Australia Says It Prevented Acts of Islamic Terror With Massive Sydney Police Raids

Australian police officers claim to have prevented terrorist bloodshed with the arrest of Omarjan Azari. The cops acted after a senior member of the so-called Islamic State was reportedly found to be urging terrorist cells in Australia to behead one or more victims.

It is alleged he conspired to commit the act with another man, Mohammad Baryalei, a former Sydney bouncer and actor of Afghan origin, reportedly an Islamic State leader. … The attorney general, George Brandis, said … that he believed the atrocities would have gone ahead, had it not been for the intervention of the security services, the Australian federal police and forces from Queensland and New South Wales.



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He’s On To Something: Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby Sometimes Thinks That God Doesn’t Exist

Let’s give him props for honesty:

The archbishop of Canterbury – the spiritual leader of the world’s 80 million Anglican Christians – has admitted he sometimes doubts whether God actually exists. Justin Welby made the comments during a relaxed interview in front of an audience at Bristol Cathedral, in England.

There are moments, sure, where you think, ‘Is there a God? Where is God?‘” The archbishop, who is also the leader of the Church of England, added that his admission was “probably not what the archbishop of Canterbury should be saying.”



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Sufi Holy Man Is Arrested For Killing Volunteer He Failed to Bring Back to Life During Promised ‘Miracle’

Pakistan’s Express Tribune reports that in Mubarakabad, Punjab, a pir (Sufi master) named Muhammad Sabir was so convinced he could perform miracles, he asked for a volunteer he could murder. Not to worry, Sabir told his followers: after killing his victim, he would reanimate the dead man and make him as good as new.

He announced that he could breathe life back into a dead man. The pir gave the condition that the victim must be married and have children.

I mean, who doesn’t like a high-stakes bet, amirite?



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What’s the Use of Praying?

My friend Benjamin Corey, a fellow Patheos blogger and Christian author, recently wrote that

[P]rayer is often the most effective tool a Christian has.

Effective? He’ll be visiting in a couple of weeks, and I intend to ask him, over beers, what that means. I don’t doubt that prayer can be a means of quieting or soothing your mind, like meditation. In that sense, it’s perfectly benign, even positive. (Evidently, prayer can mean many things to many people, as this fairly insipid advice from Andrew W.K. shows. Hemant wrote a very good response to it here.)



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Harvesting a Future Saint: Catholic Church Fights Over Who Gets to Cut a U.S. Archbishop’s Corpse

Cardinal Timothy Dolan can’t bear to say goodbye to his hero and shining example, the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

In the fifties, Sheen presented an Emmy-winning Catholic TV show that affected a young Dolan greatly. Sheen’s remains have been entombed in a crypt in New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral since 1979, the year of his death. The trouble is that the man was born in Peoria, Illinois, whose diocese lays claim to the body:

It has drawn up blueprints for an elaborate shrine in its main cathedral to house his tomb and sketched out an entire devotional campus it hopes to complete when its campaign to have him declared the first American-born male saint succeeds. … Now the dispute over Archbishop Sheen’s corpse has brought a halt to his rise to sainthood, just as he appeared close to beatification, the final stage before canonization. Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, Peoria’s leader, announced this month that the process had been suspended because New York would not release the body.



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