SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A federal appeals court has reversed a decision that would have sent a Mormon couple back home to Colombia, where they say they where threatened because of their religious and political activity.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the Board of Immigration Appeals to reconsider the case of Herbert Douglas Moscoso-Morales and his wife, Nancy, citing a written death threat delivered in 2002 to the couple’s home.

“We know of all your political and informant activities for your Mormon cult,” the letter stated, and told them to be gone within 24 hours or be “eliminated.”

The couple fled to Salt Lake City and began their battle to gain political asylum.

Paris mosque sues over cartoons

PARIS (AP) – The Mosque of Paris has filed suit against a satirical weekly for publishing three cartoons of Islam’s prophet. Two of the cartoons were among those published by a Danish newspaper that triggered violent protests five months ago, judicial officials said.

The suit was filed against Philippe Val, executive editor of Charlie-Hebdo, a satirical magazine, and against the Rotatives publishing house.

The Mosque of Paris said it considers publishing the cartoons “a deliberate act of aggression aimed at offending people of the Muslim religion.” The mosque is the largest in France, where about 5 million Muslims live. A preliminary hearing is set for late September.

The weekly published the cartoons in February, putting one on its cover that showed a caricature of a weary prophet with his head in his hands under the title “Muhammad Overwhelmed by the Fundamentalists.” A caption under the cartoon reads: “It’s hard to be loved by idiots.”

Nun honored in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – State officials are honoring Mother Theodore Guerin, a 19th-century Roman Catholic nun who is to be named a saint, by hanging her portrait in the governor’s office.

Gov. Mitch Daniels called it a tribute to a woman “who was brave, selfless and gave her life of service to others.” At a Vatican ceremony Oct. 15, Guerin will become the first person from Indiana and the eighth from the United States to be canonized in the Catholic Church.

Guerin was a French nun who left her homeland in 1840 for the then-frontier state of Indiana, and within a year founded the Sisters of Providence Academy near Terre Haute. She died in 1856.

St. Mary-of-the-Woods is the oldest Catholic liberal arts college for women in the United States, and under Guerin’s leadership, the schools were expanded into Illinois, Massachusetts and California. Several members of the congregation near Terre Haute attended the July 21 portrait hanging.

Pope John Paul II had accepted a nun’s recovery from cancer as a miracle attributed to Guerin. One miracle is needed for beatification, and Guerin was beatified in 1998.

Earlier this year, Pope Benedict XVI approved a second miracle – the regaining of eyesight by an employee at the order’s mother house – as the result of Guerin’s intercession.

It takes two miracles to move forward on the path to sainthood. Both of the healings took place after prayers to Guerin long after her death.


Court rules that Muslim inmate ordered to handle pork can sue staff

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Prison staff who punished a Muslim inmate for refusing to handle pork do not have immunity from his religious-freedom lawsuit, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Henry Williams sued on constitutional grounds, saying he lost his cook’s job and was restricted to his cell for 30 days after refusing to handle roast pork.

Williams missed religious and other events during his confinement, and ended up with a lower-paying janitorial job, according to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling issued Tuesday.

Senior inmate-cooks at SCI-Rockview, in Centre County, had agreed to honor Williams’ concerns by giving him other duties when pork was served. But staff members ordered him to handle the meat, saying he could use gloves as other Muslim inmates did. Williams refused, and was disciplined. His appeals within the prison system failed.

Although the 3rd Circuit has not previously judged such a case, the defendants had “fair warning” from other circuits – and generally from the U.S. Supreme Court – that they should “respect, and accommodate when practicable” his religious concerns, U.S. Circuit Court Julio M. Fuentes wrote.

The case now goes back to the lower court for further proceedings. Williams is seeking back pay, a clean conduct record, an end to religious-based harassment and unspecified damages.

AP-ES-07-26-06 1233EDT

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