Nienstedt Resigns After Abuse Cover-Up: The Flawed Element

Our stomachs have been turning for a long time. We keep asking, "when does this nightmare end"? We've thrown out bad priests and put some excellent protocols in place -- protocols that perhaps the public schools in NYC, and other locales should consider adopting, because they work.But great protocols don't work if the human elements do not apply them. Thankfully, wheels are continuing to turn and bishop accountability has begun. This morning comes news that Archibishop John Clayton Nienstedt … [Read more...]

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Pope Approves Tribunal to Investigate Bishops re Abuse Responses

For the most part, I think this is the right thing to do. Francis X. Rocca reports:ROME— Pope Francis ordered the establishment of a special court to try bishops for mishandling cases of clerical sex abuse, filling a widely decried gap in the Vatican’s approach to the problem.The Vatican on Wednesday said the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which already holds responsibility for cases of sex abuse by priests, will also “judge bishops with regard to crimes of the abuse of offic … [Read more...]

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Obama Channels Leslie Chow: “Not my pro’lem!”

Peggy Noonan has it just right when she writes:The president, as usual, acts as if all of this is totally unconnected to him. He's shocked, it's unacceptable, he'll get to the bottom of it. He read about it in the papers, just like you.Lately, when I watch the president act like no one tells-him-anything-why-he's … [Read more...]

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Prayer and Penance: Did Twitter Hasten Benedict’s Retirement?

In hindsight, we're seeing clues, now, and reading words he uttered indicating that Pope Benedict XVI has clearly been thinking of renouncing the papal throne for some time.Forgive me if this sounds absurd on the face of it, but I am wondering if, despite these pieces of evidence, Benedict's recent entry into Twitter has had anything to do with the seeming abruptness of his announcement.Before you scoff, consider: the pope's interest in, and support of, the church's engagement with new … [Read more...]

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Abuse cover-ups about more than a “clergy culture” – UPDATED AGAIN!

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com)Over on Facebook, our friend James Martin, SJ noted that the National Catholic Reporter, in a long editorial, applauds Archbishop Jose Gomez for his public disciplining of Cardinal Roger Mahony:Gomez's words are a direct contradiction of the weak defense that Mahony has advanced for years . . "Nothing in my own background or education equipped me to deal with this grave problem," Mahony wrote. In studying for his master's degree in social work, he … [Read more...]

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Yes, Mahony is right. He is also so very, very wrong.

Regular readers know that, outside of expressing shame, horror, disgust, sorrow and a sense of repentance for the scandals that have been roiling the church since 2002, I don't discuss the subject much. It is a difficult subject, and sometimes I am a coward, and avoid what is too hard. With the exception of Bishop Finn and his epic fail, I don't think I've written about any of the individual bishops or cardinals enmeshed in this awful heartstrain.But it's hard not to write about Cardinal … [Read more...]

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Does Mo Dowd think Celibacy = Pedophilia?

Zoran Karapancev / Courtesy of Shutterstock.comI hadn't read Mo Dowd's latest screed because I've been really busy and because, well, her Yosemite Sam act has really begun to bore me over the years -- as Joanne (envisioning Dowd as another Looney Toon fave) writes here:I wonder sometimes why she doesn’t simply self-destruct in her Tasmanian Devil hissing and spinning...Anyway, because I read Joanne's piece, I read Dowd's -- and if you're going to read either you should read both. T … [Read more...]

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The Talking, Thinking and Wondering Will Continue

There is a saying attributed to St. Gregory of Nyssa, that I used to keep up on my header: "Ideas lead to idols; only wonder leads to knowing."I wonder about that phrase often, and continually draw new understanding as I apply it to different subject matters. It reminds me that I am not only free to ponder, but that as a Catholic, I am (quite contra-CW) required to think. Not to give in to the soft tyranny of sentimentalism until I'm so busy feeling that thinking is dismissed; not to … [Read more...]

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Wondering about Ameridolotry, Krugman, Absorption…

My plan to work, work, work, today is being interrupted by a family situation that needs attending-to (nothing awful, but important, nonetheless) so here's some interesting stuff I meant to respond to or comment on. Now, you'll have to do it! :-)I've wondered several times over the past five years whether some Americans are allowing their ideologies to become their idols. I've never quite had the answer, but thought it was an important question, nonetheless. Today Mr. Dalrymple asks the … [Read more...]

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The Clampdown; Shirley Sherrod & Ken Howell – UPDATED

Here we have the presentment of two job losses:Shirley Sherrod gives a speech; within the speech she indulges in a bit of roundaboutation, saying some things that seemed offensive, until the larger context was understood.Because the embrasure of "politically correct speech" has encouraged reactionary hyper-vigilance as to words, sentences or modes of reasoning that might steer too close to the movable line known as "hate," Sherrod's edited remarks were immediately received as such and … [Read more...]

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