Archive for June 29th, 2009

As Far As The East is From the West

Monday, June 29th, 2009

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;

he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

As Far As East Is From The West

as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:8-12 (New International Version)

Court Rules for White Firefighters in Discrimination Case

Monday, June 29th, 2009

WASHINGTON — DEVELOPING: The Supreme Court ruled Monday that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.

New Haven was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results, the court said Monday in a 5-4 decision. The city said that it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities.

The ruling could alter employment practices nationwide, potentially limiting the circumstances in which employers can be held liable for decisions when there is no evidence of intentional discrimination against minorities.

“Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer’s reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions,” Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion for the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the white firefighters “understandably attract this court’s sympathy. But they had no vested right to promotion. Nor have other persons received promotions in preference to them.”

Justices Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens signed onto Ginsburg’s dissent, which she read aloud in court Monday.

Kennedy’s opinion made only passing reference to the work of Sotomayor and the other two judges on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who upheld a lower court ruling in favor of New Haven.

But the appellate judges have been criticized for producing a cursory opinion that failed to deal with “indisputably complex and far from well-settled” questions, in the words of another appeals court judge, Sotomayor mentor Jose Cabranes.

“This perfunctory disposition rests uneasily with the weighty issues presented by this appeal,” Cabranes said, in a dissent from the full 2nd Circuit’s decision not to hear the case.

This is a developing story. Refresh page for updates.

Original Link.

“Atheists and Their Invisible Enemy” by Todd Strandberg

Monday, June 29th, 2009

For the past several weeks, Rapture Ready has experienced a series of attacks from various atheist groups. Like moths to a flame, they are endlessly fascinated with what we poor, right-wing, fundamentalist wackos are up to. They manifest their presence by logging onto the message board and sending me nasty emails. Several times I’ve received comments that talked by about my invisible friend. I assume they were referring to the Lord of the universe.

Atheists don’t really do their cause much good by being so hateful. If God doesn’t exist, there should be no need to attack Him on a personal level. Atheists’ willingness to fight with an invisible enemy only helps prove there is some supernatural being causing their irritation.

Here is one example of this boiling hatred atheists have for God:

“No, God did not write the bible, nor did he write any other books (such as the Koran). But there is one thing we can say about God. More deaths have been result of his name than the combination of all the wars that America has been in. Apparently, God is responsible for more deaths than Hitler; and let me add that there has been no evidence of ‘Him’ ever saving anyone’s life. So I say: He is a tyrant, an oppressor, and a ruthless killer. He is a commander of death. If he created us, why does he have to allow so much death? Has he abandoned us? Has he gone on vacation? Why does he influence us to kill?”

There obviously has to be a fixation on God when I see leading atheist sites bearing such titles as “God Is for Suckers,” “God Is Imaginary,” and “God Is Pretend.” You can’t hope to erase the existence of a deity by making him your enemy. If someone is your foe, he must exist.

The key problem with the whole atheist movement is that it’s an empty shell. The atheists’ hatred of God is the only thing they have in common. If religion is the result of ignorance, atheists should be doing their best to educate people. The death blow to Christianity will only come from neglect. This is what killed off thousands of other gods; they died when people quit believing in them. If you want to remove a God-based religion from society, you need to replace it with a better system.

One key quality that atheists lack is charity. Thousands of Christian organizations offer humanitarian services to people. I couldn’t think of any major atheist charities, so I did a search of the Internet for answers. I quickly found that atheists are equally stumped by their lack of social conscience. I found one atheist blog that tried to point to groups like the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders as examples of atheist charities. At best, these groups can only be called secular in nature. None of them carries the banner of good will in the name of atheism.

One of the strangest gripes we have received from the godless is their disdain for the rapture. They are angry over an event they believe will never happen. Author Richard Darkin took me personally to task in his book the God Delusion for asking people who are left behind to look after RR when I’m gone. Several other atheist writers have also cited the rapture as one of the evil attributes of Christianity.

Not all the animosity is pointed at God. Atheists have been extremely vicious in their attacks on believers. When Rev. Jerry Falwell died a couple of years ago, atheists came out of the woodwork to spew venom on his corpse. Christopher Hitchens was probably the most vile example. Here is Hitchens’ response to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who asked whether he believed in heaven and whether “you think Jerry Falwell is in it.” Hitchens said he did not believe in it, but “I think it’s a pity there isn’t a hell for him to go to.”

The disdain atheists have for God is one of the reasons I believe there is a supernatural being. The Bible tells us that unsaved man would manifest his demonic nature in such a way. Atheists can’t ignore God because they are instruments in fulfilling His will.

