Grandson describes evangelist Billy Graham's regrets

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Rev. Billy Graham has two regrets,

according to his grandson.

The Rev. Will Graham says his 92-year-old grandfather told him

that he wished he had read the Bible more and prayed more.

The younger Graham spoke to KTIS radio at this month's

dedication of the new Billy Graham Community Life Commons at

Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minn.

Will Graham, son of the Rev. Franklin Graham, is a third

generation evangelist who recently preached outside London.

He says his grandfather has trouble getting around, but his mind

is still sharp.

Billy Graham, who turns 93 November 7th, has a new book coming

out next week on aging. It's called "Nearing Home: Life, Faith and

Finishing Well."


SC diocese: Bishop probe could mean parish attacks

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina

says its bishop is accused of abandoning the faith in a process

that doesn't allow him to know his accusers and could lead to

attacks by the national church on the diocese and its parishes.

The diocese has distanced itself from the national Episcopal

Church in part because of its stance on ordaining gay bishops and

sanctioning same-sex unions.

Bishop Mark Lawrence was recently contacted by the national

church's Disciplinary Board for Bishops. The panel informed him,

based on information from churchgoers in the diocese, that he's

alleged to have abandoned the doctrine, discipline and worship of

the Episcopal Church.

About 100 clergy from the South Carolina diocese met Tuesday

behind closed doors to discuss the allegations and procedures to


The diocesan statement said the Episcopal Church "is in a

constitutional crisis" over doctrinal issues. It said, "While

those include a changed understanding of sexual ethics and

Christian marriage, it goes much further to the matter of

scriptural interpretation and authority."


Church from 1860 with few remaining members to close near the

Ohio Statehouse in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A more than 150-year-old church one block

from the Ohio Statehouse will soon close because its congregation

has dwindled.

The last service at Central Presbyterian Church in downtown

Columbus is planned for Nov. 20.

Church leadership council member Linda Wood said the church has

only about 40 active members, making it difficult to pay the bills.

The congregation was founded in 1839, and the church was

dedicated in 1860. The Columbus Metropolitan Library website says

the church has a stained glass window that was displayed first at a

Chicago world's fair, where it won an award.

A lawyer overseeing the closing says the plan is to sell the

church, possibly to a buyer who will turn it into a performance



Church officials bless benefactors as new shepherds of

struggling Philly Catholic school

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - An independent group of benefactors has

agreed to take over a struggling Roman Catholic school from the

Archdiocese of Philadelphia, pledging to keep its religious

identity while making it financially sustainable.

The new arrangement - the first of its kind in the archdiocese -

transfers responsibility for the St. Martin de Porres elementary

school from the church to a lay board of directors.

Board members want to ensure St. Martin's continued existence

and affordability in North Philadelphia, where many public schools

are considered unsafe and academically deficient.

Church officials, who have closed more than 30 cash-strapped

schools in the archdiocese over the past five years, applauded the

agreement and hoped it could be replicated at other strained

schools. Similar arrangements have saved parochial schools in other

U.S. cities.

The Philadelphia archdiocese has 178 schools serving about

68,000 students, which represents a 35 percent drop in enrollment

since 2001.


Nigerian pleads guilty to underwear bomb attack

DETROIT (AP) - A Nigerian man has pleaded guilty to attempting

to bring down an international flight over Detroit with a bomb in

his underwear, telling a surprised courtroom on the second day of

his trial that the failed attack was retaliation for the killing of

Muslims worldwide.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab told the court that the underwear bomb was

a "blessed weapon to save the lives of innocent Muslims."

He added that other Islamic militants would attack soon if the

U.S. continues to, in his words, "promote the blasphemy of

Mohammed and the prophets."

Abdulmutallab said he carried a bomb in his underwear onto

Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas 2009 with the intention

of killing the nearly 300 people on board. The bomb didn't work,

and passengers jumped on Abdulmutallab when they saw smoke and


Abdulmutallab's attorney, Anthony Chambers, said he's sure the

25-year-old Nigerian prayed about entering a plea that would send

him to prison for life.


Egypt military denies shooting protesters

CAIRO (AP) - Egypt's military rulers are now blaming Christian

protesters and "enemies of the revolution" for triggering clashes

that left 26 dead, almost all of them Christians.

At a news conference to present their version of the events,

generals from the Supreme Council showed footage of priests and a

Coptic Christian activist they accused of "instigating" the

violence on Sunday night with calls for demonstrations and of

storming the state television building. He accused protesters of

"savage" attacks on the military.

Many of those killed were crushed when armored military vehicles

sped through crowds of protesters and ran them over. Other victims

had gunshot wounds.

Witnesses and Christian protesters have denied the demonstrators

started the fighting. Videos show the violence appeared to begin

when military police charged protesters who were peacefully holding

speeches outside the state TV building. Another shows a soldier

firing at protesters at close range from the back of a speeding

armored vehicle weaving through the crowd.


Pope condemns violence in Egypt

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI says he's "deeply

saddened" by the recent violence in Cairo, referring to protests

that left 26 dead, most of them Coptic Christian demonstrators.

Benedict condemned what he called attempts to "undermine the

peaceful coexistence" among Egyptian communities.

Egypt's Coptic Christians, who represent about 10 percent of the

85 million people in the Muslim-majority nation, have long

complained that they are second-class citizens in their own


Benedict, speaking at his weekly public audience Wednesday, said

he supports efforts to protect the human rights of all,

particularly minorities, in support of national unity.


Muslim comic series aims to break through in US

DETROIT (AP) - Comic book fans might call it a great origin

story: In the aftermath of 9/11, a Muslim man creates a comic book

series, "The 99," inspired by the principles of his faith.

It builds a global audience and investors contribute millions

for it to continue and expand. But there have been obstacles for

the creator, Naif Al-Mutawa (AHL-moo-tah-wah).

Some hardline Muslims think the series should not use human

characters to embody the 99 qualities of Allah, as spelled out in

the Quran (ku-RAHN').

The series has yet to gain traction in the United States, where

the political and cultural climate since 9/11 has brought

skepticism and suspicion about anything related to Islam.

Al-Mutawa says the resistance is evidence that more is needed to

counter intolerant ideologies of all types.


5 men arraigned in Ohio Amish beard-cuttings

MILLERSBURG, Ohio (AP) - Five men suspected of forcefully

cutting the beards of fellow Amish have been arraigned in an Ohio

courtroom and released on $50,000 bonds.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Levi Miller, Johnny

Mullet, Lester Mullet and two other men were in Holmes County

Municipal Court on Wednesday on kidnapping and burglary charges.

Prosecutor Steve Knowling tells the newspaper the leader of their

group, Sam Mullet, posted bail.

The sheriff says men entered a home Oct. 3 and used scissors and

clippers to cut the beards of the bishop of another community and

his son.

Amish beards carry spiritual significance. Mullet says

beard-cuttings are in response to criticism from other Amish

leaders about his practices.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-10-13-11 0330EDT