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Vatican announces Facebook, YouTube pages for John Paul II
Pope John Paul II in a file photo.
March 15th, 2011
05:08 PM ET

Vatican announces Facebook, YouTube pages for John Paul II

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Pope John Paul II, famous for his power to communicate the Roman Catholic Church’s message around the world, is getting another chance to do so, with the Vatican launching pages dedicated to him on Facebook and YouTube.

The Holy See launched the social networking pages Tuesday, in advance of the beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1, the last step before sainthood.

"The aim is to diversify the instruments so as to give this initiative as great an exposure and as wide a coverage as possible,” the Vatican press office said in a statement.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II

French artist gives the Virgin Mary a makeover
March 15th, 2011
04:00 PM ET

French artist gives the Virgin Mary a makeover

Religious symbols are, next to fast-food logos, generally regarded as the most universal symbols we have - which means that poking fun at them opens artists up to a potential world of feedback and backlash.

One such artist is sculptor Soasig Chamaillard, who recently got French blogs buzzing with an exhibition of her Virgin Mary sculptures - which come in astronaut, My Little Pony, and geisha renditions, among others.

Read the full story on TIME.com
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Culture wars • France • Virgin Mary

Tokyo governor apologizes for calling quake divine retribution
Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara in 2009.
March 15th, 2011
02:23 PM ET

Tokyo governor apologizes for calling quake divine retribution

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

The governor of Tokyo apologized on Tuesday for saying the earthquake and resulting tsunami that left thousands dead were divine punishment for Japanese egoism, a leading Japanese news service reported.

"I will take back (the remark) and offer a deep apology," Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara said at a Tuesday news conference, according to Japan’s Kyodo News.

On Monday, Ishihara had told reporters, "I think (the disaster) is tembatsu (divine punishment), although I feel sorry for disaster victims," according to Kyodo News, which translated Ishihara's remarks from Japanese.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Asia • Buddhism • Japan

Airline apologizes for plane prayer scare
On Sunday law enforcement met a plane at Los Angeles International Airport after praying passengers triggered security fears.
March 15th, 2011
02:01 PM ET

Airline apologizes for plane prayer scare

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Alaska Airlines has apologized for a weekend incident in which three Orthodox Jewish businessmen triggered security concerns by conducting a prayer ritual on board a flight to Los Angeles.

The men began praying out loud in Hebrew shortly after takeoff on Flight 241 from Mexico City. Flight attendants alerted the flight deck, which then called the tower and alerted law enforcement. When the plane arrived at Los Angeles International Airport, it was met by the FBI, Customs and Border Protection and airport police.

The men were questioned, their bags searched, and it was determined they were not a threat according to the FBI.

"Alaska Airlines embraces the cultural and religious diversity of our passengers and employees. We apologize for the experience these three passengers went through after landing in Los Angeles as well as for any inconvenience to our other customers onboard," Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said.

Alaska Airlines said it plans to update its awareness training of Orthodox Jews and is reaching out to the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle for help.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • California • Prayer • 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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