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April 22nd, 2010
04:44 PM ET

White House to fight to preserve Day of Prayer

The Obama administration will fight to preserve the law establishing an annual National Day of Prayer, the Justice Department confirmed Thursday. A federal judge declared the law unconstitutional last week.

The Justice Department's official filing of a "notice to appeal" Thursday came as no surprise, after White House spokesman Matt Lehrich said following the ruling that President Obama intends to recognize this year's National Day of Prayer, which is May 6.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Politics

April 22nd, 2010
04:38 PM ET

Suit alleges U.S., Mexican cardinals covered up abuse

A Mexican resident who says he was sexually abused by a priest as a child is suing the Roman Catholic Cardinal of Los Angeles and Mexico's top-ranking Catholic cleric, alleging they aided and abetted the abuse by moving the priest between dioceses as allegations piled up against him.

The suit does not name the alleged victim, identifying him only as a Mexican citizen. It alleges that Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony and Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera knew the priest - identified in the suit as Nicholas Aguilar Rivera - was abusive but authorized him to move back and forth between Mexico and the U.S. and to continue serving in parishes.

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church

April 22nd, 2010
04:34 PM ET

Pope accepts Irish bishop's resignation

Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of a third Irish bishop Thursday.

Bishop Jim Moriarty offered his resignation in December amid criticism after the publication of the Murphy report on clerical sex abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Leaders

April 22nd, 2010
04:33 PM ET

Opinion: Are homosexuality, church abuse linked?

The on-going reports about child molestation in the Catholic church have led the public and the media to ask what causes someone to be sexually attracted to children. Scientists use the word pedophilia to refer to the sexual preference for children before puberty (usually, before age 11), and the word hebephilia, to refer to the sexual preference for children at puberty (usually, ages 11 to 14).

Although there have been claims that child molestation is a result of homosexuality (or of celibacy), there is absolutely no basis in science for either conclusion. The scientific evidence instead suggests that pedophilia and hebephilia are caused by atypical brain development occurring near or before birth.

Read the full commentary by University of Toronto medical professor Dr. James Cantor

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Opinion

April 22nd, 2010
04:31 PM ET

Suit demands Vatican name priests accused of abuse

An Illinois man is suing the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI for allegedly covering up sexual abuse by a priest at a Catholic school in Wisconsin.

The lawsuit demands the Vatican release the names of thousands of Catholic priests that the suit says have "credible allegations of sexual misconduct" against them.


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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Leaders

April 22nd, 2010
04:29 PM ET

Has 'South Park' gone too far this time?

Nothing is sacred on "South Park."

This is a show, after all, that once painted God as a gap-toothed rhinoceros-monkey, portrays Satan as a simpering milquetoast and regularly features Jesus as a superhero - the kind who's not afraid to ignore the peaceful teachings of the Sermon on the Mount to smite his opponents. The show has mocked Jews, Catholics, Mormons, Scientologists and atheists, among (many) others.

It's a formula that's generally served "South Park" well, allowing it to score comic points by riffing on hypocrisy while emphasizing a message of libertarianism and tolerance, and it's one that goes back to the show's beginnings, points out former Dallas Morning News TV critic Ed Bark, who blogs at UncleBarky.com. After all, he recalls, the show began as a Christmas short violently pitting Santa Claus against Jesus.

But have they gone too far this time with a depiction of the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit?

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • Islam

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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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