Despite all the recent coverage by the liberal media, atheism still has very few followers. A recent Pew Forum survey on religion found that only 1.6% call themselves atheists, with another 2.4% weighing in as agnostics (a group despised as wishy-washy by atheists). I think the main reason for the lack of success in the atheist movement is that man is hardwired to believe in a divine creator.

The ultimate doom for atheism is coming very shortly. When the rapture takes place, only non-believers with the hardest of hearts will be able to still say there is no God. For those few people who still hold out, they will meet their invisible enemy face to face at the Great White Throne judgment.

— Todd

Original Link.

[If you follow our blog, Worshipping Christian, you will know that we have experienced much the same thing over here. I have reflected on the motive, as well, and have to agree with Todd completely. -Steve]

California Assembly Speaker: Conservative Talkers Are Terrorists

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Following on the heals of Homeland Security report labeling Conservative Christians as terrorist and impending passage of what many people are calling the Pedophile Protection Act, the California Assembly speaker, Karen Bass, now claims that conservative talk show host are terrorist.

Conservative talk radio hosts are terrorists.

So said the Speaker of California’s Assembly in an interview published at the Los Angeles Times Saturday.

As amazing as it may seem, this was Karen Bass’s (D-LA) response to the question, “How do you think conservative talk radio has affected the Legislature’s work?” (h/t NBer Gary Hall):

The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: “You vote for revenue and your career is over.” I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.

Wow!

Original Link.
Read the interview with Ms. Bass here.

“Proposed Federal Law Would Be a Hate Crime Against America” by Robert H. Knight

Monday, June 29th, 2009

“We’re not going to win this case, but that’s okay. Once we get ‘hate crime’ laws on the books, we’re going to go after the Scouts and all the other bigots.”

This was a remark made in the gallery by the Clinton White House liaison for “gay” issues during U.S. Supreme Court hearings on the Boy Scouts case in 2000. She had whispered it to the Rev. Rob Schenck, whom she mistakenly thought was one of those liberal clerics who think God is still making up His mind about sexual morality.

The point is that the proposed federal “hate crime” law before the Senate is less about righting wrongs than it is about elevating sexual preferences — all of them — to civil rights status so they can be used as a battering ram against people with traditional values.

“Hate crime” laws ensure unequal justice. They empower some groups of victims at the expense of others. A grandma using an ATM machine should have as much protection under the law as a man walking out of a “gay” bar. But under the proposed federal “hate crimes” law, an assailant of a man perceived as homosexual would face greater penalties than grandma’s mugger.

Today (Thursday, June 25), the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (S. 909), which passed the House on April 29 in a largely partisan vote of 249 to 175, with 10 abstentions.

Named after the Wyoming college student beaten to death in 1998 and whose killers received the maximum in a state without a hate crimes law, S. 909 is not only unnecessary but poses an acute threat to constitutional civil rights. It’s a massive federal power grab over state criminal law, giving the attorney general’s office the power to intervene into a “hate crime” case whenever they feel it is necessary.

It would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to a list of specially protected classes such as race, ethnicity, sex and religion. If this bill passes, the Congress of the United States will be officially creating a new civil rights category based on sexual confusion. Like “sexual orientation,” “gender identity” is infinitely flexible, and includes transvestitism (cross-dressing) and transsexualism (believing that one is in the wrong sex’s body and sometimes surgically changing one’s sex organs).

In the House version, an effort to amend the bill to exclude “pedophilia” was defeated in committee along party lines. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) even read a partial list of paraphilias from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, including pedophilia, and declared that “all of these philias and fetishes and isms that were put forward – need not live in fear because of who they are.”

This is why some of the bill’s opponents call it the “Pedophile Protection Act.”

Here’s how the law would work in practice: It would add penalties on top of those levied for criminal convictions, based on the perpetrators’ perceived beliefs or the victims’ group identification. In order to prove that the defendant holds particular beliefs, his or her speech, writing, reading materials and organizational memberships would become key evidence. “Have you now, or have you ever been involved with a homophobic organization (like, say, Catholic Charities)?”

Two paragraphs were inserted to mollify such concerns:

(3) CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit any constitutionally protected speech, expressive conduct or activities (regardless of whether compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief), including the exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment and peaceful picketing or demonstration. The Constitution does not protect speech, conduct or activities consisting of planning for, conspiring to commit, or committing an act of violence.

(4) “FREE EXPRESSION- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to allow prosecution based solely upon an individual’s expression of racial, religious, political, or other beliefs or solely upon an individual’s membership in a group advocating or espousing such beliefs.”

But American Civil Rights Union (ACRU) attorney John Armor notes, “This is a head fake for citizens who don’t understand freedom of speech protections.”

