BILLY GRAHAM HOSPITALIZED
Preacher Billy Graham admitted to NC hospital
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - A spokesman for the Rev. Billy Graham
says the evangelist has been taken to a hospital near his home in
North Carolina for treatment of his lungs.
Spokesman Larry Ross says Graham was admitted Wednesday to
Mission Hospital in Asheville with congestion, a cough and slight
A pulmonologist at the hospital said in a news release that
Graham is being tested for possible pneumonia. The release said
Graham was alert, smiling and waving to staff.
The 93-year-old served as an adviser to presidents and toured
the world for his famous crusades. He now spends much of his time
at home near Asheville and occasionally meets with Christian
leaders and old friends.
He was last hospitalized in May for five days with pneumonia.
Pat Robertson: Cain should end campaign
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson
says Herman Cain should end his GOP presidential campaign.
On Wednesday's broadcast of CBN News' "The 700 Club,"
Robertson said women's allegations of sexual misconduct and a
longtime affair are too much for Cain's candidacy to overcome.
Robertson said Cain can't win the nomination, so "it's time to
Suggesting that Cain's presidential aptitude already was
suspect, Robertson said Cain was "good at making pizzas," but
"was in over his head" when it came to foreign policy.
The 81-year-old Robertson unsuccessfully sought the Republican
presidential nomination in 1988.
Police: Thieves steal gifts from under church tree
ANTIOCH, Ill. (AP) - Police say thieves have stolen up to $1,000
worth of presents for needy families from a church in the northern
Illinois village of Antioch.
Police said Wednesday that the gifts were taken from St.
Stephen's Lutheran Church.
Pastor Ellen Arthur says someone entered the church and took
dozens of presents from under a Christmas tree. Authorities think
the theft happened sometime Monday afternoon. Sixteen families were
to receive gifts this year from the Open Arms Mission's
The gifts included toys, clothing and coats. The church has
until Dec. 9 to finish collecting donations for the program.
Arthur says the church would like to have the gifts returned.
Megachurch pastor announces reality show
HOUSTON (AP) - The pastor of America's largest congregation
could soon be starring in his own reality TV show.
The Rev. Joel Osteen says he's signed an agreement to work with
producer Mark Burnett to develop a reality show that features him
taking mission trips with members of Houston's Lakewood Church. The
program would also feature Osteen's wife, Victoria.
Burnett is executive producer of the CBS show "Survivor." He
and his wife, actress Roma Downey, have attended Lakewood Church
and become friends with the Osteens.
Joel Osteen told KRIV-TV that a typical show would feature him
and several hundred church members boarding a plane and flying
somewhere to help people in need.
Lakewood Church attracts more than 40,000 worshippers to its
weekly services in a former sports arena.
Small Ky. church votes against interracial couples
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A tiny all-white church in rural Kentucky
has voted to ban interracial couples from joining its flock,
pitting members against each other in an argument over race.
Members at the Gulnare (guhl-NEHR') Free Will Baptist Church in
Pike County voted Sunday on the resolution, which says the church
"does not condone interracial marriage."
Member Melvin Thompson crafted it, but says he is not racist. He
calls it an "internal affair" of the church.
Church secretary Dean Harville disagrees. He says it came after
his daughter's African boyfriend sang for the congregation. The 9-6
vote was held after Sunday's service.
Free Will Baptist churches are autonomous, but the leader of
their national association says there are interracial couples at
many churches and there is no policy against it.
Santa Fe Catholic archbishop: Archdiocese again will oppose any
driver's license repeal effort
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A Roman Catholic archbishop says he'll
oppose any further attempt by Gov. Susana Martinez to repeal a New
Mexico law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.
Santa Fe Archbishop Michael Sheehan says the church does not
condone people breaking the law, but state residents should welcome
those who are already here.
Sheehan believes the archdiocese's position helped sway public
opinion in favor of keeping the law. Martinez has tried twice to
repeal it and has vowed to try again during the next session.
