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October 31st, 2010
09:27 PM ET

Cleric sexual abuse victims gather at Vatican

From CNN's Hada Messia in Rome:

Alleged victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy held a candlelight vigil of solidary at the Vatican on Sunday but were not allowed to deliver letters to a bronze door outside the pope's residence.

Several dozen marchers from the United States, Asia and Europe gathered to share their stories and say more needs to be done about the long-standing problem. The Vatican said it routinely disallows such protests in the square but did allow the group to congregate on a portion of the grounds.

Organizer Gary Bergeron of Boston, Massachusetts, called Sunday "Reformation Day" and launched a petition calling on the United Nations to include sexual abuse of children as a crime against humanity. He said he was abused by a priest while he served as an altar boy.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Sex abuse • Vatican

Iraqi forces storm church to end standoff; 7 hostages killed
October 31st, 2010
12:31 PM ET

Iraqi forces storm church to end standoff; 7 hostages killed

Iraqi security forces stormed a Catholic church Sunday where gunmen were holding worshippers hostage, ending the hours-long standoff, police officials said Sunday.

At least seven hostages were killed in the incident. Another 20 people were wounded, the officials said. Eight suspects were arrested.

Survivors of the ordeal said they were just about to begin Sunday night services when the gunmen entered the church, according to Martin Chulov, a journalist for the U.K.-based Guardian newspaper who was on the scene. About 50 people were inside the church at the time, and a priest ushered them into a back room.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Church • Iraq • Middle East • Uncategorized • Violence

October 31st, 2010
01:09 AM ET

Stolen Torah returned to Arizona synagogue after Craigslist ad

From CNN's Dan Gilgoff:

A Torah that was stolen from an Arizona synagogue on Monday has been returned after a Craigslist ad offered a $500 reward for the scrolls, the synagogue's rabbi said Saturday.

"The hardest thing to figure out is what this person was expecting to do with it," said Rabbi Reuven Mann, who leads the synagogue in Phoenix. "There is a market for people that buy and sell Torahs, but it has do be done legitimately."

A member of Mann's congregation, Young Israel of Phoenix, posted the Craigslist ad Tuesday, a day after the Torah - which the rabbi says is valued around $35,000 - was discovered missing in an apparent theft.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Judaism • Torah • United States

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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