Religious Education

LONDON - Thousands of cheering Catholic schoolchildren feted Pope Benedict XVI with songs and gifts Friday on his second day in Britain, offering a boisterous welcome as the pontiff urged them to ignore the shallow temptations of today's "celebrity culture." Benedict also told their teachers to make sure to provide them with a trusting, safe environment - the second time in as many days that he has referred to the church sex abuse scandal.

ROME - The Catholic Church in Italy, still reeling from the clerical sex abuse scandal, lashed out Friday at gay priests who are leading a double life, urging them to come out of the closet and leave the priesthood.

BERLIN - A court in southern Germany has convicted a Roman Catholic priest of sexually abusing three underage girls and handed him a suspended sentence of 10 months.

CANFIELD, Ohio - The monks seemed to come out of nowhere.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistani authorities now believe a dangerous new militant group, out to avenge a deadly army assault on a mosque in Islamabad three years ago, has carried out several major bombings in the capital previously blamed on the Taliban.
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