RELIGION

Boston Prayer Vigils Mourn Victims Of Marathon Explosion

04/15/2013 11:52 pm ET | Updated Apr 17, 2013

As Bostonians began to recover from the bomb explosions during Monday's marathon that killed at least three people and injured more than 140, churches and houses of worship are opening their doors for prayer.

Boston's Cathedral of St. Paul, a downtown Episcopal church, will open Tuesday for a special prayer service for victims at 12:15 p.m. with Bishop Gayle E. Harris presiding, while its neighboring Park Street church, an evangelical congregation, will open for prayers at noon. A nearby Unitarian Universalist congregation, Arlington Street Church, will hold a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening.

All are located by the Boston Common and Public Garden, two main public parks in the city that are a walk of less than 15 minutes east of where two bombs exploded Monday afternoon near the Boston Marathon finish line.

Houses of worship nearby, including those in Somerville, Brookline, Sudbury, Watertown, Medford and Natick, have also announced vigils and prayer services, with some on Monday night.

Other Monday evening vigils had been planned, including one on Boston University's Marsh Plaza, but were canceled or postponed to follow police advice for Bostonians to stay inside and not gather publicly in big groups. But the university's Catholic chaplain, the Rev. John McLaughlin, said in a report that the prayerful filled the chapel for a Mass for the dead and injured on Monday evening. Chaplains at several other Boston-area universities have announced spiritual gatherings, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has also called for prayer.

"In the midst of the darkness of this tragedy we turn to the light of Jesus Christ, the light that was evident in the lives of people who immediately turned to help those in need today," Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley said in a statement. "We stand in solidarity with our ecumenical and interfaith colleagues in the commitment to witness the greater power of good in our society and to work together for healing,"

In Boston, home to some of the nation's oldest churches and one where a stroll on any given street block often includes passing historic Protestant congregations, churches have also reported opening for shelter to house displaced residents or out-of-towners visiting for the marathon, as well announced plans to offer counseling. The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center has said it has relief volunteers and counselors available, while Temple Israel of Boston, a Jewish congregation, will also open Tuesday for a prayer vigil.

The Boston Atheists and Secular Coalition has also voiced its support for victims, saying that although "prayer isn’t for us an option," differences in religious beliefs "pale in comparison to what brings us all together as members of the community."

Elsewhere in New England and around the nation, several candlelit vigils were organized by churches, universities and local communities on Monday night.

They included ones in Knoxville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.

#PrayersForBoston

04/19/2013 2:30 AM EDT

GLOBE: Bombing Suspect In Custody, Another Remains On The Loose

One marathon suspect has been captured, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation.

Another remains on the loose in Watertown after a firefight with police. Authorities have established a 20-block perimeter as they search for him.

Read more here.

04/19/2013 12:44 AM EDT

Unconfirmed Photo Of Suspect 2 In Boston Marathon Bombing Emerges On Facebook

new photo suspect 2

Just hours after the FBI released the first photos of suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, a new photo of Suspect 2 may have emerged.

David Green, 49, of Jacksonville, Fla., had just completed his first Boston Marathon, when he snapped a picture with his iPhone 4S, taken at 2:50, just after the two blasts ripped through the finish line area, killing three people and injuring more than 180 others.

The FBI has not publicly confirmed this photo as Suspect 2, but Green told the Huffington Post that an agent told him, "this is probably the best we have right now."

The man who appears to be Suspect 2 is wearing a white hat with a "3" on the side as seen in the publicly-released photos.

Read more here.

04/18/2013 10:19 PM EDT

Boston Bombing Victim in Iconic Photo Helped Identify Attackers: Bloomberg

Minutes before the bombs blew up in Boston, Jeff Bauman looked into the eyes of the man who tried to kill him.

Just before 3 p.m. on April 15, Bauman was waiting among the crowd for his girlfriend to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. A man wearing a cap, sunglasses and a black jacket over a hooded sweatshirt looked at Jeff, 27, and dropped a bag at his feet, his brother, Chris Bauman, said in an interview.

Read more here.

04/18/2013 9:04 PM EDT

Federal Law Enforcement Says Suspects Stayed To Watch Carnage: CNN Reports

04/18/2013 7:26 PM EDT

Right Wing Journalist Goes Ballistic During Press Conference

info wars

BOSTON -- Moments after the FBI revealed images of two baseball cap-wearing men wanted for questioning about the Boston bombings, the press conference descended into a sideshow.

A journalist from a far-right wing website called Info Wars shouted out a question accusing the government of carrying out the attack that killed three, and maimed or injured 170 others.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Deslauriers ignored the allegation of a government conspiracy from reporter Daniel Bidondi, but the Alex Jones protege did not stop hollering.

"The FBI lies," Bidondi said. "We've got the proof," he said accusing the government of a "false flag" attack in which it staged the blasts and made them appear like the work of terrorists.

Bidondi found himself at the center of an media scrum with cameras and microphones pointed at his face after law enforcement officials left the podium in the Sheraton hotel.

Another reporter ridiculed Bidondi from across the room, telling him to shut up and calling him an asshole.

The excitement quickly dissipated as reporters returned to delivering the news about the official images of the suspects.

Bidondi has been a presence at other press conferences this week related to the bombing investigation.

--Michael McLaughlin / HuffPost Crime

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Bidondi's last name. We regret the error.

04/18/2013 7:00 PM EDT

Is The Suspect's Hat A Clue?

04/18/2013 6:46 PM EDT

Facial Recognition Expert Reacts To FBI Photos

Dr. Ralph Gross, a facial recognition expert at Carnegie Mellon University, said the FBI photos of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing are likely too grainy to be matched against a driver's license database or Facebook. But he thinks they may be just good enough for someone who knows the individuals to identify them.

"The resolution isn't particularly good. The one that's kind of best is unfortunately a side view -- and in general the face recognition software works best with frontal view," he said.

Research has consistently found, however, that people can spot people they know even in grainy, off-center photographs.

"Humans are actually very good at recognizing people that they are familiar with," Gross said. "Somebody that might know these guys, or might know the way they dress, might certainly be able to recognize them."

The FBI said the men should be considered armed and dangerous, and urged tipsters to call 1-800-CALL-FBI if they believe they have information that could lead to an arrest.

--Matt Sledge

04/18/2013 6:21 PM EDT

Daily News Doctored Photo

The New York Daily News reportedly doctored its front page photograph of the Boston bombings (see update below).

WARNING: LINK GOES TO GRAPHIC PHOTO

04/18/2013 5:37 PM EDT

Hi-Res Image Of People Of Interest

suspects

04/18/2013 5:30 PM EDT

FBI Website Down

CNN reports that, because of a flood of traffic, the FBI's site is temporarily down.

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