No appeal of ruling on women’s group at wall

JERUSALEM — Israel’s attorney general says he will not appeal a court ruling permitting a liberal Jewish women’s group to pray freely at a Jerusalem holy site.

An Israeli court instructed police last month to stop detaining women for performing religious rituals and wearing garb that Orthodox Judaism reserves for men.

The “Women of the Wall” movement has been trying for decades to break Orthodox control on prayer at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites.

Orthodox rabbis, who control Israeli religious institutions, argued the women break regulations forbidding religious ceremonies that go against “local custom.”

The Justice Ministry said that Attorney General Ye-huda Weinstein would not appeal.

In another victory for liberal Judaism, Israel’s prime minister has signaled he will support a new, mixed-gender prayer area at the site.

Pope to visit Rio slum for World Youth Day

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will visit one of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, or slums, during his weeklong visit to Brazil for World Youth Day, his first foreign trip as pontiff.

The Vatican released Francis’ itinerary for the July 22-29 trip to the world’s largest Roman Catholic country. It includes a meeting with prisoners and a visit to a Rio hospital as well as events linked to the Catholic Church’s youth festival.

Francis, 76, will remain mostly in Rio but will make a daylong side trip to Aparacida to pray at the shrine to the Virgin Mary.

He will also visit the Varginha favela, north of Rio, and deliver a speech.

As archbishop of Buenos Aires, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio often worked and preached in the capital’s slums.

Associated Press