The head of the Al Qaida terrorist network charged that Pope Benedict XVI is leading a “crusade” against Islam, and vowed retribution, in a taped message release on the 5th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Pope Benedict XVI voiced his anguish over the violence in Tibet recently. The Pontiff said that he was pained by the reports of clashes between Tibetans demanding autonomy and Chinese troops, and encouraged both sides to show the “courage to choose the path of dialogue and tolerance.”
The Vatican has unveiled the 2008 edition of the Church’s statistical yearbook, showing a 1.4% rise in the world’s Catholic population from1.115 billion to 1.131 billion between 2005 and 2006. Over the same period, the number of bishops grew from 4,841 to 4,898 an increase of 1.2%.
Legendary chess player Bobby Fisher, who made history by dethroning the Soviet Union chess king Boris Spassky in 1972, asked to be buried as a Catholic, according to officials of the Catholic Church in Iceland, where he had been living since 1992.