Ken Klukowski, an ACRU senior legal analyst, explains, “Paragraph (3) is only a statement of the obvious, so it has no legal effect. No statute can abridge constitutionally-protected speech. If any speech is burdened, and the speaker files suit, then the process and the result is the same regardless of whether there is any paragraph such as (3). The court then looks to the speech in question, the nature of the burden on that speech, and what protection the First Amendment extends to that particular speech. The court does not look to language such as (3) in deciding the case. If the burden in the specific case is unconstitutional, then it’s impermissible whether the statute acknowledges the fact or not. So (3) is just there to help pass the bill by giving people a talking point to say ‘this law does nothing to violate anyone’s free speech rights.’ It makes no difference in court whatsoever.”

The bill also would create a federal slush fund for hate crime prevention programs at the state and local levels, including school programs that equate traditional morality with “bigotry.” The Justice Department’s “hate crime” section relies on material from groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which lumps legitimate conservative and Christian organizations with “hate groups.”

Besides its threats to basic freedoms, the law is unnecessary. America is not awash in an epidemic of hate crimes, which constitute a microscopic portion of the more than 11 million crimes reported in the United States annually. In the latest crime report released in October 2008 by the U.S. Justice Department for 2007, nearly 80 percent of the 7,624 incidents of “hate crimes” listed in “crimes against persons” involved “intimidation” (47.4 percent) or “simple assault” (31.1 percent), which could involve nothing more than words.

The proposed federal hate crime law, like all hate crime laws, politicizes crime, leading to pressure on police and prosecutors to devote more of their limited resources to certain victims at the expense of others. For example, homosexual activist groups descended on Wyoming and created a media circus around the Matthew Shepard case, costing the state heavily for public relations. Meanwhile, the story of Kristin Lamb, an eight-year-old girl who a month before Shepard’s death was killed in Wyoming and her body thrown into a landfill, received virtually no news coverage or concerns about a possible “hate crime.”

Hate crime laws lay the groundwork for assaults on freedom of speech and freedom of religion. In Canada, Great Britain and Sweden, clergy have been investigated and arrested for advocating traditional morality.

“Hate crime” laws are already being used to silence people in the United States. A pastor in New York’s Staten Island saw two billboards with a Bible verse on them taken down in 2000 under pressure from city officials, who cited “hate crime” rhetoric.

In Philadelphia, 11 Christians were arrested and jailed overnight for singing and preaching in a public park at a homosexual street festival in 2004. Five of them were bound over and charged with five felonies and three misdemeanors, totaling a possible 47 years in jail. These charges, based on Pennsylvania’s “hate crimes” law, hung over them for months until a judge finally dismissed them.

Freedom-loving Americans deplore any violence against innocent victims (including homosexuals), but strongly oppose “hate crime” laws as unjust and dangerous.
All people deserve impartial justice under the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. The proposed federal hate crime law imperils that cherished right on many levels.

———-

Robert Knight is Senior Writer/Correspondent for Coral Ridge Ministries at www.crministries.org, and a Senior Fellow with the American Civil Rights Union at www.theacru.org..

Original Link.

Same-sex ‘Marriage’ Loses Support Among Americans

Monday, June 29th, 2009

A CBS-New York Times survey shows that support for redefining marriage to include same-gender couples has declined. Jenny Tyree of Focus on the Family Action tells OneNewsNow that, according to The New York Times, the figure dropped slightly — but she believes nine percentage points is more than slightly.

“I think that this really digs into what Americans really feel about marriage — that they like that [marriage is] defined between a man and a woman,” she contends. “And also it’s a bit of a backlash against the five states whose legislative bodies have redefined marriage very recently within the last several months.”

“I think Americans really saw the intolerance that occurred after the Proposition 8 vote back in November,” she recalls. “They saw that many who want to redefine marriage were not happy with really what the people decide, and what the people decided in California was to continue to define marriage the way it has been defined.”

Original Link.

“EPA Plays Hide and Seek; Suppressed Report Revealed” By Michelle Malkin

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Man made global warming is a farce. But don’t ask the government to tell the truth. The Emperor, His Mighty Monstrosity, Obama I, has made up his mind about this. “Facts?? Who needs facts?? I am The One, your Mighty (self-proclaimed) Messiah; your Emperor. The facts are whatever I tell you they are!!”

My syndicated column below slams the EPA for suppressing inconvenient truths about Obama’s politicized global warming agenda. As I blogged early Wednesday afternoon, the Competitive Enterprise Institute released e-mails detailing how eco-bureaucrats stifled a senior researcher who challenged the agency’s reliance on outdated data to support its greenhouse gas “public endangerment” finding.

