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ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 2011 | By Mark Olsen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Vampires — so hot right now! Also religion. And the apocalypse. And maybe cowboys? Pull together a hodgepodge of all these elements and one ends up with something like "Priest," the big-screen adaptation of a series of graphic novels, directed by Scott Stewart. A long war between humans and oozy, unsexy, eyeless vampires ended with the humans victorious, thanks to a league of battle-trained priests. The remaining vampires have been herded into remote prisons, while humans live in walled-off cities, rendering the warrior-priests unnecessary.
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WORLD
April 7, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT -- A Dutch priest who lived in Syria for almost five decades and refused to evacuate this year from the rebel-held Old City area of Homs was shot and killed at his residence early Monday, according to official accounts. Father Frans Van der Lugt was eulogized by the Vatican as a “man of peace” who stayed behind in the ravaged Old City to assist a dwindling population of Christians and Muslims suffering the devastating effects of an almost two-year siege. Like Pope Francis, he was a Jesuit.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2011 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
For the last four years, Father Gary Thomas has served at the Sacred Heart parish in Saratoga, Calif., a bucolic suburb of San Jose. But the 53-year-old Roman Catholic priest does a lot more than say Mass and listen to confessions ? he is also one of about 14 Vatican-certified exorcists working in the U.S. and the real-life counterpart to the character played by newcomer Colin O'Donoghue in the new thriller "The Rite," which opens Friday. Thomas became certified to practice exorcisms after completing 40 hours of study at the Vatican's Athenaeum Pontificium Regina Apostolorum in Rome.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014
Join Times staff writer Victoria Kim for a discussion at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday on what officials say is the Los Angeles Archdiocese's final settlement of its pending priest molestation lawsuits. A decade of wrenching abuse litigation  has cost the Catholic Church more than $740 million. What is supposed to be the final settlement was reached last week with 17 victims for $13 million. That trial would have been about the alleged acts of Father Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera, a visiting cleric from Mexico who police believe molested more than two dozen boys over nine months in 1987.
WORLD
April 23, 2008 | From Reuters
Ships and planes searched along the coast of Brazil today for a priest who disappeared after drifting out to sea suspended from hundreds of helium-filled party balloons, authorities said. Rescue workers said they had not given up hope of finding Father Adelir Antonio de Carli even though bunches of the multicolored balloons had been found floating on the sea. The adventurous clergyman staged the stunt to help raise money for a chapel for truckers in his highway parish. De Carli told friends in his last mobile telephone call Sunday night that his contraption made of 1,000 balloons would soon crash into the Atlantic Ocean.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
The popular priest who was found dead in his Eureka parish last week died of blunt force injuries to a "substantial part of his body," the county coroner has determined. The Rev. Eric Freed was found dead inside the St. Bernard Church rectory on New Year's Day after he failed to show up for a Mass, shocking the small Northern California community where he taught college courses on religion and often advocated on behalf of the homeless. Gary Lee Bullock, 43, was slated to be arraigned Monday in connection with the death, just hours after a memorial service for Freed, according to Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 2, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
Police in Eureka said Thursday they believe the slaying of a popular Roman Catholic priest was a random attack. “We do not believe there was any connection between the victim of this homicide and the suspect,” said Andrew Mills, Chief of Eureka Police Department. “We're not sure what the motive is at this point. We're interviewing him right now. However, to me it seems to be a crime of opportunity. " Gary Lee Bullock was arrested Thursday in the Garberville area after he was pulled over, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department.
NEWS
May 11, 2011 | Gina McIntyre, Los Angeles Times
In his new 3-D action film "Priest," Paul Bettany plays a laconic warrior with a cross tattooed on his face, a man who channels divine power to combat the vampire menace that terrorizes the citizens of a post-apocalyptic realm. But it's not entirely new territory for the English actor, whose resume includes "A Knight's Tale," "A Beautiful Mind" and "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. " In last year's "Legion," Bettany starred as an avenging archangel determined to protect the life of an infant as doomsday dawns, and in the blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code," he portrayed a murderous albino monk whose extreme faith demands he whip himself bloody to atone for his sins.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 1999
If you don't believe there's racism in L.A., ask the Rev. Ronald D. Culmer. Ask any black or Hispanic man in Los Angeles who drives an expensive car downtown--he knows how Culmer feels. The sad truth is, the first thing the police think when they see black or brown skin is "suspect." It covers our faces even when dressed in priestly robes with a green stole. The message Police Chief Bernard Parks sends (Feb. 11) isn't an apology (although if he were any smarter he'd realize a zealous apology would have been the best move)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2010 | By Scott Gold, Louis Sahagun and and Ken Ellingwood
First of two parts After homilies at their handsome, twin-steepled cathedral, the priests of San Antonio often throw open the doors to a public plaza, stepping over a bronze cross that by legend marks the precise heart of the community. City Hall is across the square, and by tradition everyone sworn into office -- believers or not -- walks across, beneath the elms and oaks, for a benediction. "A blessing of goodwill," Councilwoman Elisa Chan, who was raised a Buddhist, said with a smile and a shrug.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2014 | By Victoria Kim
The Los Angeles Archdiocese has settled what officials said is the last of its pending priest molestation lawsuits, bring to a close a decade of wrenching abuse litigation that cost the Catholic Church more than $740 million. The church reached the $13-million agreement with 17 victims last week, on the eve of a trial scheduled to begin Feb. 14 over the alleged acts of Father Nicolas Aguilar-Rivera, a visiting cleric from Mexico who police believe molested more than two dozen boys over a mere nine months in 1987.
