Christianity up in China 25 years after massacre

WASHINGTON - A China expert says the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre caused many Chinese intellectuals to lose faith in Communism and become Christians.

Loyola University of Maryland Professor Carsten Vala says Christianity has become influential among Chinese scholars and other elites 25 years after the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that left hundreds and perhaps thousands dead.

At a Brookings Institution forum on Christianity in China, Vala and University of California-San Diego Professor Richard Madsen said Chinese officials are now frightened that the faith's explosive growth threatens their hold on power.

The Rev. Zhang Boli, a former student leader in Tiananmen Square who now pastors a church in Virginia, said Christianity in China has "grown in the midst of persecutions." And he said, "The stronger the persecution, the purer the church will become."

Pope shakes up Vatican financial watchdog

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis ousted the all-Italian board of the Vatican's financial watchdog agency Thursday and installed a more international set of experts following clashes between the board and the agency's director.

The four new board members are from Italy, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.

The previous board of the Financial Information Authority had complained that it was being kept in the dark about agency activities since Swiss anti-money-laundering expert Rene Bruelhart arrived as director in 2012. The infighting led Italian Cardinal Attilio Nicora to resign as authority president earlier this year.

The Vatican created the agency in 2010 to supervise and regulate the Holy See's financial activities and share financial information with other countries to comply with international anti-money laundering and anti-terror financing norms.

Honest track coach costs team state title

- The honesty of a Massachusetts high school's track and field coach has cost his team a state championship. North Attleborough High was declared the winner of the state Division 2 meet last Sunday, edging Central Catholic High of Lawrence by one point.

But when North Attleborough coach Derek Herber combed through the results Monday, he found a scoring error. His team had been awarded eight points in the 110-meter hurdles, when they should have received two points.

Herber told his athletic director, who informed the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and Central Catholic officials.

Minus the six points, North Attleborough finished third. But the school's athletic director told The Sun Chronicle that the community is more proud of the team now than after they were anointed champions.

Associated Press