Morning Catholic must-reads: 15/08/10

Handicapped pilgrims face the Basilica of the Rosary in Lourdes (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

A bomb scare forced thousands of Lourdes pilgrims marking the Feast of the Assumption to evacuate the shrine yesterday.

Despite being assumed into heaven, Mary “has not abandoned her mission of intercession and salvation“, Pope Benedict said at the Angelus on Sunday (video).

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston has described the “Ground Zero mosque” as a “very important symbol” of how much Americans value freedom of religion.

Orthodox Christians celebrated the first Divine Liturgy in almost 90 years at the Byzantine-era Sümela Monastery in northeastern Turkey yesterday.

Emmanuel Milingo, the former Catholic Archbishop of Lusaka who was excommunicated in 2006, has been named a patriarch of the Ecumenical Catholic Apostolic Church of Peace.

Lebanon has banned an Iranian biopic of Jesus after a Maronite archbishop said it did not show sufficient respect.

Senior Vatican officials accompanying the Pope to Britain will stay in a luxury hotel at taxpayers’ expense, reports the Daily Mail.

Rare items from the life of Cardinal John Henry Newman will go on display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery from September 10.

Jon Venables, the killer of two-year-old James Bulger, has spent three hours talking to a Catholic priest in prison, the Mirror reports.

Bishop Mervyn Alexander, former Bishop of Clifton, has died aged 85.

Ruth Dudley Edwards criticises the decision to remove two priests and a Brother from the Birmingham Oratory following an apostolic visitation.

Author Colm Tóibín has a long article in the London Review of Books on homosexuality in the Church.

The New York Times profiles the “renegade priest” at the centre of a bitter dispute with the Archdiocese of St Louis.

And Yahoo! News reports on a “DJ priest” spreading the Gospel on Italian beaches.