WORLD
February 5, 2014 | By Tom Kington
ROME - The Roman Catholic Church has "systematically" protected predator priests, allowing tens of thousands of children to be abused, a United Nations committee said Wednesday in a scathing report that cast the first shadow over Pope Francis' honeymoon period as pontiff. The panel called on the Vatican to remove all suspects from their posts immediately and to open its confidential archives "to hold abusers accountable. " "The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators," the report says.
WORLD
February 5, 2014 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- The Roman Catholic Church has “systematically” protected predator priests, allowing “tens of thousands” of children to be abused, a United Nations committee said Wednesday in a scathing report that cast the first shadow over Pope Francis' honeymoon period as pontiff. The panel called on the Vatican to remove all suspects from their posts immediately and to open up its confidential archives in order “to hold abusers accountable.” “The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed, has not taken the necessary measures to address cases of child sexual abuse and to protect children, and has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators,” the report said.
NATIONAL
January 21, 2014 | By Manya Brachear Pashman, Christy Gutowski and Todd Lighty
Thousands of pages of secret church documents released Tuesday as part of a court settlement provide an unprecedented look at how the Archdiocese of Chicago for years failed to protect children from abusive priests. The documents provide new details and insights into how the nation's third-largest archdiocese quietly shuttled accused priests from parish to parish and failed to notify police of child abuse allegations. The paper trail, going back decades, also portrays painfully slow progress toward reform, accountability and openness.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
A man suspected of the New Year's Day killing of a well-loved Northern California priest also allegedly attempted to light the body on fire and blow up the rectory at St. Bernard Parish in Eureka, court records reveal. Gary Lee Bullock, 44, allegedly rolled Father Eric Freed's body into blankets and doused him with “several bottles” of 80-proof alcohol. He then attempted to light Freed's body on fire, according to an affidavit filed with the Humboldt County Superior Court. The fire extinguished itself.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
The man suspected in the killing of a beloved Northern California priest was arraigned Monday, just hours after parishioners mourned the cleric's passing at a funeral Mass. Gary Lee Bullock, 43, was charged with first-degree murder, auto theft and attempted arson in a Eureka courthouse late Monday afternoon, according to the Humboldt County district attorney's office. Bullock also faces special allegations of burglary and intentional infliction of torture in the murder of the Rev. Eric Freed, who was found dead in a Eureka church rectory New Year's Day. Bullock pleaded not guilty to all counts and remained in custody in lieu of $1.2-million bail, prosecutors said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 2009 | By Richard Marosi
The church bells rang all afternoon. Archbishop Rafael Romo Muñoz was on his way to say a Mass marking the transfer of Father Raymundo Figueroa, the beloved priest at Santisimo Sacramento parish. Hundreds of men, women and children answered the call of the bells. But they weren't there to greet the bishop. They chained the gates and locked the doors. They hung signs. "This church belongs to the people; not the church," read one. When Romo stepped out of his SUV, 20 robed priests from the Tijuana diocese tried to form a procession, but burly men blocked their way. The archbishop tried to say a prayer, but the crowd drowned him out with bullhorns and bells.
NATIONAL
June 4, 2012 | By David Zucchino
After hearing 10 weeks of testimony, jurors in a priest sexual-abuse trial in Philadelphia interrupted deliberations Monday to question the judge in the case about the legal definitions of conspiracy and child endangerment. The jury of seven men and five women sent Judge M. Teresa Sarmina a note asking her to clarify charges against two Philadelphia priests in the groundbreaking case involving the first Roman Catholic Church official in the U.S. charged with mishandling complaints of child abuse by priests, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
The popular priest who was found dead in his Eureka parish last week died of blunt force injuries to a "substantial part of his body," the county coroner has determined. The Rev. Eric Freed was found dead inside the St. Bernard Church rectory on New Year's Day after he failed to show up for a Mass, shocking the small Northern California community where he taught college courses on religion and often advocated on behalf of the homeless. Gary Lee Bullock, 43, was slated to be arraigned Monday in connection with the death, just hours after a memorial service for Freed, according to Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills.
NEWS
January 4, 2014 | By Kari Howard
What does it mean for the coming year when New Year's Eve starts out strangely? First, I walked up the middle of Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. At rush hour. They had closed off the road for the Grand Park party, and everyone else seemed to be sticking to the sidewalks - out of habit, I suppose. But I wasn't going to lose my chance to own the street itself. Then, at my empty bus stop, a man walked up making a lot of noise. The sound was out of context, so it took a bit to realize that he was crying, and not just the odd-tear-wiped-away kind.
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