Catholic priest from Chicago will be new House chaplain

Only hours after accepting the post, Daniel P. Coughlin, the vicar for priests in the Chicago archdiocese, was sworn in as the first Roman Catholic chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives. Hopefully this will put to rest the accusations of anti-Catholicism consuming the House—especially Speaker Dennis Hastert—for the last four months. "I am a patient man," Hastert told the Associated Press. "But even I did not easily take in stride carelessly tossed accusations of bigotry. Where I come from such slander is an ugly business." (see more coverage in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Times)

Mandatory student fees can finance controversial groups, says Supreme Court

"When a university requires it students to pay fees to support the extracurricular speech of other students, all in the interest of open discussion, it may not prefer some viewpoints to others," wrote Anthony M. Kennedy for the court.'s earlier coverage of the case is available here. The court's opinion is online (or try here). See also reports in the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Badger Herald of the University of Wisconsin (the defendant in the case).

Houston area church attacked

A minister and three others were shot during a Wednesday night service at Iglesia Cristiana Esposa del Cordero Pentecostal Church in Pasadena, Texas. The attacker was reportedly upset that a church member had rejected his romantic advances.

London's National Gallery Sets Eyes on Jesus

In November, Christianity Today ran an article about an exhibit at the Provincial Museum of Alberta, Canada, that was entirely composed of images of Christ. Now London's National Gallery is getting in on the act. " Seeing Salvation," an exhibit that runs through May 7, offers 79 images of Christ that mainly focus on "how [the artists] represent someone who is both God and man, human and divine." Notes the Associated Press, "At the dawn of a new century, with religious observance in Britain in steep decline, there is no longer the confidence that the picture speaks to its audience."

Ireland's cult watcher

Ireland's Christian churches want to keep an eye on the 100 or so alternative religions growing in the country. So they've appointed Mike Garde as watchdog.

Christian tourists confused by Purim

Pope John Paul II's trip to Israel has brought a lot of Christian tourists to the country as well. The pilgrims confused by all the people dressed up in strange costumes, reports The Jerusalem Post. It isn't Halloween, it's Purim. Assignment for all these Christian tourists: Go home and read Esther. (In fairness, Esther says nothing about costumes.)

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Uganda president will crack down on 'dangerous' religions

But how do you separate the dangerous from the benign? And does the evangelical church there really want to be considered safe?

The Power Team goes to Australia

The evangelistic freak show (Too harsh? Sorry. The self-described "world's greatest exhibition of power, strength, speed, inspiration, and motivation"—and humility) heads out to Adelaide, Australia, and is featured in the major newspaper The Age. "The Power Team are celebrities in the United States, appearing on Walker, Texas Ranger, and they even have their own TV show," writes Rebekah Devlin.

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