Posted: Oct 22, 2012 1:31 AM
Updated: Oct 22, 2012 1:31 AM
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN-RELIGIOUS HUMOR
Romney jokes about his faith's alcohol prohibition
NEW YORK (AP) President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney meet for their final debate this evening.
The last time they sat together was last Thursday at a Catholic charity dinner in New York, where Romney joked that he prepared for the debates by refraining from alcohol for the last 65 years.
The Alfred E. Smith dinner is named after the first major party Catholic presidential candidate, and features light-hearted remarks.
Romney, whose Mormon faith prohibits alcohol consumption, quipped that he's usually invited to formal events to be the designated driver.
Al Smith IV noted how generously Romney gives to the Mormon church, and joked that the Republican nominee had been invited to the dinner, not to speak, but to convert to Catholicism.
Noting that Romney has five children and that his father was born in Mexico, Smith asked him, "Are you sure you're not Catholic?"
266-a-11-(Al Smith IV, host, speaking at Alfred E. Smith charity dinner)-"you're not Catholic? (laughter fades)"-Al Smith IV, host of the Alfred E. Smith charity dinner, jokes about Mitt Romney's faith. (21 Oct 2012)
263-a-12-(GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, speaking at Alfred E. Smith charity dinner)-"before the debate (laughter fades)"-GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney jokes about his preparations for the debates. (21 Oct 2012)
264-a-07-(GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, speaking at Alfred E. Smith charity dinner)-"the designated driver"-GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney jokes about never having consumed an alcoholic drink. (21 Oct 2012)
265-a-11-(Al Smith IV, host, speaking at Alfred E. Smith charity dinner)-"here to convert"-Al Smith IV, host of the Alfred E. Smith charity dinner, suggests that Mitt Romney would make a good Catholic. (21 Oct 2012)
WORSHIP TENT-WHITE HOUSE
Non-stop worship continues outside White House
WASHINGTON (AP) A non-stop 40-day worship service continues on the Ellipse, the park just south of the White House.
A large tent is erected over folding chairs and a stage where musicians have been leading hymns and prayers around the clock since late last month. They don't plan to stop until election day.
The director of David's Tent DC, Jason Hershey, says it's modeled after the worship King David established when he reigned in Jerusalem.
Hershey read Psalm 47 from the stage Sunday on the eve of the final presidential debate, which will focus on foreign policy. The Scripture reminded the assembled worshippers that "God reigns over the nations," and "God is the king of all the Earth."
268-a-13-(Jason Hershey, director of David's Tent DC, reading Psalm 47)-"song of praise (music fades)"-Jason Hershey, director of David's Tent DC, reads Psalm 47 on the eve of the presidential debate on foreign policy. (21 Oct 2012)
269-a-21-(Jason Hershey, director of David's Tent DC, reading Psalm 47)-"greatly exalted. Amen (music fades)"-Jason Hershey, director of David's Tent DC, reads Psalm 47 on the eve of the presidential debate on foreign policy. (21 Oct 2012)
267-a-19-(Jason Hershey, director of David's Tent DC, reading Psalm 47)-"all the Earth (music fades)"-Jason Hershey, director of David's Tent DC, reads Psalm 47 on the eve of the presidential debate on foreign policy. (21 Oct 2012)
Services announced for former Sen. George McGovern
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) Services have been set for former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern.
A public viewing is planned for 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls. Members of the McGovern family will be at the viewing from 5 to 6 p.m.
A prayer service will follow at 6:30 p.m. at the church.
Funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday at Mary Sommervold Hall at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls.
A private burial will take place at a later date at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
McGovern, who lost a 1972 presidential bid to Richard M. Nixon, died Sunday at a Sioux Falls hospice. He was 90.
Akin appeals to Christians, draws prayer support
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) Republican Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin is drawing strength from prayer as he reaches out to Christian voters in an attempt to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Akin stood with his eyes closed and head bowed in the center of Missouri's Capitol on Saturday surrounded by a group of Christians who placed their hands on his shoulders while lifting up prayers for him to God.
