Religion Dispatches: WikiLeaks Strikes the Vatican, a Camel in the Pews, and Luke Skywalker TolerancePosted: December 17, 2010
A Catholic nun with a gambling habit (no pun intended) pled not guilty to accusations that she embezzled over $850,000 from New York’s Iona College. She worked in the school’s finance office.
In West Palm Beach, Florida, a camel fell into pews full of spectators during a church nativity play. No people or animals were injured, though the camel will not be part of the Christmas pageant when it opens this weekend. A donkey and sheep will still take part. Elsewhere in Florida, a dispute in Boca Raton is raising questions about whether or not a menorah is a religious symbol. But the Loudon County Courthouse in Virginia stands out as a beacon of winter solstice tolerance. The courthouse grounds features ten different displays ranging from Nativities to atheist displays to Luke Skywalker.
Nothing says Christmas quite like an $11 million Christmas tree.
WikiLeaks is giving the Vatican some problems. Confidential cables released by the website claim that the Vatican pressured Ireland to grant immunity to church officials involved in the clergy abuse investigation and is responsible for hostilities toward Turkey in its bid to join the European Union. The cable states that “allowing a Muslim country into the EU would further weaken [then Cardinal Ratzinger’s] case for Europe’s Christian foundations.” In Ecuador, a Polish Catholic missionary was beaten to death with a crucifix. And in Phoenix, Arizona, the bishop is threatening to strip St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center of its Catholic status over a disputed abortion procedure.
So, apparently, former President George W. Bush was sloshed the first time he met Billy Graham. He had had “about four beers and five wines.” Well done, sir.
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