Opinion by Craig Gross, Special to CNN
(CNN) - There are still a lot of details to come out, but here’s one thing we know about Anthony Weiner: He is not a punch line; he is an addict.
I would assume Weiner has always had an uphill battle against being the butt of someone’s joke, just by the nature of his last name. Immaturity has always reigned supreme, and now in the days of Internet memes and Twitter zingers, Weiner seemed ready-made for a scandal.
And yet he managed to get elected to Congress and once had a respectable appearance on "The Daily Show." He was on the rise, a politician ascending.
And then he got busted by the media for tweeting pictures of parts that should remain private to random women.
By Richard Allen Greene and Hada Messia, CNN
Pope Benedict XVI's butler will be tried on an aggravated theft charge over the leaking of hundreds of secret papers from the pope's personal apartment to an Italian journalist, a Vatican spokesman said Monday.
The butler, Paolo Gabriele, acted out of a desire to combat "evil and corruption everywhere in the Church," according to a prosecutor in the case.
"I was certain that a shock ... would have been healthy to bring the church back onto the right track," the prosecutor, Nicola Piccardi, wrote in a report released Monday by the Vatican.
A second man, Vatican IT expert Claudio Sciarpelletti, will be charged with aiding Gabriele, according to the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman.
Atlanta area megachurch pastor Creflo Dollar said on Sunday that he neither choked nor punched his 15-year-old daughter, as she claimed in a report to police on Friday.
Read about Dollar's popular but controversial prosperity gospel.
By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
(CNN)–The Vatican expressed rare public anger Wednesday in blasting the leaking of private papers from the pope's apartment, a scandal that observers say lifts the lid on a secret power struggle going on behind the closed doors of the Catholic Church.
A top Roman Catholic Church official called the theft of the documents "an immoral act of unprecedented gravity" and "despicable abuse of the relationship of trust that exists between Benedict XVI and those who turn to him."
Archbishop Angelo Becciu made the remarks to the Vatican's official newspaper six days after the pope's butler was arrested for leaking the papers.
Paolo Gabriele, 46, was arrested Wednesday on accusations of illegal possession of confidential documents, the Vatican said in a statement issued three days after the arrest.
(CNN) – Bad luck comes in threes, even for the pope.
The past week has seen his butler arrested, accused of leaking secret papers from the papal apartment; the head of his bank sacked for incompetence; and a demonstration on his front doorstep by protesters demanding that he reveal what he knows about Italy's most famous missing-person case.
It's bad PR for the Vatican, but it may be more than that, experts say. It could affect who becomes the next pope.
By Paula Hancocks, CNN
Seoul (CNN) – A pastor and his wife are in custody accused of killing three of their children by starving them to ward off evil spirits, police in South Korea said Wednesday.
The couple told police the children - aged nine, seven and three - had been ill, which they believed was a sign they were invaded by evil spirits after eating too much on Lunar New Year.
They then cut the children's hair to chase the spirits out and starved them from January 24 until February 2, only allowing them to drink water. Local media reports said the parents had beaten the children with a belt and a fly swatter numerous times.
The pastor, named only by his surname Park, and his wife, Cho, told police they tied the children's arms and legs with stockings. All three died on February 2, the first around 2am, the second at 5am and the third at 7am, according to police in the town of Boseong, more than 186 miles (300 kilometers) south of Seoul.
The Catholic Church in Ireland did not take serious steps to stamp out child abuse by priests even after the scandal blew up worldwide and the Irish bishops put rules in place to stop it, a new report says.
The report demolishes claims by the Catholic Church there that policies it put in place in 1996 have enabled it to get a handle on the problem.
The Church's explanation that it was on a "learning curve" in handling allegations of abuse "could not have had any basis or relevance in Cloyne," said the report, which focuses on the diocese of Cloyne around Cork in southern Ireland.
Ireland's top churchman, Cardinal Sean Brady, called the report "another dark day in the history of the response of Church leaders to the cry of children abused by Church personnel."
Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
The Roman Catholic Church isn't the only religious institution that has failed to respond directly and transparently to allegations of sexual impropriety.
Bishop Eddie Long, the pastor of the Georgia-based New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, has just settled out of court with the four young men who alleged Long had sexually coerced them. And neither side is talking.
A third suit alleging sexual relationships with young men was filed against Pastor Eddie Long on Wednesday.
A third lawsuit has been filed against Atlanta-based megachurch pastor Eddie Long, alleging coercion, deception and manipulation that involved a sexual relationship with a young male, CNN has learned.
Through a spokesman earlier on Tuesday, Long denied similar allegations in two other lawsuits filed over the past two days.
"We categorically deny the allegations," he said. "It is very unfortunate that someone has taken this course of action. Our law firm will be able to respond once attorneys have had an opportunity to review the lawsuit."
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Allegations that a prominent Atlanta pastor coerced two young male church members and employees into sex are "a case of retaliation and a shakedown for money by men with some serious credibility issues," the pastor's spokesman told CNN Wednesday.
Pastor Eddie Long "categorically and adamantly denies these allegations," said spokesman Art Franklin. "There's been a lot of chatter since yesterday, but these complaints that have been filed are definitely without merit."
Lawsuits filed Tuesday in DeKalb County, Georgia, allege that Long used his position as a spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church into sex. CNN was the first to report on the lawsuits.
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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.