silly religious news (why oh why can’t we have better religions?)

Chikumbutso Mponda of Ntchisi is behind bars after he fell down from a magic plane on his way to his home village.Mponda was Thursday sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour without option by Mponela Magistrate Court for practising witchcraft.

aside from questions about wether or not he was properly screened by magical TSA officers for magical liquids, i’d like one of those planes, witchcraft laws or no. link.

in other news, pope dismantles vatican observatory:

Science is to make way for diplomacy at the Pope’s summer residence, with the dismantling of the astronomical observatory that has been part of Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, for more than 75 years. The Pope needs more room to receive diplomats so the telescopes have to go.

The eviction of the astronomers and their instruments, reported by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, and their removal to a disused convent a mile away, marks the end of a period of intimacy between popes and priest-astronomers that has lasted well over a century.

Father Jose G Funes, the present director of the observatory, known as the Specola Vaticana, insisted that there was no sinister significance in the move. “It is not a downgrading of science in the Vatican,” he said.

Note that Benedict hasn’t gotten rid of the astronomers, only moved them, though with him also re-emphasising the latin mass, you wonder where he is heading…

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