Weekly roundup: bling bling bishop, JFK's rosary beads, and red balloon Jesus

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T.G.I.F., am I right? And by that I mean, The Government Is Funded.

This is your weekly roundup.

First, let's go to fast-food news. A recent study at U.C. Berkley shows that 53% of front-line fast-food workers are receiving some kind of government assistance, resulting in over $7 billion per year. Elizabeth Lefevbre comments on  that discovery here

In politics, the government shutdown does not seem to have slowed down Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. At the Values Voters Summit last weekend, Cruz won a straw poll by a landslide, beating out Dr. Ben Carson and Rick Santorum to become a likely candidate in the presidential race in 2016.

In Germany, one bishop has gotten too big for his britches, so he got few more at a premium sum, as well as a very expensive house, and a very nice garden to go with the very expensive house. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg flew to the Vatican this week so that he could hear the course of his fate

While the shutdown was in process, one Catholic priest decided to sue the federal government for not granting him access to government facilities during the shutdown. The priest said that he wanted to officiate Mass free of charge for the Naval base's 300 or so Catholic families. 

In Vatican news, the a new domain has been snatched up by Vatican. .catholic is now controlled by the Vatican. According to the Catholic News Service, "The Vatican will control .catholic and its equivalent in other languages using Latin letters, as well as the equivalent of the word “Catholic” in the Cyrillic, Arabic and Chinese alphabets." 

Also in Vatican news, Catholic churches in Rome have joined government officials in denying a public funeral for a former Nazi SS captain who died at the age of 100 in Rome on Friday.

In the market for a new rosary? John F. Kennedy's rosary beads are going up for sale. The auction house notes "Trying to balance family life with the pressures of political life, it is understandable that this rosary should show such wear, with the sterling heavily rubbed and the onyx beads slightly chipped." 

On Tuesday night, author Colm Toibin won the Man Booker Prize for his controversial book The Testament of Mary. The author said that what surprised him most about the book is that it hasn't been burned... yet.

Monday was Columbus Day. But in recognition of the legacy of violence and slavery the Columbus left, some have recommended that we begin to celebrate Bartolome de las Casas instead

It looks like famous-ish Catholic Paul Ryan is going to be challenged in his next election. Amar Kaleka, the son of a slain Sikh temple president, plans to challenge US Rep. Paul Ryan in the 2014 congressional election.

Stephen Colbert was the keynote speaker at the 68th annual Al Smith Dinner, which raised about $3 million for needy children. See some of his best lines here. (Note especially the part where he referred to Cardinal Dolan as "flamboyant Zorro.")

Jesus showed up at an AIDS walk in LA. Some anti-gay protesters came to show their non-support for the AIDS walk, and a man dressed like Jesus carrying a big bunch of red balloons quietly and calmly came and stood among them, at times blocking the view of their signs.

And now for the pope news in rapid-fire.

He's sending cash now.

He's going to meet Benjamin Netanyahu.

He met Mahmoud Abbas

He says he likes women.

He could make them (women) cardinals.

Maybe?

He's got the attention of some lapsed Catholics.

Lots of Italians are naming their babies after him.

He is suspicious of perfect piety that neglects the poor.


And that concludes our weekly roundup. What happened in your corner this week?