Breaking late tonight, CEI has released the draft version of the censored study that the EPA doesn’t want you to see. You can read the entire 98-page document here.

Here is the preface, which begins, “We have become increasingly concerned that EPA and many other agencies and countries have paid too little attention to the science of global warming. EPA and others have tended to accept the findings reached by outside groups…as being correct without a careful and critical examination of their conclusions and documentation.” No wonder they tried to shut up senior researcher Alan Carlin.

EPA’s game of global warming hide-and-seek
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009

The Obama administration doesn’t want to hear inconvenient truths about global warming. And they don’t want you to hear them, either. As Democrats rush on Friday to pass a $4 trillion-dollar, thousand-page “cap and trade” bill that no one has read, environmental bureaucrats are stifling voices that threaten their political agenda.

The free market-based Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington (where I served as a journalism fellow in 1995) obtained a set of internal e-mails exposing Team Obama’s willful and reckless disregard for data that undermine the illusion of “consensus.” In March, Alan Carlin, a senior research analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency, asked agency officials to distribute his analysis on the health effects of greenhouse gases. EPA has proposed a public health “endangerment finding” covering CO2 and five other gases that would trigger costly, extensive new regulations of motor vehicles. The open comment period on the ruling ended this week. But Carlin’s study didn’t fit the blame-human-activity narrative, so it didn’t make the cut.

On March 12, Carlin’s director, Al McGartland, forbade him from having “any direct communication” with anyone outside his office about his study. “There should be no meetings, emails, written statements, phone calls, etc.” On March 16, Carlin urged his superiors to forward his work to EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, which runs the agency’s climate change program. A day later, McGartland dismissed Carlin and showed his true, politicized colors:

“The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision… I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”

Contrary comments, in other words, would interfere with the “process” of ramming the EPA’s endangerment finding through. Truth-in-science took a backseat to protecting eco-bureaucrats from “a very negative impact.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Oxymoronic ‘Homosexual Christians’ Focus of Barna Report

Monday, June 29th, 2009

The new Barna survey of homosexual adults finds that 27 percent qualify as born-again Christians and 43 percent have an “orthodox, biblical perception of God.” According to Barna, “People who portray gay adults as godless, hedonistic, Christian bashers are not working with the facts. A substantial majority of gays cite their faith as a central facet of their life, consider themselves to be Christian, and claim to have some type of meaningful personal commitment to Jesus Christ active in their life today.”

“My test is [to] substitute another sexual sin and see if it makes sense. Would we be talking about a survey of porn-using Christians or incestuous Christians? That sounds stark, but that’s, I believe, the appropriate biblical analogy,” [Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality] contends.

“I think there are Christians who struggle with the sin of homosexuality — but proud homosexual Christians? That’s an oxymoron to me in the same way as I would say proud adulterous Christians,” he adds. “And so, I think we have to be very careful because I see the tactic of the Emergent Church and the Christian left is to start talking more and more about ‘gay Christians,’ and what they end up doing is demonizing the so-called ‘Religious Right’ and saying that the Religious Right is all wrong in the way it has talked about homosexuality.”

Original Link.

Raad Salah: Netanyahu will Try to Rebuild the Jewish Temple

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Sounds good to me. Truth be known, there’s enough room on Temple Mount for both Muslims and Jews, if they would just share and get along. Snowballs chance in Hades that will happen, but it’s a nice thought.

(IsraelNN.com) Sheikh Raad Salah, leader of the Northern Wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, believes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will try to rebuild the Jewish Temple.

Speaking at a conference organized by website Islam Online in Doha, Qatar, Salah stated his belief that Netanyahu may try to build the Jewish Temple – which the Islamic preacher called “the false temple” – during his current term after allegedly failing to do so in his first term as Prime Minister in the late 1990s.

“I ask that those with the power to make the political decision hear me,” Salah exhorted his audience. “Netanyahu is about to build the false Temple, and when the Jews build the Temple they will do so upon the ruins of the Al-Aqsa [Mosque].”

Immediate danger
The danger to Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa mosque is “tangible and immediate,” Salah said, echoing similar dramatic statements he has made over the years. “I warn, I ask for aid and I call out,” he said. “We should expect deadly surprises that could hurt Jerusalem in general and Al Aqsa in particular,” he said. “We live in years that will determine if Jerusalem survives and in Al Aqsa will remain standing,” he added.

Salah said that in an effort to prepare world opinion for the realization of its goals in Jerusalem, Israel sends tourists to the Al Aqsa mosque and tells them that it was built upon the ruins of the Jewish Temple.

