October 19, 2018

Details:  Seton Hall University’s interim president sent the campus community a stern reminder to be civil to everyone — even future Catholic priests — after several cases where seminarians were the targets of verbal abuse on campus. As the Catholic Church continues to deal with the fallout from the priest sex abuse scandal, Seton Hall Interim President Mary Meehan said seminarians studying for the priesthood have had expletives and insults hurled at them. “Recently my office has been informed of several instances… Read more

October 19, 2018

I’m heading south later today, to lead a retreat for the deacons of the Archdiocese of Newark. We’ll be at the wondrous San Alfonso Retreat House, a sprawling, peaceful place run by the Redemptorists.  I last visited there five years ago, when I joined Rocco Palmo, Fr. Dave Dwyer and a couple other media types to take part in a panel on communications. I took these shots when we were there. I think it was in late September. It’s a… Read more

October 19, 2018

Details:  Nearly half of American children are now born to unmarried parents, according to a new report from the U.N.’s Population Fund, the largest international provider of sexual and reproductive health services. In the report released Wednesday, America is cited along with several developed nations in Europe and Asia where women are giving birth later in life and outside marriage due to what some experts say is partly due to changing religious ideas about marriage. The trend is also correlated to fertility declines. “Fertility… Read more

October 19, 2018

CNN has a good summary: Outgoing United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley joked Thursday during the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner that the organizers had “wanted an Indian woman, but Elizabeth Warren failed her DNA test.” At the dinner, which is known for political figures cracking jokes during the keynote address, Haley said that after President Donald Trump’s speech at the charity dinner for the Catholic Church two years ago and Paul Ryan giving a “choir boy” speech last year, “this year… Read more

October 18, 2018

Details:  The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation of child sexual abuse inside the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. That’s according to two people familiar with the probe, who say federal prosecutors have served subpoenas on dioceses across the state that seek a trove of sensitive files and testimony from church leaders. More here. Story is developing. Stay tuned. UPDATE: More details late today, from The New York Times:  The inquiry is believed to be the first statewide investigation… Read more

October 18, 2018

The Rev. Thomas Berg, vice rector and director of admissions at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y., has some ideas for addressing the sex abuse crisis—beginning in the seminary. From The Washington Post:  Although clergy sexual abuse scandals aren’t new, the ones that have rocked the Catholic Church this summer revolved around a group seldom focused on before: seminarians. The sexual harassment and abuse of seminarians, and the response of seminary leaders, have been at the center of the case of… Read more

October 18, 2018

From USA TODAY: A Michigan woman is demanding that Meijer discipline a pharmacist and implement a company-wide policy for how pharmacists should handle religious and moral objections to dispensing medication after she was denied a prescription to help complete a miscarriage. Rachel Peterson, 35, of Ionia alleges a pharmacist at a Meijer store in Petoskey refused to fill her prescription for a drug called misoprostol (brand name Cytotec) in July because of his personal religious views. She says he also refused to transfer the prescription to… Read more

October 18, 2018

From CBS News:  Most Catholic Americans think the Pope and the Vatican are doing a poor job handling recent reports of child sexual abuse by priests, and about a quarter of Catholics say those reports have made them question whether they should remain in the Church. Favorable views of Pope Francis have dropped sharply among Catholics in the last two years. Seven in 10 Catholic Americans think that child sex abuse by priests is a very serious problem, and just… Read more

October 18, 2018

The archbishop of Philadelphia gave an interview this week to Adam Sosnowski, which will be published next week in  the Polish Catholic magazine Miesięcznik Wpis (wydawnictwo Biały Kruk). CatholicPhilly.com has just released it for its readers. He covers a range  of issues involving the Church today and the Synod now taking place in Rome. Excerpt:  How can one counter the anti-clericalism present in today’s culture and in the media? What should the Church do about this? What about laymen? The only… Read more

October 17, 2018

Details:  Pope Francis told a group of Italian seminarians to report immediately to their bishop if they ever see or suspect any kind abuse, sexual or otherwise, on the part of a priest. “On this point, speak clearly,” the pope told the students from Lombardy over the weekend. “If you see something like [abuse], [go] immediately to the bishop. To help that abusive brother. Immediately to the bishop.” The pope met the group in the Vatican’s St. Clementine hall Oct…. Read more

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