Arizona parish holds vigil during president’s high school visit

MESA – Hundreds of protesters lined up along Guadalupe Road, waiting to give President Barack Obama a piece of their mind.

(full story)

(video)

Clericus Cup kicks off

Argentinean soccer legend Diego Maradona famously attributed his controversial handball goal that helped eliminate England from the 1986 World Cup to “the Hand of God.”

It remains to be seen if any similar “divine intervention” will occur in this year’s Clericus Cup, the annual soccer tournament in Rome between teams representing Catholic seminaries and universities.

(full story)

Confirmed: Meeting took place between Pelosi, S.F. archbishop

Our Sunday Visitor confirmed today that a meeting did take place Feb. 8 between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Archbishop George H. Niederauer of San Francisco.

(today’s story)

(earlier posts here and here)

The pope and the prime minister without reporters

VATICAN CITY — When British Prime Minister Gordon Brown met Pope Benedict XVI this morning, there were no reporters present.

Although Vatican protocol allows for five journalists and an equal number of photographers to witness papal meetings with heads of state or heads of government, British rules trump the practice when minors are present.

BRITAIN'S PRIME MINISTER AND HIS WIFE

Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife, Sarah, pictured in 2007 shortly after Brown succeeded Tony Blair as leader of the British government. (CNS/Reuters)

Brown, who turns 58 tomorrow, was accompanied to the papal audience by his wife and their 2-year-old and 5-year-old sons.

The only media representatives present were the Vatican’s own. L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, is expected to release photos of the pope and Brown, but pictures of Pope Benedict with the whole Brown family will be given only to the prime minister.

After the meeting, Brown met with a small group of reporters — but not photographers — and said, “I’m very grateful to the pope for inviting my wife Sarah and my children as well.”

He said he would remember fondly the pope’s “very kind disposition to very young children who were in his presence.”

Brown is visiting Italy as part of his preparation for hosting a meeting in April of the G20 – a forum of representatives of the world’s major industrialized nations and key developing countries. The April meeting is expected to focus on concrete ways to stimulate the global economy and examine mechanisms to guarantee greater responsibility and accountability in financial markets.

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