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February 15, 2013 | By Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times
Long before they sat down to write books, Charles Falco and George Rowe sold drugs and used them, raising hell as poor white guys in the desert small towns and exurban fringes of Southern California. They roamed with "tweakers" (meth addicts) and exploited them for cash. But both Falco and Rowe saw the light. Eventually they joined the "good guys" in a crusade against the meanest, cruelest purveyors of darkness in their communities - the biker gangs that collectively share the name Vagos.
April 27, 2014 | Thomas Curwen
After the vigil, the remembrances, the tales of heroism recounted, what remains is the sorrow. On a blustery, bright morning in El Monte, the friends and family of Adrian Castro came together at the Church of the Nativity to say goodbye to the 19-year-old, who died earlier this month in a traffic accident in Northern California. "We are gathered today in grief and sadness for our brother, Adrian," said Father Beto Villalobos. Adrian, a senior at El Monte High School, had joined other students for a spring tour of Humboldt State University when their charter bus was struck by a FedEx truck on Interstate 5 north of Sacramento.
February 11, 2014 | Nicole Santa Cruz
Though the Rev. Robert H. Schuller was the face of the once-global "Hour of Power" television ministry, he was never alone. His wife, Arvella, was always behind the scenes, working to make sure everything ran smoothly. Arvella Schuller, who served as a producer of the television show and was one of the main creative forces of the Crystal Cathedral, died Tuesday at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange after a brief illness. She was 84. In a statement, her grandson, Bobby V. Schuller, said she died "peacefully of natural causes.
April 27, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Tom Kington
Pope Francis proclaimed sainthood Sunday for a pair of former pontiffs, John Paul II and John XXIII, thrilling multitudes who gathered in St. Peter's Square and elsewhere to witness the double canonization. It was the first time in the history of the Roman Catholic Church that two ex-popes were canonized in the same event. Although the focus was on the late pontiffs, the elaborate ceremony and the global attention it generated seemed likely to provide another boost for the soaring reputation of Francis.
November 27, 2012 | By Michael McGough
Religious conservatives in the United States  have been complaining that developments in the political arena - the Obamcare contraceptive mandate, the progress of same-sex civil marriage - threaten religious freedom. They're crying wolf, but similar alarums in the Mother Country make a bit more sense.  Because England has an established church, some of whose bishops sit in Parliament, the political question of same-sex marriage has religious reverberations that  don't sound here.
February 12, 2013
Re "Church used funds meant for the dead," Feb. 10 Several years ago I visited the small Roman Catholic church in Loreto, Mexico. There, I saw an older, probably poor woman with a small boy dropping a few coins into the collection box. A few years later, fortune brought me to the Vatican. It was beautiful and the works of art were stunning, but I couldn't stop thinking about that poor woman and child in Loreto giving what little they had to such a wealthy organization. As we stood in St. Peter's Square, the pope's private white helicopter flew overhead; our guide said, "There goes his holiness to his summer retreat.
May 15, 2013
Re "A posthumous fall from grace," May 12 On the one hand, men like Cardinal Roger Mahony and the late Msgr. Benjamin Hawkes, who was accused posthumously of sex abuse, seemed to be just the men to act in the best interests of the Los Angeles archdiocese at a time of a rapid expansion of the Catholic population. On the other, they were unable to resist profound moral pitfalls while working to meet those needs. Mahony is trying to reinstate himself as a moral leader after having been exposed as a protector of sexual predators.
May 12, 2010 | Tim Rutten
"To live is to change," wrote the 19th century English Cardinal John Henry Newman, "and to be perfect is to have changed often." Pope Benedict XVI will preside over Newman's beatification — sainthood's honorific antechamber — when he visits Britain in September, but between now and then he's likely to hear growing demands for change in the governance of an ancient but scandal-ravaged institution In a stunningly blunt editorial, for...
November 10, 2012
Several readers who disagreed with The Times' Monday editorial , which expressed concern over priests who made political statements from the pulpit before Tuesday's vote, noted that the same day's paper published a photo of Gov. Jerry Brown in the pews of a South L.A. church campaigning for Proposition 30. In a letter Tuesday, Robert S. Rodgers of Culver City asked: "Do the editors approve of Democrats going to churches to push for their causes...
December 19, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
Cara Delevingne can't seem to shake those pesky photographers.  The unfiltered Victoria's Secret supermodel was followed to an Italian church by shutterbugs Thursday and documented them documenting her. "Paparazzi in church... A whole new level of low," the 21-year-old wrote on Instagram, sharing a photo of them with her more than 3.5 million Instagram followers. The pic showed a photographer snapping away and another his back to the church altar. PHOTOS: 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Though, is she sure they weren't just tourists taking pictures of the aged structure?
