Three Signs It’s a Sexual Abuse Cover-Up and Not Just an Innocent Misunderstanding

In yesterday's installment in this series on preventing and stopping sexual abuse, I created three pairs of fictional scenarios.  Scene A was a typical case of ordinary parish life mishaps; Scene B was covert sexual abuse.  Today I want to explain how I crafted those pairs, and what the hallmarks of covert abuse were that I put into all the Scene B's.Let's pause here and encourage you to read up on this subject elsewhere.  My analysis below isn't based on statistical modeling, and I don't ha … [Read more...]

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A Patron Saint for Rabble Rousers and their Bishops

When I answered Tom McDonald's How I Pray series, one of the pile of question marks in the black hole that is my prayer life concerned spiritual reading.  Two answers of late:1. The book I'm carrying around town and reading in snatches is Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper, by Brant Pitre.  So far, it's excellent. Recommended if you have a general understanding of the significance of the Mass and the Last Supper, and are looking for so … [Read more...]

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Five Reasons I Love Ashtags. Actually Six. And a Youtube Video.

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I know these people who don't love ashtags.  People like Monique Ocampo, who is even giving up selfies for Lent.  I get it, but I am not these people.  Five reasons, six for the intrepid, and the first one will shock you:Reason #1: I like people.I particularly like the people I'm friends with on social media.  So I like to see photos of them.  It makes me happy to be able to see you with your cat, or your birthday cake, or your brand new, freshly-repentant ashes.  It's like getting Christ … [Read more...]

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Scantily Clad Teenage Dancer Friends on Facebook

From the inbox, a question re: Discussing Modesty from a friend who said he'd be willing to see it answered on the blog.  Here's the original question: Hi Jen,Being of a similar mindset on Faith and parenting (and having the common Family Honor reference point between us), I have a question for you (and your husband)? I have a Catholic friend who is a marginally-involved Catholic who has a daughter who is VERY into dance. She's 13, tours the country in various dance competitions, and all this … [Read more...]

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Finding Modest Clothes for Hard-to-Fit Teens and Tweens + my Compendium of Modesty Chat

At CatholicMom.com this week, we continue the conversation about modesty by getting into the ugly part: How exactly do you find modest clothes for kids who were never that easy to shop for anyway?  My big three tips, summarized:Consider size a starting point, not a constraint. Shop everywhere anyone sells clothes, and then some. Don't be afraid to wield a safety pin in due season.I flesh it out and give you a little pep talk, including a bit about how to avoid mortifying your … [Read more...]

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#Synod14 – Prostitute Nation and a Jar of Perfume

If you want to understand the clerical food fight portion of this month's Synod on the Family, what you need to know about is sexting.Not the Catholic kind, the other kind.Your must-read article for this month is The Atlantic's feature Why Kids Sext.  It's long, and you should read the whole thing.Points to ponder as you do so:Louisa County is normal America.  There's nothing "different" that explains why there was suddenly a website full of students' naked images running on I … [Read more...]

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Women Demystified: To Love Her is to Tell Her How Beautiful She Is

My daughter is in middle school, and I enjoy going clothes shopping with her.  How did such a thing ever come to pass?  That's what I'm writing about this month at CatholicMom.com.Let's clarify before you click:There is nothing you can do as a parent to take away your child's free will. Therefore, you can do everything "right" and still have a kid who's a nightmare to shop with, and who fights with you tooth and nail over your terrible, no-good, very bad judgment on appropriate c … [Read more...]

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