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Pope may forgive Martin Luther

By Times Wires
Published March 7, 2008


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ROME   

Pope Benedict XVI may rehabilitate Martin Luther, the German theologian excommunicated by the Catholic Church in the 16th century, Italy's La Stampa newspaper reported Thursday.

At a meeting with theologians scheduled for September, the pope is to argue that Luther, who was condemned of rebelling against church authority, did not intend to split Christianity but wanted to rid the church of corruption. The meeting is to take place behind the closed doors at the papal summer residence, Castelgandolfo.

Luther (1483-1546) translated the Bible into vernacular German, making it more accessible to ordinary people.

As a result of his revolutionary theological views, which stressed the differences between the Bible and church practices of the day, Luther was excommunicated in 1521 by Pope Leo X.

YAMAGUCHI, Japan

Court-martials set for four Marines in rape

The U.S. military is set to court-martial four Marines stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps' Iwakuni Air Station in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, who are suspected of gang-raping a woman in Hiroshima in October.

The decision to court-martial the Marines followed a decision by Japanese prosecutors not to indict them. One Marine will be tried in late April and another in early May, both at the Iwakuni Air Station. The schedule for the trials of the other two men has not been decided.

SAO PAULO, Brazil

Law school briefly admits 8-year-old

An 8-year-old boy with dreams of becoming a judge has passed a law school entrance exam - shocking Brazil's legal profession and prompting a federal investigation.

The Universidade Paulista, a multicampus private university, issued a statement acknowledging that Joao Victor Portellinha de Oliveira had passed the entrance exam and that it initially enrolled him.

But he was turned away from classes when he showed up on Thursday with his father.

The school said that the fifth grader has to graduate from high school before he can enter the university.

The university said one of its employees erred in accepting Oliveira's enrollment and said it would return his fees.

[Last modified March 7, 2008, 01:41:01]


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