“Hard Questions We’re Not Asking Pope Francis”: John L. Allen, Jr

item #2: Sex abuse is another front. An exception came with an Aug. 24 piece in The New York Times about former Polish Archbishop Joseph Wesolowski, a onetime papal envoy in the Dominican Republic accused of molesting minors. He was recalled in late 2013 and laicized, meaning kicked out of the priesthood, in June.The Times asked whether bringing the former prelate to Rome was a way of evading civil prosecution, forcing the Vatican to clarify that because he’s been stripped of diplomatic s … [Read more...]

John L. Allen, Jr. on Pope Francis’s Anti-Abuse Commission

here: Francis also showed sensitivity by ensuring that a victim was part of the team, in this case a well-known Irish campaigner for victims’ rights named Marie Collins. Among other things, Collins is known to have the ear of Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who, like O’Malley, is a prelate known around the world for taking strong stands in favor of coming clean on the abuse scandals. much more; and do scroll down to the final item in this column as well.ETA: But see. … [Read more...]

Catholics on the Arabian Peninsula, Three Mistakes About Francis, and More

from John L. Allen, Jr.: From the “not what you might expect” files, here’s a fact about Catholicism in the early 21st century that flies in the face of conventional wisdom: It’s growing by leaps and bounds in the heart of the Muslim world.Many Americans have heard or read reports about an exodus of Christians out of the Middle East, and in terms of the indigenous Arab Christian population that’s all too real. Christians now make up only 5 percent of the region’s population, down from 20 per … [Read more...]

“The Top Five Under-Covered Catholic Stories of 2013″

In effect, Benedict has gone from infallibility to near-invisibility, and entirely by his own choice. If that's not a "miracle of humility in an era of vanity," to invoke Elton John's Vanity Fair tribute to Francis back in June, it's hard to know what would be. --plus much more … [Read more...]

“Serious Christians Should Abstain From”… Thing I Totally Did

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry makes a very good point: Remember when Pope Francis gave that interview? And he said something heretical-sounding? And all orthodox Christians blew a fuse? And it turned out the interview wasn’t proofread and Francis never said that? moreIn fact I'd been wondering whether I should add a note to this post, since the one place where I got up on my hind feet and took a swipe at Pope Francis was in fact a paraphrase/distortion. I decided not to, but PEG made me rethink t … [Read more...]

The Pope and the Pregnancy Center

Last night I put in my two hours at the pro-life pregnancy center where I volunteer, and it was a real mixed bag. I know I did some good work, but I can't stop thinking about my first client, who needed something very different from what I initially tried to give her.Obviously I can't use any identifying details, but she was in her teens (and in fact explicitly called herself "a teen parent," as a shorthand for saying, "so you know that my life is kind of chaotic right now") and she was … [Read more...]

The Words of Love in Whispers and the Acts of Love in Screams

A postscript: It's entirely possible to explain Christian morality to someone who does not know that God loves her. It's just that your words won't mean what you wanted them to mean. Even and maybe especially if she accepts the truth of the moral precepts, the conclusions she draws will be profoundly opposed to the Gospel. If she has never been tempted in this area or has overcome profound temptation (so far) then she may receive your moral teaching with self-righteousness; if she is especially … [Read more...]


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