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Religion briefs for Nov. 1

Bishop chastises Catholic governor over stem cell referendum

LANSING, Mich. – The Roman Catholic bishop of Lansing chastised Gov. Jennifer Granholm for speaking in favor of a ballot proposal expanding embryonic stem cell research in Michigan.

The governor said Oct. 26 “as a Catholic, I can say to be pro-cure is to be pro-life.” Bishop Earl Boyea said in a statement Tuesday that Granholm’s argument that Proposal 2 is a valid expression of Catholic principles is “shocking.”

Head of European Jewish Congress says Turkey key in interfaith dialogue

ANKARA, Turkey – The head of the European Jewish Congress said Turkey has a key role in promoting tolerance and dialogue between the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths. Moshe Kantor said Turkey represents a “moderate and tolerant Islam” which puts the country in position to help fight xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism.

Appeals court upholds prayer at meetings

ATLANTA – A federal appeals court has upheld a suburban Atlanta county’s practice of allowing clergy to open meetings with Christian prayers.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals 2-1 ruling Tuesday allows Cobb County officials to open meetings of its Board of Commissioners and planning commission with the prayers. Cobb County officials said clergy from all faiths are allowed to participate, but lawyers for the ACLU contended the invocations are “overtly Christian” and they send a message that the county backs the faith.