Clergy, temptation, sex abuse and the law

Surely one of our world's most endangered species -- right up there with the Mountain Gorilla or the Sumatran Tiger -- is the church "ministerius youthii."That was the conviction of the late Louis McBurney, a Mayo Clinic-trained psychiatrist who spent decades at his Colorado retreat center helping ministers crushed by the demands and temptations of their jobs. Youth ministers, for example, face stunning parental expectations, low pay, the loss of privacy and a nagging sense of … [Read more...]

Catholic dad’s fight against abuse

It wasn't hard to connect the dots when, after decades of lurid news about the sexual abuse of the young, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger delivered a Good Friday sermon bemoaning "how much filth" was in the church, including "the priesthood."Weeks after that signal in 2005, the cardinal became pope. Then at World Youth Day 2008, he said, "I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured. ... These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal … [Read more...]

Archbishop kicks Gray Lady

Maureen Dowd of the New York Times has long enjoyed flaunting her Catholic schoolgirl pedigree like a badge of honor.Still, the Pulitzer Prize winner took her game to another level in a recent column attacking Rome for its investigation of religious orders that shelter sisters who oppose many of the church's teachings.Wait, is "investigation" the right word?"The Vatican is now conducting two inquisitions into the 'quality of life' of American nuns, a dwindling group with an average age of … [Read more...]

Where does the Baptist buck stop?

The clergy sexual abuse statistics were staggering.Local reports from angry, hurt and humiliated laypeople were too horrifying to ignore.So the assembled church leaders decided that they had to say something, they had to call for some kind of action because they were facing a nasty moral crisis."We encourage those religious bodies dealing with the tragedy of clergy abuse in their efforts to rid their ranks of predatory ministers," said their June 12 resolution. "We call on civil authorities to … [Read more...]


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