Religion news in brief

Published: Saturday, Jan. 28 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

India's foreign ministry said the government had taken the issue up with U.S. authorities.

A top official from the external affairs ministry said a formal complaint had been lodged with the State Department in Washington.

India had also sent a complaint to NBC, the broadcaster of the show, the official said. He was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Meanwhile, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday that Leno's comments "appeared to be satirical in nature."

— Associated Press

Extradited former priest faces55 SEX-abuse charges in Ireland

DUBLIN — A defrocked Irish priest who was extradited from Brazil with British help has appeared in a Dublin court charged with 55 counts of sexually abusing 18 children.

The judge ordered 72-year-old Peter Kennedy held without bail Wednesday in Dublin's Cloverhill Prison until his next court appearance Feb. 8.

Kennedy fled to England in 2002 after his accusers told police he had molested them when they were children from 1968 to 1984.

The church removed Kennedy from the priesthood in 2003, by which time he had emigrated to Brazil using his British passport. The church that year paid one of Kennedy's accusers $425,000 in damages, the biggest abuse settlement reported in Ireland.

Brazil deported Kennedy to England Dec. 26. He was returned to Dublin Jan. 18.

— Associated Press

Vandals knock head off a statue of Jesus outside Boston church

BOSTON — Boston police are looking for the vandals who knocked the head off a statue of Jesus outside a Roman Catholic church named for Mother Teresa.

The Rev. Jack Ahern of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta at St. Margaret's church in the city's Dorchester section said when he arrived at the church Sunday morning the statue's head was lying on the ground in pieces and the statue had been knocked off its base.

Ahern said the statue was right next to the sidewalk and people used to touch it for inspiration as they walked past.

The statue is beyond repair and there has been no discussion of replacing it, Ahern said.

— Associated Press

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