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Catholic leader: Followers not fazed by pope’s claims

The Rev. Clem Davis took a lighthearted call recently from a parishioner at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church.

“Doesn’t the pope have a better PR agent?” the caller facetiously wanted to know.

They referred to Pope Benedict XVI’s new book, “Jesus of Nazareth — The Infancy Narratives,” which seeks to debunk several ideas about how the Nativity unfolded.

In the work, which was released last month, the pope said the Christian calendar actually is based on a blunder by a sixth-century monk, who Benedict said was several years off in his calculation of Jesus’ birth date.

He also writes there is no evidence in the Gospels that the cattle and other animals traditionally pictured gathered around the manger actually were present.

The pope also debunks the claim that angels sang at the birth, a staple theme of Christmas carols.

“It’s not particularly troubling to me,” Davis said. “Anybody seriously involved in Scripture study would have to know there is nothing to prove that there is any evidence that Jesus was born on Dec. 25.”

Davis said the church calendar set Christmas in December because of short hours of daylight.

“Because it was amid the darkness that Christ’s light originally shone,” he said.

Casting Crowns concert tickets now on sale

Within hours of the announcement that three-time Grammy winning Christian band Casting Crowns would play a concert April 20 in Columbus, social media sprang to life with notes from local residents who said they are fans.

The concert, organized by the Columbus-based ministry Beacon Promotions, will feature a 5,000-seat arrangement at Columbus North High School gym.

Tickets are available at Midwest Computer Solutions locations in Columbus, Seymour and Greensburg and at, said Beacon’s Amanda Gregory. Prices are $15 for top tier, $25 for the lower tier and $45 for floor seats. Price for groups of 20 or more will be $40, $20 and $15 per ticket. Also, for an additional $25 per ticket, concertgoers can participate in a special preconcert question-and-answer chat with the band and get an autographed CD.

In contemporary Christian music circles, Casting Crowns is known for the songs “Jesus Friend of Sinners,” “Glorious Day,” “Lifesong,” “Courageous” and others.

Information: 343-8224

Local author writes book about good vs. evil

Columbus resident Joe LaFauci takes a look at the unseen struggle between biblical good versus evil in his new nonfiction work, “Wanted in Hell, Named in Heaven: Understanding Both Sides of the Battle” (Tate Publishing, $12.99).

He summarized the Christian work, to be released Tuesday, this way: “I’m trying to show what God is doing, and what the devil is doing, so the reader can then look and ask, ‘Now — what am I supposed to do?’” The basic theme is that believers are taking back control of God’s kingdom.”

LaFauci, a member of Westside Community Church and a local Bible teacher, will sell copies individually, and they also will be available at his website at and at

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