Christian Peacemaker Teams protests Chicago's video game deal

After the city gave $2.2 million to the maker of Mortal Kombat and other video games (to keep the company from moving to the suburbs), protesters marched through the city in an Epiphany-themed demonstration.

Bishop says it's time for pope's retirement

Bishop Karl Lehman, chairman of the bishops' conference in Germany, became one of the Roman Catholic Church's most controversial figures over the weekend as he was quoted by Italian media as suggesting that Pope John Paul II should step down now that his health is failing. Other Italian media quoted him as simply urging the pope to consider retirement as an option. Either way, it's the first time such a major Catholic figure has broken the taboo of questioning the ailing pontiff's capacity to lead (See more coverage in the Associated Press, the Sydney Morning Herald, the BBC, and the UK Independent).

Protestant leaders will attend indulgences ceremony despite criticism

Roman Catholic news site EWTN reports that Bishop Christian Krause, President of the Lutheran World Federation, is "currently being pressured by his church not to attend" next Tuesday's Christian Unity Week event because the issue of indulgences, which set off Martin Luther in 1517, is such a controversial subject between Catholics and Protestants—especially German Lutherans. Nevertheless, Krause will attend, as will Anglican Archbishop George Carey and other Protestant leaders.

Interfaith Alliance asks for candidates' pledge of 'civility'

Gore, Bush, Bradley, Hatch, and McCain have signed the pledge, promising not to "mislead voters regarding your public record" and to "reject personal attacks." The "Framework for Civility also contains a promise to "assume full responsibility for the words and actions of … campaign staff, volunteers … and other individuals working on your behalf or seeking to influence the election in your favor." Bauer, Forbes, Keyes, Buchanan, and Trump did not sign.

Gallup documents Christianity of consumerism

Americans "pick and choose" what they want to believe, often mixing ideas within one religion or blending two or more different religions into a personal belief system, says a new study from George Gallup. But it's hardly news; any pastor in America—any churchgoer in the U.S.—could have told him this and saved him a few research dollars.

Aussie kids love religion studies, but not necessarily catechism

"Attendances at churches are falling dramatically but teenagers nationwide are flooding into high school religion courses in record numbers," reports The Australian. "Representatives from Christian churches, which have borne the brunt of the drop in attendances, welcomed the increase, but said it would not result in pews being crowded again."

Still more Fonda gossip

The Sydney Morning Herald reveals more about Jane Fonda's spiritual journey—and about the Web site that broke the story.

Ugandan church desperately needs maturity, says first lady

Janet Museveni, wife of Uganda's president, lamented at a prayer meeting the ardent millennialism that struck the country's Christians at New Year's, reports a Kampala newspaper.

Related Elsewhere

See our Weblogs from yesterday, last week ( January 7, 6, 5, 4, and 3), and December 30 and 29.