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

the cross.

In a statement, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said a new

appeal could be considered once that issue is decided by the


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

Muslim nation.

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 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

seeking help.

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.)

AP-NY-06-26-12 0332EDT