April 26, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
Eric Church performed Friday night at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival before a wall built of several dozen amplifiers. Or at least they appeared to be amplifiers: With the singer's nickname "Chief" emblazoned on them in place of the amp maker Marshall's iconic logo, the large black boxes were almost certainly stage props -- a visual expression of the guitar-band intensity Church was promising in a headlining set that opened with his song...
April 23, 2014 | By Richard Simon
In Georgia, it will soon be legal to carry a gun in more places -- including bars, churches and government buildings -- following Gov. Nathan Deal's signing Wednesday of a bill celebrated by supporters as a victory for the 2nd Amendment but decried by critics as the "guns-everywhere bill. "  "We Georgians believe in the right of people to defend themselves, and we believe in the 2nd Amendment," Deal said. The measure drew national attention because of its sweep and its passage after a number of high-profile shootings around the country.
April 21, 2014 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Peaches Geldof, a British model, TV personality and writer, was laid to rest Monday in southern England in a brightly decorated casket that on one side reflected her life as a wife and mother of two.  Family and friends attended the private funeral, with famous faces including Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, models Kate Moss and Alexa Chung, musicians Jools Holland and former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, and BBC1 TV presenter Nick Grimshaw...
April 19, 2014 | By Maher Abukhater, This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.
JERUSALEM - Thousands of people gathered at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's Old City on Saturday for the lighting of the “holy fire,” an annual ritual marking the Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. The Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem battled his way through crowds shortly after midday to enter the church's small chapel, where what is believed to be Jesus' tomb is located. Minutes later, the pilgrims inside the small basilica cheered as he emerged carrying two lit bundles of 33 candles each symbolizing the age of Jesus at the time of his death.
April 18, 2014 | By S. Irene Virbila
Sometimes you just feel like tucking into that classic French bistro dish, the steak frites. In France, the steak isn't usually tender prime. It's typically a flavorful, chewy cut that has to be cooked on the rare side of medium rare to maintain its tenderness. That means hanger or skirt steak - or the bavette , also known as a flap steak. Frites, or fries, should be hot and golden, heaped on the plate or into a separate container. Add a salad and a bottle of Beaujolais cru or Gigondas, and it's hard to find a more satisfying and unfussy meal.
April 16, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
MAALOULA, Syria - From the debris-strewn front garden of the Safir Hotel, Syrian military commanders barked orders to troops taking cover in the smoke-shrouded maze of streets below. "If you hear any movement, throw hand grenades immediately!" a general advised on his two-way radio as he peered at the battle unfolding like a distant video game at the bottom of the hill. On Tuesday, Syrian forces were targeting the remnants of a rebel force in this historic town, long a center of Christian worship and pilgrimage.
May 13, 2013 | By Harriet Ryan
Two men came forward to say that a prominent leader of the Los Angeles archdiocese during the post-war boom years molested them, the L.A. Times reported Sunday. Msgr. Benjamin Hawkes was a power broker in Los Angeles during that era. The second-in-command to two cardinals, he ran the Los Angeles church for three decades, a span during which it grew into the largest, most diverse, and by some counts, wealthiest archdiocese in the nation. His knack for money and real estate gave him influence from Rome to Hollywood.
April 12, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Bob Dylan's mercurial words on religion and spirituality have been examined for decades. Scholars, cultural critics and theologians have speculated with their pens, parsing the songwriter's syllables as if they were grains of sand. Entire books have focused on his spiritual explorations, beginning with his Jewish roots, his sometime embrace of evangelical Christianity and beyond. For all the words, though, few have argued its point more thoroughly - and with fewer academic buzzwords - than Brothers & Sisters, a choir of Los Angeles session singers who in 1969 gathered at Sound Recorders Studios in Hollywood under the direction of Lou Adler to record an album of the most uplifting and spiritually inclined works in Dylan's early canon.
April 9, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
At one point during a recent day I spent with Eric Church while reporting a feature story on the country singer, Dwight Yoakam's "Honky Tonk Man" came on the radio in the van that was taking us to "Jimmy Kimmel Live. " Church stopped talking to listen to the song, then threw out a bit of Yoakam trivia: The video for " Honky Tonk Man ," he said with obvious respect, was the first country clip shown on MTV. Now Church is putting his admiration into action. The younger star announced Wednesday that he'll team with Yoakam for a North American arena tour this fall, a victory lap of sorts behind Church's album "The Outsiders," which debuted at No. 1 in February with sales of 288,000 copies -- the year's biggest sales week so far. PHOTOS: Concerts by The L.A. Times The trek is scheduled to launch Sept.
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