Cardinal O'Connor dies

New York's Cardinal John O'Connor died of a brain tumor at age 80 last night. One of America's strongest pro-life voices, the former Navy chaplain was also a passionate defender justice for the poor, homeless, and others. The New York Times, naturally, has a very lengthy look at one of the nation's most prominent Christian leaders, with sidebars on how people are reacting to his death, how the Vatican will choose a replacement, and opportunities for mourning.

New Bible translation drops the genealogies, adds love stories

"To make the biblical narrative a more coherent and exciting read, I have intervened in bold print with words and sentences, even with full paragraphs, to put flesh onto the biblical bones," writes Sidney Brichto, a rabbi whose People's Bible will be published in England today. "I could not resist creating a love scene between David and Bathsheba and between Esther and Xerxes. I have also suggested what David might have been thinking when he sent Bathsheba's husband, Uriah, back to the battlefront carrying his own death warrant; also, what Ruth must have thought when Naomi, her mother-in-law, sent her to seduce Boaz when he was lying in the field drunk after his celebration of a successful harvest." He also says that he moved "sections that interrupt the storyline, such as genealogies or later insertions," to appendices, "where they can be read or ignored."

The rock 'n' roll pope

Pope John Paul II is no recluse from musical pop culture, reports The New York Times. He has shared a stage with Bob Dylan, hung out with Jon Bon Jovi and U2's Bono, and even produced his own CD of hymns. But at a May Day concert, he averted his eyes when scantily-clad Israeli pop singer Noa sang the theme ...

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