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LONDON — British police hunting the killer of a popular vicar who was stabbed to death in a peaceful English market town said Sunday that they have arrested their prime suspect.

Kent Police said Stephen Farrow, 47, was detained overnight in Folkestone, near the major port town of Dover.

The Rev. John Suddards’ body was discovered Tuesday by workmen at the vicarage in Thornbury, about 125 miles west of London.

Police say Suddards was stabbed multiple times in his home.

Suddards was a former lawyer who joined the clergy after suffering serious injuries in a car crash. His brutal death made national headlines.


Pope leads cardinals in Mass

Looking weary during a third straight day of speeches and ceremony, Pope Benedict XVI led 22 new cardinals in Mass on Sunday and prayed for help so he and his aides can continue to carry out the Catholic church’s worldwide mission.

Many of the men who sat before the pope in front of the Baroque central altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, dressed in white robes and wearing their new red hats, will likely vote in secret conclave for Benedict’s successor.

Benedict, who turns 85 in April, read a long homily in a hoarse voice and looked tired on the third straight day of speeches, rituals and appearances for the new cardinals. Benedict told the new members of the College of Cardinals their main task is to “bear witness to the joy of Christ’s love.”

The Vatican has been embarrassed by months of intrigue involving alleged corruption and apparent jockeying for power within the hierarchy with a view to the next papacy.

The leaking of documents and a rash of in-house scandals have been interpreted by observers as indications that Vatican insiders see Benedict’s attention to the Holy See’s bureaucracy as waning.

Since becoming pontiff in 2005 after the long papacy of John Paul II, Benedict has concentrated much energy on improving Christian unity, reaching out to disaffected Anglicans and working to bring ultraconservative Catholic defectors back into the fold.

But his own curia - as the Vatican’s heavily centralized bureaucracy is known - appears to be dividing into factions amid nasty power plays.

From wire dispatches and staff reports