The Adventist Review shares the following world news from Religion News Service as a service to readers. Opinions expressed in these reports do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Review or the Seventh-day Adventist Church. -- Editors
UCC Leader Arrested Outside White House
oining protest to prayer, the head of the United Church of Christ was arrested on October 10 outside the White House while attempting to deliver a pastoral letter condemning the Iraq war to President Bush.
More than 60,000 UCC members and supporters signed a petition in agreement with the letter, which blames the Bush administration for the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, the violation of human rights, and the diversion of billions of dollars from social welfare programs.
Led away from the White House gates with hands cuffed in plastic binds, the Rev. John H. Thomas, president of the United Church of Christ, said a sense of urgency over "the mess in Iraq" brought him to the White House.
Anti-war efforts "require more than the old kind of lobbying, and need extraordinary witness," he said.
Also arrested was the Rev. Linda Jaramillo, another senior UCC official. Both she and Thomas were given three chances to leave a "no protest zone," a church spokesman said, before they were arrested by U.S. Park Police. The two were released about three hours later.
Update: Vatican Says Bishops Did Not Buy Soccer Team
Contrary to news reports from last week, neither the Vatican nor Italy's Roman Catholic bishops have purchased a professional soccer team, a Vatican spokesman said on October 9.
Based on an October 3 article published in Italy's La Stampa newspaper, various media outlets--including Religion News Service--reported that the Italian Bishop's Conference had bought an interest in the AC Ancona football team, intending to raise moral standards among fans, players and executives with a new ethics code.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, acknowledged that the Centro Sportivo Italiano (CSI) was working with the Ancona team to develop an ethics code and to seek new financial sponsorship for the team.
"There are initiatives which have positive and commendable aims and, if the declared intentions can be effectively achieved, this is certainly a good thing," Lombardi said.
Still, he insisted that the "Vatican and the Italian Episcopal Conference have nothing to do with this project."
CSI, an independent organization that seeks to promote Catholic values in sports, is officially recognized by the Italian Bishops' Conference, which appoints consultants to its governing boards. But the bishops do not own or exert any managerial control over the organization, according to a CSI spokesman.