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Monday’s Religion News Roundup: Oscar religion; queasy Santorum; Bevilacqua shredding

Not much religion at the Oscars last night (unless you count celebrity worship).  The documentary about the woman who kissed Elvis and then became a nun did not take home the golden idol. She did have a cute line, though. “Believe me, this is much different than being in a monastery,” Mother Dolores said in […]

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Not much religion at the Oscars last night (unless you count celebrity worship). 

The documentary about the woman who kissed Elvis and then became a nun did not take home the golden idol. She did have a cute line, though.

“Believe me, this is much different than being in a monastery,” Mother Dolores said in a red-carpet interview before the awards ceremony. I dearly hope no one asked who she was wearing. 

In the foreign film category, Iran's “A Separation” bested Israel's “Footnote” and several other films, which Iran state TV portrayed as a defeat of Zionism.

Speaking of Oscars, “Boys Town” founder Father Edward Flanagan, who was played by Spencer Tracy in a Academy Award-winning movie of the same name, is officially a candidate for sainthood.

The AP reports that the White House helped pay for NYPD programs that put entire American Muslim neighborhoods under surveillance. The mayor of Newark, N.J., wants some answers after the AP revealed that the spying extended into his city.  

Newt Gingrich warned members of a Georgia church Sunday that the “forces of secular left” are trying to establish a “totally neutral government that has no meaning.”

Rick Santorum doesn't feel very well. He “almost threw up” after reading JFK's 1960 speech on separation of church and state. Then he said on Sunday that: “To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up.” Yuck.

The AP has a stellar story on how Santorum benefits from several decades of detente between evangelicals and Catholics. In fact, he's doing better among evangelicals than Catholics in Michigan, NPR reports. 

Mormon voters are keeping their support for Mitt Romney under wraps, for fear of drawing attention to his LDS faith, WaPo reports.

Senior LDS church leaders donated to Romney's campaign, the SLT reports, just before the church asked members not to participate in political campaigns.

The NYT reports that American officials said the U.S. remains committed to the Afghan war even after the weekend killing of two American military officers and deadly protests over the accidental burning of Qurans.

A suicide car bomber killed three people and wounded 38 near a church on Sunday in Nigeria, the AP reports. The violence has more to do with local politics than religion, according to the AP. 

The late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered aides to shred a 1994 memo that identified 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing. 

Southern Baptists may find that rebranding a religion is easier said than done, reports our own David Gibson. 

Richard Dawkins said he is not 100 percent sure that God does not exist. Call him the 1 percent. 

Yr hmbl aggrgtr,

Daniel Burke