New Mexico is one of only three U.S. states to issue driver's
licenses to people in the country illegally.
Cleric: American jailed in Cuba in good spirits
HAVANA (AP) - A prominent U.S. religious leader has visited an
American man jailed in Havana for bringing restricted
communications equipment to Cuba.
The Rev. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National
Council of Churches, says Alan Gross of Maryland is in good spirits
and they had a good conversation.
Kinnamon says the U.S. church group is concerned for the
62-year-old Gross's health and hopes he may be freed on
humanitarian grounds. But he has no knowledge of when or whether
that may happen.
Gross was arrested Dec. 4, 2009, while working as a
subcontractor on a democracy-building project funded by Washington.
Pope seeks end to death penalty
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict says he supports political
actions around the world aimed at eliminating the death penalty,
reflecting his stance as an opponent of capital punishment.
He made the comments during his weekly public audience to
participants at a meeting on the theme "No Justice without Life."
Benedict, like his predecessor Pope John Paul II, has appealed
for commutation in death penalty cases, many in the United States.
In the late 1990s, the Roman Catholic church hardened its
opposition to the death penalty in a revised statement of its
teaching. It said the death penalty is permissible only in the
narrowest of circumstances, and only when there is no other way to
protect the public.
Excommunicated bishop turns up at China ordination
BEIJING (AP) - An excommunicated bishop's participation in an
ordination ceremony in China will likely worsen relations between
the government-controlled Catholic church and the Vatican.
Wednesday's ordination of Peter Luo Xuegang as coadjutor bishop
of Yibin diocese had the Vatican's blessing, but Pope Benedict's
spokesman had said he hoped "no illegitimate bishop" would
But a man at China's Catholic Patriotic Association says
excommunicated bishop Paul Lei Shiyin took part in the ceremony. He
was ordained in June against Pope Benedict's wishes - one of three
recent cases in which China unilaterally ordained bishops.
The Vatican insists that only the pope has the right to choose
bishops, while China sees this as interference in its internal
NYC's Jewish Museum, author Sendak create exhibit
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City's Jewish Museum has invited author
Maurice Sendak to rummage through its collection and choose
menorahs for a Hanukkah exhibit.
The exhibit opens Friday and features 33 menorahs chosen by
Sendak. The menorahs were created from the 18th to the 20th
Also included are original drawings from Sendak's books and
audio of his conversations with curators.
Sendak is the author of children's books including "Where the
Wild Things Are."
The 83-year-old Sendak says he chose severe-looking menorahs
because their simplicity evoke the Holocaust. He was born in
Brooklyn to Jewish immigrant parents, and much of his extended
family died in the Holocaust.
HASIDIC ENCLAVE SUED
Claims against NY Hasidic village dismissed
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed all
claims raised by dissidents who said their Hasidic Jewish village
was violating religious freedom and should be dissolved.
The plaintiffs, who follow a different Hasidic leader, had
claimed that the majority congregation took over the government of
Kiryas Joel, 40 miles north of New York City. They said leaders
selectively enforced tax, zoning, election and other laws to
In an opinion filed Wednesday in Manhattan, Judge Jed Rakoff
dismissed several of the claims on the grounds they were settled in
earlier cases. He dismissed others because the people allegedly
harmed were not among the plaintiffs. The judge also found that the
dissidents' complaint "does not adequately allege that the
defendants' actions were motivated by religious differences."
The plaintiffs' lawyer, Michael Sussman, said he would appeal
German court: No student right to pray in school
BERLIN (AP) - Germany's top administrative court has ruled that
students don't have the right to pray in school if a conflict is
The court upheld a decision by a lower court rejecting a Muslim
student's demand for a private prayer room at his Berlin high
The Federal Administrative Court said Wednesday that while the
decision did not prohibit students in general from praying during
breaks, praying should be banned if the religious act can cause
religious conflicts, which it said was the case at the Berlin
The court also said the creation of a separate prayer room would
go beyond the capacities of the Berlin school.
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