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Pope kicks off Bible reading

Reading aloud the first words of Genesis, Pope Benedict XVI kicked off a weeklong televised reading of the Bible.

The pope began the “Bible Day and Night” marathon Sunday evening. Through Oct.. 11, more than 1,200 people will read the entire Old and New Testaments from beginning to end on Italian television around the clock.

Church and political dignitaries, actors and other celebrities, and ordinary citizens are taking part in the readings. Readers include Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims.

Roman Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni was to have been one of the readers, but he pulled out last month, saying that the arrangements for the marathon were too “rigorously Roman Catholic.”

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