April 23rd, 2012
09:40 PM ET

Priest's guilty plea throws wrinkle into Philadelphia sexual abuse trial

By Sarah Hoye, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN) - Attorneys in the child sexual abuse and conspiracy trial of two Philadelphia priests debated Monday over which potential witnesses jurors would be allowed to hear regarding a third defendant who pleaded guilty to molesting boys just days before opening remarks.

Defrocked priest Edward Avery of the Philadelphia Archdiocese pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of child after admitting that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy during the 1998-1999 school year. Avery, 69, was sentenced to two-and-a-half to five years.

The Rev. James Brennan is accused of attempted rape of a 14-year-old, and Monsignor William Lynn is accused of covering it up. Lynn is the first high-ranking church figure charged with child endangerment for shuffling predator priests from parish to parish.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Courts • Crime

Liberty University responds to Romney controversy, angers online students
April 23rd, 2012
04:43 PM ET

Liberty University responds to Romney controversy, angers online students

By Dan Merica and Laura Bernardini, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Liberty University reacted over the weekend to a brewing controversy over the fact that the evangelical school has selected Mitt Romney, a Mormon, to speak at the school’s graduation.

In a statement from Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., the school says that the complaints have significantly died down and that many of those complaining “had no affiliation with the university.”

“We have also noticed over the last few days that students with reservations about Romney's appearance at Liberty basically fit into one of two categories,” Falwell, Jr. wrote. “They were either strong supporters of other candidates who were seeking the Republican nomination or they were online students who were not as familiar with Liberty University's traditions.”

After last week’s announcement, hundreds of comments were registered under the announcement on Liberty’s Facebook page. While some were supportive of the decision to invite Romney, a number of respondents were angered and posted their frustration to Facebook.

As of Monday morning, the announcement was deleted from the page, along with all the comments.


- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Christianity • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics • Virginia

First stop for bone from Buddha skull: Hong Kong
The parietal bone believed to be from the Buddha is shown at the Qixia Temple in Nanjing, China.
April 23rd, 2012
08:34 AM ET

First stop for bone from Buddha skull: Hong Kong

By Vicky Kung, for CNN

Hong Kong (CNN) – A skull bone believed to be from the original remains of the Buddha will be on display in Hong Kong for six days, the first time the relic will be displayed outside mainland China.

The parietal bone will be enshrined for worship at the Hong Kong Coliseum from April 25 to April 30. China is sending the relic to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China, said Venerable Yin-chi, the secretary general of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association. The display also coincides with the World Buddhist Forum in the city and Buddha’s birthday, celebrated in Hong Kong on April 26.

“The Chinese government had sent us the Buddha’s tooth once in 1999 and the finger bone once in 2004,” Yin-chi said. “But this is the first time that the parietal bone is being moved away from the mainland for a public worship.”


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Buddhism • China • Foreign policy

April 23rd, 2012
04:24 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, April 23

By Laura Koran, 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: America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree
James Cone, who once called himself “the angriest theologian in America,” is still angry. His book is not just a memoir of growing up in the Jim Crow era; it’s a blistering takedown of white churches, and one of America’s greatest theologians, Reinhold Niebuhr – a colossal figure often cited by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

CNN: Watergate figure, Christian leader Chuck Colson dies
Chuck Colson, a Watergate-era "hatchet man" for President Richard Nixon who became an influential evangelical leader after serving time in prison, died Saturday afternoon, according to his website. He was 80.


- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

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.