The solution to “the threat against Jerusalem,” according to Salah, is a complete mobilization of the Arab world, including the religious imams, who need to act and “recruit the masses.” He asked Muslim scholars to pronounce edicts that will force “the Muslim nation and its leaders to confront their duty towards the problem of Jerusalem and Al Aqsa.”

“A thousand politicians can talk without changing a thing,” Salah said. ‘One religious sage can do what the politicians cannot carry out.”

The Jewish Temple was first built by King Solomon (Shlomo) about 3,000 years ago. It served as the spiritual center of the Hebrew nation and as a place of national pilgrimage and sacrifice. Serviced by the priestly class (Kohanim) and Levites, the Temple contained the Seven-Branched Menorah and housed the golden Holy Ark within a room known as the Holy of Holies.

Coming soon: the Third Temple
The First Temple was razed by Babylonian conquerors, rebuilt by Jews by permission of a Persian emperor, defiled by Greeks and then re-consecrated by the Hasmoneans, and burnt down again by Romans.

Jewish religion commands the Jews to rebuild the Temple as part of a Divine plan for the salvation of the Jewish people and the entire world, but Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is not considered observant, never has associated himself with efforts by Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.

Original Link.

Pope: Bone Fragments Found in Tomb Are Paul’s

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Although absolute proof is not in existence, it is interesting that the Vatican is doing things to dispel some of the controversy surrounding some of their relics.

ROME — The first-ever scientific test on what are believed to be the remains of the Apostle Paul “seems to confirm” that they do indeed belong to the Roman Catholic saint, Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday.

It was the second major discovery concerning St. Paul announced by the Vatican in as many days.

On Saturday, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano announced the June 19 discovery of a fresco inside another tomb depicting St. Paul, which Vatican officials said represented the oldest known icon of the apostle.

Benedict said archaeologists recently unearthed and opened the white marble sarcophagus located under the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome, which for some 2,000 years has been believed by the faithful to be the tomb of St. Paul.

Benedict said scientists had conducted carbon dating tests on bone fragments found inside the sarcophagus and confirmed that they date from the first or second century.

“This seems to confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that they are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul,” Benedict said, announcing the findings at a service in the basilica to mark the end of the Vatican’s Paoline year, in honor of the apostle.

Paul and Peter are the two main figures known for spreading the Christian faith after the death of Christ.

According to tradition, St. Paul, also known as the apostle of the Gentiles, was beheaded in Rome in the 1st century during the persecution of early Christians by Roman emperors. Popular belief holds that bone fragments from his head are in another Rome basilica, St. John Lateran, with his other remains inside the sarcophagus.

The pope said that when archaeologists opened the sarcophagus, they discovered alongside the bone fragments some grains of incense, a “precious” piece of purple linen with gold sequins and a blue fabric with linen filaments.

On Saturday, the Vatican newspaper announced that a round fresco edged in gold featuring the emaciated face of St. Paul had been discovered in excavations of the tombs of St. Tecla in Rome. It was believed to have been dated from the end of the fourth century, making it the oldest known icon of St. Paul, meaning it was an image designed for prayer, not just art, L’Osservatore Romano said.

Monsignor Gianfranco Ravasi, presidente of the Vatican’s culture department, said the discovery was an “extraordinary event” that was an “eloquent testimony” to the Christianity of the first centuries, L’Osservatore said.

Vatican archaeologists in 2002 began excavating the 8-foot(2.4-meter)-long tomb of St. Paul, which dates from at least A.D. 390 and was buried under the basilica’s main altar. The decision to unearth it was made after pilgrims who came to Rome during the Roman Catholic Church’s 2000 Jubilee year expressed disappointment at finding that the saint’s tomb — buried under layers of plaster and further hidden by an iron grate — could not be visited or touched.

The top of the coffin has small openings — subsequently covered with mortar — because in ancient times Christians would insert offerings or try to touch the remains.

The basilica stands at the site of two 4th-century churches — including one destroyed by a fire in 1823 that had left the tomb visible, first above ground and later in a crypt. After the fire, the crypt was filled with earth and covered by a new altar. A slab of cracked marble with the words “Paul apostle martyr” in Latin was also found embedded in the floor above the tomb.

Monday is the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, a major feast day for the Roman Catholic Church, during which the pope will bestow a woolen pallium, or scarf, on all the new archbishops he has recently named. The pallium is a band of white wool decorated with black crosses that is a sign of pastoral authority and a symbol of the archbishops’ bond with the pope.

At the end of Sunday’s service in the warm basilica, the 82-year-old Benedict lost his balance slightly as he slipped on a step on the altar, and was steadied by one of his assistants who was by his side.

Original Link.
Additional information from WND.