Sydney siege * Pope’s pups * Christmas opposition: Monday’s Roundup

comfort dogs

As the children of Newtown returned to elementary school on Thursday for the first time since last month’s deadly shooting spree, they and their parents were greeted by support counselors, teachers and a team of four-legged pastors called ``comfort dogs.'' Comfort dog Luther shows comfort dog in training Isaiah how it's done. RNS photo courtesy Lutheran Church Charities.

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An armed terrorist is holding an unknown number of hostages in Australia. Pope Francis did not say puppies would go to heaven. Plus, why some Christians don't celebrate Christmas.