For Saturday, August 7, 2010
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 7, 2010
ROME » Groups representing victims of clergy sex abuse in the United States are urging Pope Benedict XVI to remove Cardinal Bernard Law as head of a Rome basilica, issuing their appeal shortly before the former Boston archbishop leads an annual high-profile ceremony in the church.
Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul II, named Law as archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica after his 2002 resignation as Boston archbishop. Law quit to quell an outcry over handling of sex abuse cases in his diocese, becoming the highest-ranking U.S. church official to fall in the scandal that rocked the American church.
The traditional ceremony Thursday includes the release of white petals from the basilica's ceiling to recall a legendary August snowfall in Rome in 352.
Kristine Ward of the National Survivors Advocates Coalition called the ceremony a "bread and circuses" approach in the church at a time of crisis over sex abuse.
Victims groups have been lobbying for years to get Law removed, accusing the Vatican of giving a major culprit in the crisis a soft landing. The 78-year-old prelate also sits on a number of Vatican congregations and councils.
Law did not return a phone call seeking comment.
SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. » A free concert promoting "PTL," or praise the Lord, took place near where the cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore" enjoy "GTL," or the gym, tan and laundry lifestyle.
Move the Earth ministry organized a "Jesus Shore" event Monday on the Seaside Heights boardwalk as an alternative to the "fighting and fornicating" organizers say the reality TV show celebrates.
Abundant Grace Church Pastor Anthony Storino says they are not against the TV program, but he says there is another side to the Jersey shore.
The concert featured Christian bands and a Christian-themed tattoo contest. Vendors also sold Christian books and T-shirts.