Re­li­gion Briefs Pope to U.S.

Bene­dict to visit White House next month

The Covington News - - Religion -

WASH­ING­TON — Pope Bene­dict XVI will visit the White House on April 16 dur­ing his first visit to the United States as pon­tiff.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said the pres­i­dent and the pope would con­tinue dis­cus­sions they be­gan dur­ing Bush’s trip to the Vat­i­can in June 2007 on the im­por­tance of faith and rea­son in reach­ing shared goals.

Stanzel said the goals in­clude ad­vanc­ing peace through­out the Mid­dle East and other trou­bled re­gions, pro­mot­ing in­ter­faith un­der­stand­ing and strength­en­ing hu­man rights and free­dom.

The pope was also ex­pected to ad­dress the United Na­tions, visit ground zero in New York and cel­e­brate Mass in New York and Wash­ing­ton dur­ing his April 15-20 trip.

Pas­tor is­sues sex chal­lenge

YBOR CITY, Fla. — A south­west Florida church is­sued a chal­lenge for its mar­ried mem­bers: Hanky panky ev­ery day.

Rel­e­vant Church head pas­tor Paul Wirth is­sued the 30-day sex chal­lenge to take on high di­vorce rates.

“And that’s no dif­fer­ent for peo­ple who at­tend church,” Wirth said Sun­day. “Some­times life gets in the way. Our jobs get in the way.”

The chal­lenge doesn’t ex­tend to un­wed con­gre­gates, how­ever.

Tel­e­van­ge­list stalling di­vorce pro­ceed­ings

AT­LANTA — Lawyers for the es­tranged hus­band of tel­e­van­ge­list Juanita Bynum have been try­ing to get her side of the story for four months, but they say she keeps post­pon­ing her ap­point­ment.

Last month, Bynum was or­dered by a Gwin­nett County Su­pe­rior Court judge to ap­pear for a de­po­si­tion on Mon­day.

The or­der, filed Jan. 8, read, “It has now been three months, nine let­ters, mul­ti­ple tele­phone calls and at least one thou­sand dol­lars to at­tempt to sched­ule Plain­tiff’s de­po­si­tion.”

In one of the let­ters, dated Dec. 14, at­tor­ney Mon­ica Han­ra­han tells Bynum’s di­vorce lawyer, Karla Walker, “Clearly the Court wants to keep the case mov­ing for­ward, as do we. We un­der­stand Dr. BynumWeeks is an in de­mand speaker, but we cer­tainly hope this case is a pri­or­ity for her.”

Three days later, Han­ra­han writes, “While we would much pre­fer to agree on a date co­op­er­a­tively, we can not wait in­def­i­nitely for Dr. BynumWeeks’ re­sponse.”

On Jan. 2, Han­ra­han wrote in her fi­nal let­ter be­fore fil­ing a mo­tion with the court, “I am un­der a good amount of pres­sure to get Dr. BynumWeeks’ de­po­si­tion sched­uled ... We want about 4 or 5 hours of her time, in a case which she filed...I trust you are do­ing your best to get us a date, but per­haps a mo­tion is nec­es­sary to con­vey to Dr. Bynum-Weeks how se­ri­ous we are about get­ting this on the cal­en­dar.”

The at­tor­neys for Thomas Weeks III waited un­til 3 p.m. on Mon­day for her to show up.

“Judges like lawyers to fig­ure out things like de­po­si­tions with­out the Court’s help,” Randy Kessler, one of the at­tor­neys rep­re­sent­ing Weeks in the di­vorce case, said on Mon­day. “We’ll still be op­ti­mistic, we’ll still keep the door open. We’ve got all next week avail­able. We’re not go­ing to be the ones to blame if it doesn’t hap­pen.”

Weeks said in a state­ment re­leased on Mon­day af­ter­noon, “We need to hear Ms. Bynum’s po­si­tion di­rectly from her, un­der oath. There has been much said in the press, and much of it by her pub­lic re­la­tions’ per­son­nel. To­day was to be the day that we heard di­rectly from her.”

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