Syrian Catholic Archbishop Basilios Georges Casmoussa of Mosul, Iraq, had been speaking in Bangkok, Thailand, on a mid-October day to a global gathering of Catholic media specialists about religious coexistence —despite bombings in August that struck five Iraqi churches, killing at least 12 with dozens more wounded.
The Vatican and the United States were close allies during the 1980s phase of the cold war. Republican President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II seemed to campaign shoulder to shoulder to oppose Soviet communism, especially in the pontiff’s homeland of Poland, and to combat abortion.
Reeling from stinging criticism by Jewish leaders, officials of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) said that comments made by members of a church delegation meeting last month with Hezbollah leaders were “reprehensible” and the controversial visit was “misguided at best.”
Church discipline or politics? Two United Methodists from Iowa are trying to get fellow Methodists George Bush and Dick Cheney kicked out of church for their part in the war in Iraq. And a Catholic in California is seeking to have John Kerry excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church because of his position on abortion.
DavidL.Tiede, the longest-serving president at any Evangelical Lutheran Church in America seminary, says he will retire next June as the head of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. At that point Tiede will be 65, and will have completed 18 years as president and 34 years as a New Testament professor there. Luther Seminary is one of eight ELCA seminaries.