Today's Top Five

1. Another attack against a Catholic priest in Turkey
It appears that the knife attack on French priest Pierre Brunissen is unrelated to two other recent attacks on Roman Catholic priests in Turkey. The two earlier attacks were allegedly committed by Muslim militants. The assailant in this case is a Muslim too, but the Turkish press are emphasizing that he's a schizophrenic. has an interview with Monsignor Luigi Padovese, the apostolic vicar for Anatolia. "These are isolated moves, which however express an exacerbated anti-Christian disposition, produced and kept alive by anti-Christian media that is very present here in Turkey," he says.

In other international persecution news, a church in Poso, Indonesia, was bombed Saturday night. Fortunately, there were no casualties.

2. Excommunication risk overstated?
 Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, told the official Vatican magazine Famiglia Christiana last Thursday that the Roman Catholic Church should treat scientists and politicians engaged in stem-cell research the same way it treats those who engage in abortion. "Destroying an embryo is equivalent to abortion," he said. "Excommunication will be applied to the women, doctors and researchers who eliminate embryos [and to the] politicians that approve the law." That statement led to a flurry of headlines such as this one in the Telegraph: "Vatican vows to expel stem cell scientists from Church."

Take it easy, says Inside Higher Ed. First of all, the church isn't against stem-cell research. It's against embryonic stem-cell research. Second, as United States Conference of Catholic Bishops spokeswoman Deirdre McQuade, explained (in Inside Higher Ed's paraphrase): ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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