ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Archbishop Christodoulos, the leader of Greece's powerful Orthodox Church who eased centuries of tension with the Vatican but was viewed as reactionary by his liberal critics, has died. He was 69.
He died of cancer Monday at his home in the Athens suburb of Psyhico, church officials said.
Christodoulos, born Christos Paraskevaidis, was elected church leader in 1998 and is credited with reinvigorating the vast institution that represents 97 percent of Greece's native born population.
Christodoulos helped create church Web sites and radio stations, and frequently issued detailed checklists on how black-clad Orthodox priests should conduct themselves in public.
In 2001, Christodoulos received the late John Paul II — the first pope to visit Greece in nearly 1,300 years. They held the landmark meeting in Athens despite vigorous protests from Orthodox zealots.
The archbishop followed up in 2006 with an historic visit to the Vatican, where he and Pope Benedict XVI signed a joint declaration calling for inter-religious dialogue and stating opposition to abortion and euthanasia.
During his tenure, the leader also drew criticism from politicians who accused him of meddling in their affairs, angered by his vocal opposition to everything from homosexuality and globalization to Turkey's efforts to join the European Union.
Gordon B. Hinckley
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gordon B. Hinckley, the Mormon church's oldest president who presided over one of the greatest periods of expansion in its history, has died. He was 97.
Hinckley, the 15th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Sunday of complications arising from old age, church spokesman Mike Otterson said.
"His life was a true testament of service, and he had an abiding love for others," said U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican and fellow Mormon. "His wit, wisdom, and exemplary leadership will be missed by not only members of our faith, but by people of all faiths throughout the world."
Hinckley, a grandson of Mormon pioneers, was president for nearly 13 years. He took over as president and prophet on March 12, 1995 and oversaw one of the greatest periods of expansion in church history. The number of temples worldwide more than doubled, from 49 to more than 120 and church membership grew from about 9 million to about 13 million.
Hinckley became by far his church's most traveled leader in history. And the number of Mormons outside the United States surpassed that of American Mormons for the first time since the church, the most successful faith born in the United States, was founded in 1830.
Over the years, Hinckley labored long to burnish the faith's image as a world religion far removed from its peculiar and polygamous roots.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Mike Holovak, a longtime NFL executive who coached the Patriots to their first championship game, has died. He was 88.
Holovak died Sunday in Ruskin, Fla., of complications from pneumonia, a Boston College spokesman said after speaking with Holovak's wife. Holovak was a former football star and coach at Boston College.
The Patriots' second winningest coach, Holovak led the Boston Patriots to the American Football League title game after the 1963 season. They lost to San Diego, 51-10. He later was vice president of player personnel and general manager of the Houston Oilers and stayed on when they moved to Tennessee and became the Titans.
He began his NFL career playing for the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams before he became freshman football coach at Boston College in 1949 and varsity coach in 1951.
Holovak had a 53-47-9 record as Patriots coach, including playoffs. Only current coach Bill Belichick has more wins.
When the Boston Patriots became part of the new AFL in 1960, Holovak was their first director of player personnel and served as offensive backfield coach.
Holovak also coached and held administrative positions with the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Viktor Schreckengost, an artist and prolific industrial designer whose ubiquitous works ranged from familiar toys and White House porcelain to innovative trucks and even lawn mowers, has died. He was 101.
Schreckengost died Saturday while visiting family in Tallahassee, Fla., said Brenda Jackson of the Viktor Schreckengost Foundation.
Schreckengost, a 2006 winner of the National Medal of Arts, was best known for his 1930s "Jazz Bowl" series, commissioned by Eleanor Roosevelt for the White House. The electric blue and black porcelain bowls, inspired by the sights and sounds of New York City, became icons of the Art Deco era.
Schreckengost incorporated fine design into mass-produced goods in an effort to make aesthetically pleasing, functional items available to everyone. His industrial designs include bicycles sold by Sears, iconic children's pedal wagons, lawn chairs, sit-down lawn mowers and even American Limoges dinnerware.
His innovations spanned several industries. He helped design the first cab-over-engine truck in 1932 for the White Motor Co., which increased hauling capacity. He was lead designer for bicycles and toy pedal cars for the Murray Ohio Co. from 1938 to 1972, and designed printing presses for the Harris-Seybold and Chandler Harris companies.
Schreckengost studied ceramics at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna, and taught at the Cleveland Institute of Art in the early 1930s.
During World War II, he joined the Navy, where he was recruited to develop a system for radar recognition which won him a commendation from the Secretary of the Navy.
HOUSTON (AP) — Louie Welch, a former five-term Houston mayor remembered for his service to the city and a remark caught on a TV microphone that ended his lengthy political career, has died. He was 89.
Welch suffered from lung cancer, his son Gary told the Houston Chronicle. The elder Welch died Sunday.
"He was one of Houston's finest mayors," said former Mayor Bob Lanier. "He was a good and decent man who loved public service and fought to make people's lives better."
Welch's political career began in 1949 when he was elected to Houston City Council. He was a council member for eight years, from 1950 until 1952 and from 1956 to 1962.
After unsuccessful mayoral bids in 1952 and 1954, Welch was elected mayor for the first time in 1963.
Welch was mayor in 1967 when two days of battles erupted between police and students at predominantly black Texas Southern University. A police officer was killed, and about 500 Texas Southern students were arrested.
In 1973, he did not run for re-election, joining what was then the Houston Chamber of Commerce. But he came back in 1985 in an attempt to take the mayor's job from Kathy Whitmire.
He lost the race after saying on an open television microphone that one way to stop the spread of AIDS was to "shoot the queers." He made the remark without realizing the microphone was on.
Some gays responded with T-shirts that sported the slogan: "Don't shoot, Louie!"
After losing to Whitmire, Welch said he had lost "the instinct to fight in the rough and tumble that campaigns have become."