Religion Dispatches: WikiLeaks Strikes the Vatican, a Camel in the Pews, and Luke Skywalker Tolerance

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.

Continue reading at Religion Dispatches >>>

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2 Comments on “Religion Dispatches: WikiLeaks Strikes the Vatican, a Camel in the Pews, and Luke Skywalker Tolerance”

  1. David says:

    Item one-so what? She’s human. If she had a problem, it will be figured out in court.
    Item two-is it a slow news day?
    Item three-Christmas tree in a Muslim country-it’s a tree, dude, no matter what they call it.
    Item four-wow…pressuring a secular government to take it easy on some of the Church’s members…yawn…Advocating that a Muslim country not be allowed into the EU…that’s the best you can do? It has nothing to do with the “Christian origins”, we all know that before Europe was Christian, it was either Roman, or other. When Europe was Christianized, Turkey was Christian. That Turkey is not now Christian might say something about having it in the EU. Of course, the EU is irrelevant…

    Item five-you never got drunk in college? Even by accident? Bush had an admitted drinking problem, and once admitted, stopped. I’d say “Well done, sir” to that.

    • Michael J. Altman says:

      David, thanks for your detailed comments. This post was originally written as a roundup of the week’s religion news for the blog at Religion Dispatches (see the link at the bottom). So the goal is to find and link to stories that site hasn’t covered or that are strange or interesting. Honestly, I have no opinion about most of the stories other than I think some of the readers at the site would be interested in them. I post the excerpt here so that folks can find my writing and to funnel traffic to the original post on the bigger site. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and I hope you stop back by.

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