Pope Francis went to Israel and the West Bank and all I got was this dumb t-shirt. Well, actually, much more came out of the trip than that.
Pope to meet with sex abuse victims
Winging his way back from Israel Monday, Pope Francis said he will meet with a group of sex abuse victims next month at the Vatican, a first for this pope. He also said the church would have “zero tolerance” for any member of the clergy who molested a child. Francis further said that three bishops are under investigation by the Vatican for abuse-related reasons. This is what Francis had to say about priests abusing children:
It’s like celebrating a black mass.
David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, isn’t so impressed.
Francis: the rules on celibacy are not dogma
That flight back home was a field day for Vatican reporters. Out of the hour’s worth of questions they got to lob at the pope, came one on celibacy and priests. “It is a gift to the church,” Francis said, but not “dogma” and therefore open to discussion.
Save the date for Francis, Mahmoud and Shimon
Both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres have accepted Pope Francis’ invitation to pray with him at the Vatican, but they need to set a date. Could be as early as early next month.
What language did Jesus speak?
Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanhayu and the pope had a little biblical linguistic spar: The pm said Jesus spoke “Hebrew.” The pope said “Aramaic.” They’re both right, of course.
Fire at the Church of the Nativity
It happened today, two days after the pope visited. A candle tipped over. The damage is minor. But still, it’s the church over the site where Jesus is believed to have been born.
Nigerian soldiers have found the kidnapped girls
They know where Boko Haram is holding them, but haven’t figured out how to rescue them without getting them killed. Since they were captured a month ago, Boko Haram has killed more than 470 civilians.
Belgium police release video of Jewish museum killer
The man who fired at AK-47 at the Jewish Museum of Belgium Saturday is still at large. Police have distributed a video, which does not clearly show his face, and are asking the public’s help in finding him. An Israeli couple in their 50’s, visiting from Tel Aviv, is dead. So is a French woman. A Belgian national who works at the museum is in critical condition. Police said they do not know whether the killer is a neo-Nazi, an Islamic extremist or something else.
The interment of ashes from Dachau . . . in North Carolina
Our own Yonat Shimron spent Memorial Day weekend reporting on the story of a remarkable memorial. She watched the ashes of an unknown person or persons, salvaged from the concentration camp at Dachau, find their final resting place in Durham, N.C.
Pilgrimage funds? What pilgrimage funds?
The religion minister of the most populous Muslim nation in the world (Indonesia) resigned Monday after an anti-corruption agency accused him of misusing funds intended to send Indonesians on the hajj.
- Lauren Markoe
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