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3rd suit filed against Philadelphia archdiocese charging sex abuse
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Francis Finnegan claimed he was sexually abused by a priest in the late 1960s.
March 16th, 2011
05:02 PM ET

3rd suit filed against Philadelphia archdiocese charging sex abuse

By Sarah Hoye, CNN

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (CNN) - Another new sexual abuse lawsuit was filed Wednesday against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Cardinal Justin Rigali and other archdiocese staffers on behalf of a Pennsylvania man, clergy abuse attorneys said.

This latest lawsuit is now the third civil suit filed within the last month. A grand jury report, released in February, not only led to charges against four priests and one parochial school teacher but has opened the floodgates for civil litigation.

In its wake, alleged victims of sexual abuse are suing the archdiocese and other high-ranking church officials because the report states the archdiocese knowingly withheld the identity of predator priests.

These lawsuits were filed in response to new information released in the 2011 grand jury report that involves Monsignor William Lynn, who is facing criminal charges for endangering the welfare of children and having knowledge about perpetrators. Lynn served as the secretary for clergy under the former Philadelphia Archbishop Bevilacqua.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Courts • Faith Now • Pennsylvania • United States

6 other calamities blamed on divine retribution
Destroyed vehicles and rubble in Minamisanriku, Japan
March 16th, 2011
04:55 PM ET

6 other calamities blamed on divine retribution

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Age-old questions about divine punishment are back. Again.

On Tuesday, the governor of Tokyo apologized for saying the earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands of Japanese were divine retribution for national egoism.

Television and media personality Glenn Beck, meanwhile, has sent mixed messages about whether he thinks God is behind Japan's natural disaster. “I’m not saying God is, you know, causing earthquakes,” he said Monday, adding he's “not not saying that, either.”

“Whether you call it Gaia, or whether you call it Jesus, there’s a message being sent and that is, ‘Hey, you know that stuff we’re doing? Not really working out real well,’” Beck said. “Maybe we should stop doing some of it.”

Blaming human sinfulness for natural and man-made disasters is nothing new. “This kind of thinking is actually typical rather than atypical in world history,” says Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion professor and CNN Belief Blog contributor.

Here’s a list of natural and man-made calamities that have been attributed to divine retribution for human transgression. Let us know what others should make the cut.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Asia • Faith Now • God • Holocaust • Japan

March 16th, 2011
12:38 PM ET

Teen creator of 'Note to God' app in coma

Friends of a California student who created the Note to God iPhone app are asking others to pray for him. KXTV reports.

The family of the Del Campo High School senior calls it a miracle that he was even found after being hit by a vehicle walking home early Sunday morning.

"We ask everyone for prayers, because Allen really needs them right now," Wright's God-aunt, Debbie Lee, said. "To see him lying in a hospital bed, with a respirator, in a coma, it's just wrong."

Josh Hart, who is the brother-in-law of 18-year-old Allen Wright, said the teen had left a friend's house a little after midnight to walk home. His cousin was to meet him halfway.

Read the full story from KXTV
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief

March 16th, 2011
10:24 AM ET

California sued over requiring Sikh inmate to cut beard

The U.S. Justice Department is suing the state of California and Gov. Jerry Brown because prison authorities required a Sikh prison inmate to cut his beard.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday on behalf of Sukhjinder Basra, an inmate at prison in San Luis Obispo in central California.

It said that the requirement violated the man's right "to practice his religion" under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLIUPA).

In the Sikh religion, which originated in northwestern India, unshorn hair is an article of faith.

Read the full story
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: California • Church and state • Sikh

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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.

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