Dead Sea Scrolls in
New York City.
The stone was installed Tuesday at Discovery Times Square. It
will be part of "Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical
Times," which opens Oct. 28. The exhibit is created by the Israel
Antiquities Authority from the collections of the Israel National
Visitors will be able to leave prayer notes inside the stone.
The notes will be sent to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
It's believed that the stone was part of a retaining wall that
enclosed a temple destroyed by the Romans 2,000 years ago.
The scrolls shed light on the development of the Hebrew Bible
and the origins of Christianity.
SOUTH AFRICA-ANC-CHURCH CONFLICT
Churches accuse South Africa's ANC of interfering
JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Leaders of churches representing tens of
millions of South Africans are accusing the governing African
National Congress of trying to co-opt and manipulate them.
The statement from leaders of the Catholic, Anglican,
Protestant, Presbyterian, Evangelical, Salvation Army, Baptist and
traditional African churches accuses the ANC's top religious
affairs official of sending subordinates to "infiltrate" their
The ANC official responded that his subordinate's intrusion on
the church meeting was an accidental and "innocent mistake."
But Roman Catholic Cardinal Wildrid Napier told The Associated
Press that at least three officers slipped into the meeting and
were rifling through papers before they were discovered.
Chile could try ex-priest sanctioned by Vatican
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Three men who allege they were abused by
a prominent Roman Catholic priest want Chile to prosecute him for
sex abuse and not settle for the Vatican's sanction.
Retired priest Fernando Karadima was ordered by the Vatican to
live in seclusion, prayer and repentance for his alleged crimes.
An attorney for the alleged victims - a doctor, philosopher and
a journalist - asked Judge Jessica Gonzalez on Tuesday to formally
charge Karadima. The former priest's lawyer, meanwhile, argues that
so much time has passed that his 80-year-old client should be
The judge's decision could come later this week.
Karadima lives in a convent in Chile's capital. Accusations
against him began in 2003, but only came to light after the victims
agreed to appear on television.
Group says Tibetan sets herself on fire in protest
BEIJING (AP) - A Tibetan nun calling for greater religious
freedom has died after setting herself on fire in western China,
according to the advocacy group Free Tibet.
The London-based group says the 20-year-old nun chanted slogans
as she set herself ablaze calling for greater religious freedom and
the return of Tibet's exiled Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama.
A total of nine monks and former monks and one nun have set
themselves on fire since March in what are seen as desperate acts
to draw attention to China's repression of Tibetan Buddhism.
Most ignited the flames while calling for Tibetan freedom and
the return of the Dalai Lama, who fled to India amid an abortive
uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. At least five died of their
injuries, while the condition of the other four is not known.
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner urged China to
"respect the rights of Tibetans" and their cultural and religious
Philippine police seek witnesses in priest killing
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - A Philippine police official says a
special unit has been created to investigate the killing of an
Italian missionary priest in the country's south. Investigators are
seeking possible eyewitnesses.
The leader of the investigative group says it will ask Catholic
officials for permission to conduct an autopsy on Rev. Fausto
Tentorio's remains in hopes of recovering bullet fragments to
identify the firearm used and its owner.
A man shot Tentorio early Monday within the church compound and
fled on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice.
Police say the 59-year-old Roman Catholic priest spoke the local
dialect fluently and had good ties with the people there.
15 killed in clash among Filipino soldiers, rebels
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Philippine troops are battling Muslim
guerrillas in fierce fighting that has killed at least 15
A regional military spokesman says the fighting Tuesday on
Basilan island left at least 12 soldiers dead and 10 missing.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front says at least three rebels
were killed in the clash. The rebel group accused troops of
attacking its stronghold in violation of a cease-fire.
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