Iran-born writer “kills” ayatollah in novel

By Reuters Staff
July 25, 2011

A general view of Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's shrine with pictures of him and Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran

Police send “holy” Roman robber to Queen of Heaven jail

July 15, 2011

(A prisoner stares out of a window at Regina Coeli jail in Rome August 4, 2006/Dario Pignatelli )

Russian extremism law targets religious minorities, dissenters

By Reuters Staff
December 16, 2010

jehovah (Photo: Alexander Kalistratov leaves a court building in Gorno-Altaysk, December 16, 2010/Alexandr Tyryshkin)

When armed Russian security officers forced their way into Alexander Kalistratov’s home, he hardly imagined they were after his books. The local leader of a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Siberia now faces up to two years in prison if found guilty this week of inciting religious hatred for distributing literature about his beliefs.

Canadian police charge senior Orthodox prelate with sex crimes

By Reuters Staff
November 26, 2010

Canadian police have charged a senior Orthodox  prelate with sexually assaulting two boys during the 1980s, the latest in a tide of such charges worldwide involving church officials. Winnipeg police said on Thursday that Archbishop Kenneth William Storheim, 64, flew from Edmonton, Alberta, to Winnipeg to turn himself in and was charged with two counts of sexual assault.

Catholic bishops must take more action on sexual abuse – Vatican

November 20, 2010

vatican 2The Vatican has told Roman Catholic bishops around the world that they will have to take more responsibility to prevent sexual abuse of children by priests. It also said in a statement issued after a day-long meeting of cardinals on Friday that it was preparing new guidelines for bishops on how to deal with the sexual abuse, including cooperation with local authorities.

French “Satanic defenestration” story thrown out the window

October 26, 2010

devil 1Apart from the strikes against pension reform, one of the big stories in France that made headlines around the world these past few days has been about 12 people of African origin who reportedly jumped out of an apartment window in a Paris suburb to flee from a man they thought was the devil. A four-month old baby died in the incident. The initial stories spoke of satanic rituals, maybe something to do with voodoo, and a crazed collective leap into the dark.

Pope dismays anti-Mafia activists on Sicily visit with scant mention of crime mob

October 4, 2010

falconePope Benedict said on Sunday the Mafia represented “a path of death” that Sicily’s young should shun but he dismayed activists who said he was too timid and should have given the crime group a moral hammering.

Pope apologizes for “unspeakable crimes” of sexual abuse

September 18, 2010

papal flag (Photo: Girl waves papal flag before a Mass with Pope Benedict in London September 18, 2010/Kevin Coombs)

Pope Benedict apologized to victims of sexual abuse on Saturday, saying pedophile priests had brought “shame and humiliation” on him and the entire Roman Catholic Church. It was the 83-year-old pontiff’s latest attempt to come to grips with the scandal that has rocked the 1.1 billion-member Church, particularly in Europe and the United States.

Iran tells world: don’t make woman’s stoning a human rights issue

By Reuters Staff
September 7, 2010

stoningForeign countries should not interfere in Iran’s legal system and stop trying to turn the case of a woman sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery into a human rights issue, Tehran said on Tuesday.

Vatican toughens child sex abuse rules, says ordaining women is serious crime

July 15, 2010

The Vatican made sweeping revisions on Thursday it its laws on sexual abuse, doubling a statute of limitations for disciplinary action against priests and extending the use of fast-track procedures to defrock them.