Obama, Biden attend multi-faith Cathedral prayer service
WASHINGTON (AP) — Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh clergy prayed for President Barack Obama's second term in an inaugural service at Washington National Cathedral.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden sat in the front pew Tuesday as prayers were said in English, Spanish, Arabic and Hebrew.
Kathryn Lohre, president of the National Council of Churches, asked God to "grant them wisdom to discern your will and to consider your Word among the counsel they receive."
The Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., praised Obama's rhetorical skills — saying, "You should have been a preacher" — and urged the president to bring a divided nation together.
Earlier this month, the cathedral said it would begin hosting same-sex weddings.
Pa. ex-pastor convicted of killing 2nd wife
STROUDSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former Pennsylvania pastor has been convicted in the 2008 death of his second wife, but still awaits trial in the 1999 death of his first wife.
Arthur Schirmer blamed the second death on a slow-speed car crash and said his first wife fell down the stairs, but authorities ultimately charged him with bludgeoning both women.
The verdict Tuesday comes after Schirmer testified Friday in Monroe County Court. He told jurors that he was driving his second wife, Betty, to the hospital for jaw pain when a deer crossed their path, causing them to crash.
The former United Methodist pastor was convicted of first-degree murder and evidence tampering. He pleaded not guilty and maintained his innocence. His attorney pledged to appeal.
Schirmer is charged separately in the 1999 death of his first wife, Jewel, and awaits trial in Lebanon County, Pa.
Man accused of arson at Ohio mosque seeks to withdraw guilty plea
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A former Marine who said he set fire to an Ohio mosque because he wanted to avenge the killings of American troops has asked to withdraw his guilty plea to federal hate crime charges.
Randy Linn says he was under duress and depressed when he entered his plea last month in the fire at a suburban Toledo mosque.
A deal between prosecutors and Linn had called for him to be sentenced to 20 years next April after he pleaded guilty to intentionally damaging and destroying religious property and two gun-related charges.
Prosecutors say he broke into The Islamic Center of Greater Toledo last fall and went room by room to make sure no one was in the building before he poured gasoline on a prayer rug and lit it on fire.
Linn described on Dec. 19 how he had been drinking heavily before he drove to the mosque in Perrysburg.
DA will review Los Angeles church files for crimes
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors who have been stymied for years in their attempts to build a criminal conspiracy case against retired Los Angeles Archdiocese Cardinal Roger Mahony and other church leaders say they'll review newly released priest files for additional evidence.
Thousands of pages from the internal disciplinary files of 14 priests made public Monday show Mahony and other top aides maneuvered behind the scenes to shield molester priests and provide damage control for the church. Continued...