Colombia archbishop murdered
Isaias Duarte, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Cali, was gunned down Saturday after denouncing connections between drug traffickers and leftist guerrillas. "We presume this was the work of drug traffickers," says church official German Robledo.

Bogota-based political analyst Fernando Giraldo says it's not terribly surprising. "When you say you have evidence, you are putting a target on your chest," he tells the Houston Chronicle. "The archbishop knew that (traffickers) could get him."

The city—and the rest of the country—is upset but feels helpless. "It's sad that we have gotten so used to these kinds of crimes. Nothing really surprises me anymore," a construction worker tells The Washington Post.

Tony Hall will leave Congress for U.N.
Among politicians elected to national office, perhaps no one is more beloved by evangelical leaders than Tony Hall. Organization from Sojourners to the Christian Coalition have praised his integrity and stances (though the Christian Coalition voters guides sometimes gave him low ratings for his votes on welfare reform and other issues).

"Tony Hall is not a typical denizen of Capitol Hill," Frederica Mathewes-Green wrote in a 1997 Christianity Today profile of the Ohio Democrat. "Compared to the other shining lights, he presents a modest display: practical, industrious, and determined. … Yet this unpretentious man could represent a model for a new way of doing politics, offering hope to Christians weary of the clumsy fit offered by current partisan alignments."

But Tony Hall will be a denizen of Capitol Hill no longer. President Bush has nominated him to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations' food and agriculture agencies. "It's a job that's right down my alley, and it's something that I can do 100 percent of the time," he tells the Associated Press. The AP story is worth a read if only because it serves as a reminder that politics does not necessarily corrupt. While Hall replaces George McGovern in the post, his former chief of staff, Rick Carne, will run for his seat.

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Church life:

  • Would you Adam and Eve what the word is today? | Clerics have taken to quoting from scripts rather than the scriptures to spread the gospel (Terence Blacker, The Independent, London)

  • Ministers on the move | Some area pastors make rounds of multiple churches (The Flint [Mich.] Journal)

  • Clergy remain fretful over race | Two churches change Palm Sunday service schedule (The Washington Post)

  • Black Catholics question closings | The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago's announcement Thursday that it will close four African-American churches on the South raises anew the question of how the archdiocese relates to black Catholics. (Chicago Tribune)

  • Pastor chosen to lead St. Luke | Kansas preacher, a past student of Holmes, will begin duties one of Dallas' most prominent black congregations in July (The Dallas Morning News)

Billy Graham:

Sex & marriage:

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  • Priest, wife fight over lack of sex | A battle over conjugal rights between a priest from New Eersterus in Pretoria North and his estranged wife has resulted in a low-intensity feud between his alienated family and that of his new sweetheart. (City Press, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Abuse news:

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  • 'Passport' alert for church sex offenders | Australia's Anglican Church is to consider creating a "passport" system for staff who want to move between jobs or parishes and a blacklist of accused sex offenders, under stringent new proposals aimed at protecting children from abuse. (The Daily Telegraph, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia)

  • Australian Anglicans say sorry to sex abuse victims | Archbishop Carnley issued the apology on behalf of lay people and clergy from across the country (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Abuse reaction:

Abuse opinion:

  • Twisted, yes, but don't call it shocking | For Catholic men of a certain age, the recent revelations about sexually predatory clerics are not exactly a surprise. (John Tierney, The New York Times)

  • Priest crisis may doom celibacy rule | Celibacy may not lead to pedophilia, but it discourages good men from becoming priests. (Susan Ager, Detroit Free Press)

  • A moral issue—and a crime | It shouldn't matter whether the person having knowledge of a case of pedophilia is a neighbor, teacher, social worker or member of the clergy. There should be no immunity for sexual misconduct involving minors. (Editorial, The Washington Post)

  • A sacred trust | New reports about the sexual abuse of children by clergy remind us to be vigilant. (Editorial, The Baltimore Sun)

  • Church and state's shared responsibility | It is a basic civil right for a child to be free from predators. We will all be judged on whether we stay true to that principle and seize the opportunity hidden within this crisis. (Thomas F. Reilly, The Boston Globe)

  • Signs of repentance | Not until the Catholic Church levels with the public about priests' troubling pasts can it hope to regain the faith of its followers. (Editorial, USA Today)

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