Nuns guilty of genocide
Roman Catholic nuns Sister Gertrude, 42, and Sister Maria Kisito, 36, were convicted of multiple counts of homicide yesterday by a Belgian court. Prosecutors said that the two had driven 7,000 refugees from their convent during the widespread violence between Rwandan Hutus and Tutsis in 1994. The Tutsi asylum seekers were then beaten to death by Hutu gangs. In another instance, 500 Tutsis were burned alive in the convent garage. Of the 55 counts against the nuns, the jury delivered guilty verdicts in 39, not-guilty verdicts in 4, and was unable to decide in 12 (the judge is likely to rule on these instead). Two other defendants, a university professor and a factory owner, were also found guilty of multiple homicide counts.

Four, including priest, convicted of Guatemalan bishop's murder
Retired Gutatemalan army Col. Byron Lima Estrada, his son Byron Lima Oliva, and former presidential bodyguard Jose Obdulio Villanueva were found guilty this morning of murder and each sentenced with 30 years in prison. Roman Catholic priest Mario Orantes was found guilty of being an accessory and was sentenced to 20 years. The four were charged with the April 1998 murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi, a vocal critic of the Guatemalan military. The case itself was marked with violence, as death threats and attacks were made on the trial judges. After the verdict, Oliva accused the judges of taking bribes. Yeah, that's it. What kind of judge, faced with one side bombing his home while the another side is offering him cash, is going to go with the cash? This was a pretty crazy trial—at one point the late bishop's dog was arrested as a suspect—but it may not be over. The murderers' lawyers say they'll appeal. Meanwhile, the Guatemalan Catholic church is also accusing former president Alvaro Arzu of involvement in Gerardi's murder.

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New Anglican Archbishop of Sydney:

Church and state:

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  • Using Bible as self-help manual | The Prayer of Jabez and Secrets of An Irresistible Woman, is part of a major segment of the Christian publishing industry - self-help books that marry Scripture with the marketing pitch of the recovery movement. The goal: sell the Bible as the original self-help book. (Las Vegas Sun)
  • Bibles go back in two hotels | Australian manager caused ruckus after he moved Scriptures and other religions' literature to front desk (The Advertiser, Adelaide, Australia)
  • 'Erotic' pictures to bring Bible back into fashion | Glossy magazine-style version of the Old Testament will feature leading models pictured by the world's leading fashion photographers, Claudia Schiffer and Markus Schenkenberg are expected to portray Eve and Adam. (The Daily Telegraph, London)

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  • Christians gather to mark Holocaust | All Americas Convocation apologizes, works for peace (The Miami Herald)
  • Missing priest is a found man | Bronx monsignor took trip to Puerto Rico after news of stomach tumor (New York Post)
  • Earlier: Mystery of missing pastor | A Bronx pastor considered a rising star in the Catholic Church has been missing since Thursday — a day after he underwent a biopsy, police said yesterday. (New York Daily News)
  • Apocalypse now? | Who will stop the world from sliding back into the depravity from which it had been rescued by Christianity nearly two millennia ago? (Uwe Siemon-Netto, UPI)

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