Editor's Note: Imam Khalid Latif is a chaplain for New York University and executive director of the school's Islamic Center.
By Khalid Latif, Special to CNN
My wife and I were on our way into Bed, Bath and Beyond in late August when I decided to check my office voicemail from my cell phone. I told her I'd meet her inside. When I did, she asked whether I had any messages.
"Just one,” I told her. “I was asked to deliver an invocation at this year's Republican National Convention." She responded with a smile on her face, "Of course you were," and then showed me the pillows she’d selected.
From Hada Messia, CNN
Rome (CNN)–If Paolo Gabriele ever does get the pope's pardon, it won't be before he serves some jail time.
Gabriele, a former butler to Pope Benedict XVI, will start his 18-month sentence in a Vatican cell Thursday for taking secret papers from the pope's personal apartment and leaking them to an author who included them in a best-selling book, the Vatican said.
Gabriele, one of the pope's closest personal assistants, was convicted in Vatican City court October 6 of aggravated theft. He was arrested in May, following a Vatican investigation into how the pope's private documents appeared in the book "Sua Santita" ("His Holiness") by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi. The book, based on the papers, revealed claims of corruption in the church's hierarchy – claims that could affect who becomes the next pope.
By Wayne Drash, CNN
(CNN) - The pregnant 12-year-old girl was strung out on heroin and looked like a walking skeleton when she arrived at the hospital. The conversation that followed, said Phoenix police chaplain John South, has stuck with him ever since.
“Do you know who the father is?” South recalled asking her.
“She said, ‘Yes, it’s my biological father. He’s the one who hooked me on heroin so he could continue to rape me whenever he wanted to.’ ”
The Protestant chaplain has consoled about 50 pregnant rape victims - typically girls raped by their fathers - in his years working with the Phoenix Police Department.
South describes himself as “pro-life,” but when it comes to dealing with a girl or woman impregnated by a rapist, he keeps his personal views to himself.
“I don’t give them a lecture or preach at them,” South said. “I’ve seen crimes beyond comprehension.”
By Arielle Hawkins, CNN
Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.
From the Blog:
CNN: iReporters: 5 life lessons from the Hajj
Millions of Muslims began the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, which represents one of the largest annual human gatherings on the planet. The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a journey every Muslim is expected to take in his or her lifetime if the person is physically and financially able. Our iReport team asked pilgrims who have performed the Hajj about how the experience changed them – and for their advice to those undertaking the pilgrimage for the first time. The result is a mix of spiritual and practical life lessons that transcend Islam.
CNN: 1 killed in shooting at Georgia megachurch
World Changers Church International in suburban Atlanta became a crime scene Wednesday when a gunman entered and began shooting, killing one, police said. The golden-domed megachurch, which claims about 30,000 members, is led by well-known prosperity minister Creflo Dollar. There were about 25 people in the church when the shooting happened, police spokeswoman Cpl. Kay Lester said.
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.