Topic One – Kresta Comments
Topic Two – Attorney for teen runaway, Rifqa Bary: Columbus mosque a threat
An attorney for a Columbus teenager who says she ran away from home in fear for her safety after she converted from Islam to Christianity alleged in court documents yesterday that her family's mosque in Dublin, Ohio, has terrorist ties, a charge disputed by the Islamic center's leader. Rifqa Bary, age 17, said in a sworn statement that her family regularly attended gatherings at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center, and her attorney said in a memo that the mosque hosted extremist speakers and supported a scholar with ties to the militant group Hamas. Rifqa disappeared July 19, and police tracked her to the Rev. Blake Lorenz, pastor of Global Revolution Church, based in Orlando, Fla. Authorities said the teen had met him through an online prayer group. Rifqa has been placed in a foster family and is fighting in court to stay with them. A hearing will be held this afternoon to decide whether the case should stay in Florida or return to Columbus, where the teen lived with her parents and two brothers. Tom Trento has done extensive research on this case and will be in court today. He joins us.
Topic Three – Bishop Martino's departure: did he jump or was he pushed?
Did he jump or was he pushed? That's the easy question. Bishop Joseph Martino was pushed into resignation at the age of 63. No intelligent observer can credit the official explanation: that Bishop Martino retired because of health problems. The outgoing bishop openly acknowledged to reporters that he "clearly" was not suffering from any grave illness. Clearly Bishop Martino was under a great deal of pressure, and therefore it is not difficult to believe that he suffered from insomnia and fatigue: the only medical complaints that were mentioned in the press conference announcing his departure. But while those are serious problems, they are not ordinarily serious enough to compel a motivated leader to resign. And even if insomnia had risen to the level of a serious medical problem, the question remains: Why was the bishop under so much pressure-- the sort of pressure that could give rise to such serious problems? Phil Lawler is here to shed light on this bizarre retirement.
Topic Four – The Catholic Burial of Ted Kennedy: A Post Mortem
Many American Catholics followed the daylong funeral and burial rites for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy this weekend looking for signs of the ongoing struggle between the traditionalist and liberal wings of their Church. The passing of the most notable U.S. Catholic politician of his generation seemed to be a perfect catalyst for such ecclesiastical drama. But what has been one of the most discussed gestures of a tightly choreographed day came at the Arlington National Cemetery evening burial service. Retired Washington Archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick read excerpts from a private letter Kennedy wrote to Pope Benedict XVI — hand-delivered in July by President Obama — and portions of the Vatican response to Kennedy two weeks later. After making no public comment nor authorizing an official communique after Kennedy's death, was the Pope publicly reaching out to this controversial Catholic politician? Fr. Peter Stravinskas is here to respond.