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(RNS) The traditional Christmas image of the Virgin Mary -- silent, obedient, observant -- has cemented a potent ideal in the Western imagination. Now the masterful Irish writer Colm Toibin puts a jackhammer to the cozy, safe, Christmas-card version in "The Testament of Mary.'' By Karen Long.
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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Just in time for Christmas, the Vatican on Tuesday (Nov. 20) released a new book by Pope Benedict XVI focused on Jesus' birth and childhood, the final installment of his trilogy on the life of Jesus. By Alessandro Speciale.
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NEW ORLEANS (RNS) For nearly a decade, hundreds of Boy Scouts have learned the virtues of the Ten Commandments on an annual hike to local churches, synagogues and mosques. But this year, Touro Synagogue says it's no longer willing to take part because the Scouts deny membership to gay troop leaders and gay adolescent Scouts. By Bruce Nolan.
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