Pope: Clinton Didn't Listen
According to the surgeon who operated on Pope John Paul II in 1994, the pontiff was irritated at Bill Clinton's behavior during a June 1994 meeting at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace. "The only leader I did not manage to have a proper conversation with was Clinton," the pope reportedly told the surgeon. "I was speaking, and he was looking at one of the walls, admiring the frescoes and the paintings. He was not listening to me." The remarks are in the Italian weekly magazine Oggi. If true, it's fascinating: people usually feel very listened to by the president. (See more coverage from Reuters.) The surgeon says he was misquoted by the magazine in another section. His remarks that Pope John Paul II has Parkinson's disease were widely circulated in the media. "I was asked if the Holy Father had Parkinson's, to which I replied, 'I cannot exclude that he suffers from a Parkinson's-like illness, but it is not in my field,'" he tells the Associated Press. That's not even close to the Oggi quote: "The medicines which he takes to treat Parkinson's disease, which is the cause of his hand tremors, in fact, have an impact on his muscle system, reducing facial moments and forcing him to take small steps." Hmmm.

Orthodox Jewish students lose religious discrimination suit against Yale
Back in 1997, a lawsuit brought against Yale University by four Orthodox Jewish students caused a big ruckus. The students claimed that the school's "neutral housing policy makes housing effectively unavailable to Orthodox Jews." Most of the school's residential buildings—including most bathrooms—are co-ed, and sexual imagery is everywhere, they said. The students moved into off-campus apartments, but because of Yale's rules requiring unmarried freshmen and sophomores under 21 to live on campus, continued to pay more than $6,800 each for their vacated dorm rooms. They sued for refunds and exemptions to the school's housing policy. The case was initially dismissed by a federal district judge, and on Wednesday the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has also rejected the suit by a 2-1 majority. "The students," the court ruled, "do not allege any facts from which a discriminatory intent could be inferred, do not argue that defendants had a discriminatory intent, and, in fact describe Yale's motive as economic. … If some of them, including the plaintiffs, were dissatisfied with the Yale parietal rules, they could matriculate elsewhere." The students' lawyer says they may try to keep fighting, even though all but one of the plaintiffs have already graduated.

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Churches balance accessibility and hospitality with safety
"The recent bloodshed at a church in the Caribbean and a New York archbishop's frightening encounter in St. Patrick's Cathedral illustrate a difficult balancing act for religious leaders: how to keep places of worship accessible—but still safe," reports the Associated Press. The head of an organization that insures 45,000 churches says vandalism and break-ins at churches are on the rise, but violent incidents are—thankfully—still rare. Across the country, ushers are being trained on what to do when such incidents occur.

Marvin Olasky: Still prolife
In a story linked to in Weblog, UPI quotedWorld magazine editor (and President-elect Bush adviser) Marvin Olasky as calling Secretary of Housing and Urban Development nominee Mel Martinez "a terrific guy, pro-family, prochoice, a brilliant man." The wire service later reran the story, saying Olasky really said prolife, not prochoice. Olasky's magazine covers Bush's other cabinet nominees in this week's cover story.

Kenneth Kaunda: Preach the Bible to fight AIDS
"Many families in Africa are Christian," former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda said in an interview with the Reuters news service. "African leaders have to preach the Ten Commandments to them. They have to love neighbors and avoid adultery. … If you love your neighbor, you cannot soil his wife or daughter, and you will not covet his cow. This is a basic principle that millions of people around the world refuse to comprehend. But this could save lives."

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