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May 27th, 2011
10:12 AM ET

Imam fights street crime with mosque fight club

Editor's Note: This piece comes from a new CNN special “Stories: Reporter.” Tune in Saturday at 7:30PM EDT to see the full story.

By Eric Marrapodi, Dan Lothian, Chris Turner & Tom Foreman, CNN

Philadelphia (CNN) - Listen to the FBI and you will know that violent crime dropped over almost the whole country last year; murder, aggravated assault, forcible rape. Listen to people in some parts of Philadelphia and you will know that the Northeast is not part of that trend. Here the numbers keep climbing.

Violence comes to their streets as surely as sunset. Abandoned houses share corners with makeshift memorials to victims; often young men who get caught up in events they don't anticipate and can't escape.

"Around here it's not every safe to walk up the streets," one kid said. "Someone could come up to you and start shooting at you for no reason; just 'cause you're from that 'hood."

That is why Imam Suetwidien Muhammad chose this place to start hitting back.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Leaders • Muslim • Pennsylvania • Prayer • United States

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 • Pennsylvania • United States

Organization alleges church official 'concealed child sex crimes'
A victims' rights group is calling for an investigation of retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, shown here in 2002.
March 1st, 2011
03:42 PM ET

Organization alleges church official 'concealed child sex crimes'

From Logan Burruss, CNN

A victims' rights organization is calling for further investigation of a former archbishop of Philadelphia, claiming records show that he ignored and covered up sex crimes against children "from the earliest days of his career."

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says documents obtained from an alleged victim in a Florida civil case show that authorities in Pennsylvania and New York should investigate retired Roman Catholic Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

Bevilacqua, now 87 and reportedly in ill health, was one of the subjects of a two-year Philadelphia grand jury investigation that ended just two weeks ago. The grand jury - despite finding that there was "no doubt" Bevilacqua "endangered thousands of children in the Philadelphia Archdiocese" by his actions while archbishop - declined "for now" to press charges against him.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pennsylvania • Sex abuse • United States

Jewish museum makes novel decision on whether to close for Sabbath
October 18th, 2010
12:30 AM ET

Jewish museum makes novel decision on whether to close for Sabbath

CNN's Dan Gilgoff filed this report:

Before it could open its doors in Philadelphia next month, the new National Museum of American Jewish History had to resolve a classic Jewish American predicament: how to treat Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath.

If the museum remained open for the Sabbath - called Shabbat - the institution would be violating Jewish law, which forbids work and financial transactions on that day.

But if the museum closed for Shabbat, it would prevent the institution from carrying out its mission of sharing the story of American Judaism with visitors on what's likely to be the highest traffic day of the week.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Judaism • Pennsylvania • United States

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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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