Later Saturday, Akin campaigned in Springfield with former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a Baptist pastor who has a strong following among Christians.
Akin, a Presbyterian who has a Master of Divinity degree, also has appeared at large meetings of pastors in Kansas City and St. Louis this year and has participated in various events that have included prayer.
Jets' Tebow trademarking 'Tebowing'
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Dropping to a knee like Tim Tebow now has a trademarked name.
The New York Jets backup quarterback has legally trademarked the word "Tebowing" for the move in which he goes down on one knee and holds a clenched fist against his forehead while praying during games.
After Tebow led the Denver Broncos to a handful of fourth-quarter comeback victories last season, "Tebowing" swept the country with actor Robert Downey Jr. even doing it at the Oscars.
Newsday first reported that the trademark was approved Oct. 9. Tebow says Friday he wasn't aware the trademark was official yet.
The devout Christian says his representatives filed on his behalf not for financial gain, but "to just control how it's used, make sure it's used in the right way."
Pope names 7 new saints, including 2 from upstate New York
VATICAN CITY (AP) Pope Benedict has added seven more saints to the roster of Catholic role models, including two Americans.
Kateri Tekakwitha (KAT'-eh-ree teh-kuh-KWIH'-thuh) is the first Native American saint. Also canonized was Mother Marianne Cope, a 19th century Franciscan nun who cared for lepers in Hawaii.
Both came from what is now upstate New York, although they lived two centuries apart.
About 80,000 pilgrims filled St. Peter's Square for the celebrations, which began at dawn with Native Americans in beaded and feathered headdresses and leather-fringed tunics singing songs to the beat of drums.
Later, the crowd cheered as the pope read the names of the new saints in Latin and declared that they were worthy of veneration.
Benedict praised each of the seven as heroic and courageous examples for the entire church.
142-r-08-(Sound of Native American people drumming and singing in St Peter's Square, ahead of canonization ceremony)--Sound of Native American people drumming and singing in St Peter's Square ahead of the canonization ceremony. (21 Oct 2012)
141-a-10-(Anya Toya, from the Jicarilla Apache Nation in New Mexico, in AP interview)-"so it's different"-Anya Toya of the Jicarilla Apache Nation In New Mexico says it's a real honor that Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint, is being recognized. (21 Oct 2012)
140-a-07-(Carol Bendercraft, Chippewa from Bad River Indian Reservation in Northern Wisconsin, in AP interview)-"and it's wonderful"-Carol Bendercraft, a Chippewa from the Bad River Indian Reservation in northern Wisconsin, says she is thrilled to be at the canonization ceremony for Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint. (21 Oct 2012)
127-r-26-(Sound of the pope reading the seven names of those to become saints during canonization ceremony, in St. Peter's Square)--Sound of the pope reading the seven names of those to become saints during canonization ceremony, in St Peter's Square. (21 Oct 2012)
128-r-11-(Sound of bells ringing ahead of canonization ceremony, in St. Peter's Square)--Sound of bells ringing ahead of canonization ceremony, in St Peter's Square. (21 Oct 2012)
079-a-10-(Father John Wauck (wark), professor from University of the Holy Cross in Rome:, in AP interview)-"of the person"-Father John Wauck says the saint-making procedure requires the Vatican certify each person being cannonized has performed at least two miracles. (21 Oct 2012)
081-r-29-(Sound of choirs singing as faithful take communion, during canonization ceremony)--Sound of choirs singing as faithful take communion during cannonization ceremony. (21 Oct 2012)
080-r-26-(Sound of the pope saying blessing and bells ringing, during canonization ceremony)--Sound of the pope saying blessing and bells ringing during canonization ceremony. (21 Oct 2012)
BIRTH CONTROL-MIAMI ARCHDIOCESE
Miami Archdiocese sues over birth control mandate
MIAMI (AP) The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami has joined other Catholic institutions nationwide in challenging the Obama administration over birth control.
