Karima El Mahroug, the woman at the center of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s latest sex scandal, says that when she was 9 years old, she was raped by two men, then told by her mother to keep quiet because she feared how Karima’s father would react if he discovered she wasn’t a virgin. When Karima was 12, her father spilled a pan of boiling oil on her after she told him she had converted from Islam to Catholicism.
College football may seem like a religion to Americans, but to many American Catholics the University of Notre Dame football team is the incarnation of their faith in sport. Yet, apart from the battle for the college football national championship, the biggest biggest news in college football this season has been the continued decline of Notre Dame.
The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church traditionally couch even the harshest disagreements in decorous, ecclesiastical language. But it didn’t take a decoder ring to figure out what Rome-based Archbishop Raymond Burke meant in a late-September address when he charged Boston Cardinal Sen O’Malley with being under the influence of Satan, “the father of lies.” Burke’s broadside at O’Malley was inspired by the Cardinal’s decision to permit and preside over a funeral Mass for the late Senator Ted Kennedy.
Visitors to the Basilica of the National Shrine in northeast Washington often do a double take when they see Newt Gingrich and his familiar shock of white hair slip into a pew for the noon Mass on Sundays. The former Speaker of the House is known for many things, but religious zeal is not one of them. In fact, the social conservatives who fueled his Republican revolution in 1994 often complained about Gingrich’s lack of interest in issues like abortion or school prayer.
As he arrives in Israel, the focus for Pope Benedict XVI shifts from Catholic/Muslim ties, which were at the heart of his three-day visit to Jordan, to relations with Judaism. TEL AVIV, Israel (CNN) — As he arrives in Israel, the focus for Pope Benedict XVI shifts from Catholic/Muslim ties, which were at the heart of his three-day visit to Jordan, to relations with Judaism. The pope comes to the Jewish state at a moment when Catholic/Jewish ties stand at a crossroads, in part related to broad historical and demographic trends, in part to the image of this particular pontiff.
The case of the pregnant 9-year-old was shocking enough.