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Pope - Internet 'wonderful' but needs regulating: The Internet caters to the best and worst of human nature and needs regulation to stop depravity flooding cyberspace, Pope John Paul II said on Tuesday. CNN

Catholic press can help country recover from Sept. 11 Catholic Press Association president Karen Franz said many of the lessons learned after the attacks -- the heightened spirituality, efforts to understand other religions and renewed bonds of patriotism and community -- can all be continually supported through the Catholic press. "Catholic newspapers, magazines and books offer readers a forum in which to discuss their beliefs and to consider world events in the light of faith," said Franz, who is general manager and editor of the Catholic Courier, newspaper of the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y. CNS

Using Tolkein for political ends: The rest of the world may see box office smash "The Lord of the Rings" as a mythical tale of hobbits and goblins but some young members of Italy's far right hope to use the film to promote their political ideals. "We want to use the event as an incredible volcano to help people understand our view of the world," said Basilio Catanoso, youth wing leader of the far-right National Alliance party. Right-wing thinkers and publishers, who introduced the Italian public to the fantasy classic in the 1970s, see the 1,000-page tome by Britain's J.R.R. Tolkien as a celebration of their own values of physical strength, leadership and integrity. Reuters
Link: Reuters

Pope Blesses Lambs For Archbishops' Palliums: Following a longstanding Roman tradition, Pope John Paul II blessed two lambs on January 21, the feast of St. Agnes. Wool taken from these lambs will be used to make the pallium: the symbol of authority that is given to each newly installed archbishop. Pope John Paul II has revived an ancient tradition in which sisters of the order of St. Agnes offer two lambs to the Holy See each year. These nuns are then charged with the responsibility of making the pallium-- a long string of white wool-- which archbishops wear at liturgical ceremonies as a sign of their communion with the universal Church. Each year on June 29-- the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul-- the pallium is given to each newly appointed archbishop. CWN/EWTN

Scholar designs objective Bible study for public high schools: If there is common ground in the often tumultuous debate over teaching about the Bible in public schools, 32-year-old Michael Hicks has been trying to find it. "My goal was to create a product that I could take to a community that was divided ... and for everybody to walk away somewhat happy and at least peaceful," he said. His Old Testament-based curriculum, two years in the making, is finally on the plates of school board members who have been searching for a Bible class that's palatable to both state officials and critics. Nando Times