Archbishop Thomas Wenski said Friday that he had filed a lawsuit in Miami federal court on behalf of the archdiocese, Catholic Health Services and Catholic Hospice. They are suing U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Wenski said the birth control mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violates church teachings.
Similar lawsuits have been filed across the country, arguing that the mandate violates the constitutional freedom of religion. Wenski and other bishops say the mandate would force them to provide insurance for sterilizations, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception, violating their religious beliefs.
3 Catholic priests kidnapped in eastern Congo
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) Congolese civic leaders say three Roman Catholic priests have been kidnapped in eastern Congo.
The three priests were taken captive from their monastery by about 10 gunmen on Saturday night. Omar Kavota, the Vice President of the North Kivu civil society, said the abductions took place in Beni, north of Goma.
The priests were identified as 41-year-old Wasukudi Anselm, 52-year-old Jean Ndulani and Edmond Kisughu, who is 53.
Witnesses say the three priests were tied up and taken away by armed men who spoke Swahili.
Floods prompt evacuations in Catholic shrine town
PARIS (AP) French rescue services and police have evacuated hundreds of pilgrims from hotels threatened by floodwaters from a rain-swollen river in the Roman Catholic shrine town of Lourdes.
Catholics revere Lourdes grotto as the site where the Virgin Mary appeared to a 14-year-old girl named Bernadette in 1858. Officials say the town draws about 6 million visitors a year.
A spokesman for the Lourdes sanctuary said the grotto was under more than four feet of water after the river overran its banks, and some riverside hotels were flooded as well.
The shrine has special meaning for the suffering, many of whom believe its spring water can heal and even work miracles.
Thierry Castillo, director of the nearby Lourdes sanctuary, said visitors had shown "understanding" and predicted that the grotto would remain closed at least through Monday.
Ex-official suing NM school district over religion
FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) A former assistant superintendent is suing a New Mexico school district for religious discrimination.
The Farmington Daily Times reports that former Assistant Superintendent Sharon Jensen recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Central Consolidated School District and several top administrators.
Jensen says in the lawsuit that that the district officials discriminated against her because they believed she was Mormon, and retaliated against her because of complaints she made while employed at the district. She also says she was unfairly demoted for the same reasons.
Jensen, who acted as assistant superintendent for two years prior to her termination in 2011, worked for the district for 30 years.
District spokesman James Preminger said the district couldn't comment on the pending lawsuit.
MUSIC CHURCH-DRUG RAID
Liability finding denied in Pa. festival raid suit
PITTSBURGH (AP) A federal judge has denied an attorney's bid for a liability finding over the arrest of nearly two dozen people on drug charges at an outdoor music festival in western Pennsylvania three years ago.
The Herald Standard of Uniontown says attorney Greg Koerner wanted Judge Donetta Ambrose to enter an order concluding that Fayette County was liable for executing what she found to be an invalid search warrant at the Church of Universal Love and Music in 2009.
But Ambrose denied the request Friday, noting that she had declined to assign such liability when she ruled last summer that the warrant wasn't supported by probable cause and was unconstitutional.
Fayette County authorities used a search warrant to raid the "Funk Fest" held by the Church of Universal Love and Music, arresting 23 people on various drug charges and also seizing marijuana, LSD and hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Headstones vandalized at Hartford Jewish cemetery
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Police in Connecticut are trying to find whoever overturned nearly 40 gravestones at a Jewish Cemetery.
Police say the headstones at the Congregation Ados Beth Israel Cemetery in Hartford were damaged sometime last week. The vandalism was discovered by a congregation member who regularly visits his son's grave.
The superintendent of the cemetery told police that the damage will cost more than $20,000 to repair. Most of the headstones that were overturned were secured to their bases.
Hartford Police said they didn't have any immediate suspects and that they've added extra patrols in the area.