Religion Today Summaries, November 13, 2002

Religion Today Summaries, November 13, 2002

In Today's Edition:

  • Revolutionary Forces in Colombia Kidnap Catholic Bishop and Priest
  • Boy Scouts Vindicated by D.C. Federal Appeals Court
  • Well Organized Baptist Relief Crews Respond to Deadly Swath of Tornadoes
  • Bishop, Priest Collide in Another Scandal for Catholic Church

Revolutionary Forces in Colombia Kidnap Catholic Bishop and Priest

(Voice of the Martyrs) According to a report from Zenit, an international Catholic news service, "Colombian authorities confirmed that Bishop Jorge Jiménez Carvajal, president of the Latin American bishops' council, was kidnapped by the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC).  The bishop of Zipaquira was abducted Monday in San Antonio de Aguilera, near Pancho, in the center of the country, together with Father Desiderio Orjuela, the town's parish priest.  Both were intercepted by two men armed with rifles, when they were going to a confirmation.  Zenit also noted that, in recent years, three bishops, 12 priests, three nuns and one Catholic missionary have been kidnapped in Colombia. One archbishop, one bishop, 43 priests, two religious and two Catholic missionaries have also been killed.  Glenn Penner, Communications Director for The Voice of the Martyrs, upon learning of this kidnapping, said, "It is important to note that Christians of all denominations are suffering tremendous and increasing persecution in Colombia.

Boy Scouts Vindicated by D.C. Federal Appeals Court

(Family Research Council) The Boy Scouts' constitutional rights to determine membership and guiding moral principals have been upheld once again.  Last year the D.C. Human Rights Commission ordered the Boy Scouts to reinstate two homosexuals as Scout Masters and pay $50,000 to each in penalties.  Last week, a D.C. federal appeals court rejected the commission's ruling, holding that it violated the Scouts' constitutional rights.  The appellate court cited the June 2000 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Boy Scouts' right to exclude homosexuals from leadership positions.  Despite this Supreme Court ruling, the politicized D.C. commission attempted to force the Scouts to abandon their historic moral principles with this finding.  The appellate court ruling emphasizes again that political correctness does not trump basic constitutional rights.

Well Organized Baptist Relief Crews Respond to Deadly Swath of Tornadoes
James Dotson

(Baptists Press) Southern Baptist Disaster Relief units in five states -- Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio and Mississippi -- responded locally to severe storms and dozens of tornadoes that ripped through the eastern United States Nov. 10-11.  Mickey Caison, national coordinator for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, noted the scope of the unusual fall tornadoes, with as many as 70 reported in seven states.  "Typically a tornado is localized. It doesn't affect a large area like a hurricane or a flood or an ice storm," Caison said.  Currently, mobile kitchens, chainsaw crews, roofing crews, communications crews and crisis intervention teams are being deployed throughout the areas affected by the storms.  More than 25,000 trained volunteers currently are a part of the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief network nationwide.  The units generally are owned and operated by state conventions and local associations and coordinated nationally by the North American Mission Board.

Bishop, Priest Collide in Another Scandal for Catholic Church
Fred Jackson

(AgapePress) A Catholic priest in the Washington, DC, area says his bishop is punishing him for telling the truth about the activities of three fellow priests in the diocese.  The Washington Times quotes priest James Haley who says he was suspended by Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde after he provided evidence involving incidents where priests stole church collections, impregnated a married parishioner, and collected homosexual pornography.  The Times reports Haley is barred from revealing any evidence of priestly wrongdoing to law enforcement authorities or the public under a canonical "penal precept" issued by the bishop in October of last year.  However, his information was made public as a result of a subpoena issued to him in a case brought by the husband of the impregnated parishioner.  The report says in that incident, the priest has since married the woman after carrying on a yearlong affair with her.  According to Haley's testimony, the priest who embezzled church funds and collected homosexual pornography is now assisting in another church.  The third priest, who Haley revealed had an extensive collection of bondage pornography, resigned two months ago after a judge refused to seal Haley's testimony.