National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

NCR Today

Dolan's first year

 | 

From The New York Times:

Since his solemn inauguration ceremony one year ago Thursday, Archbishop Dolan, 60, has made no secret of his love for food and “brew” (his word). And he seems to have surrendered unconditionally to the gastronomic temptations of his freshman-year tour — from the elegant banquet tables of Manhattan to the homemade spreads laid out on folding tables by the food committees of his upstate parishes. (And he has vowed to visit each of his 405 parishes in due time.)

When the pounds began to show, he turned them into a laugh line. Patting his midsection, he told audiences, “New York has grown on me.” And when the calorie-counting Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg scolded him — bluntly advising him to lose weight because “we’d like to keep you around for a while,” in Archbishop Dolan’s telling — the prelate burst into laughter and hugged him.

“Call me Timothy,” he said.

But Archbishop Dolan has some less palatable duties ahead of him. The recession has worsened a chronic budget squeeze in the archdiocese, increased demand for its frayed web of social service programs and added urgency to a long-planned realignment of resources.

Nuns banned from promoting vocations

 | 

Two stories currently on the web site illustrate the sorry state of episcopal leadership of the Catholic Church in te United States. The first, by Jerry Filteau, is a fact check of the bishops’ claim about the recently passed health care reform bill. What becomes clear in his sober analysis is that the bishops’ objections, based on the claims that the reform bill would somehow increase access to abortion, were groundless. The bishops would have sacrificed a once-in-half-a-century opportunity to move closer to universal health care for what turns out to be a phantom of the imagination of the most extreme elements in the anti-abortion lobby.

Shut It Down

 | 

If you have read Jason Berry’s outstanding expose of the Legionaries of Christ and the methods and crimes of their founder, you know that the Vatican is currently completing an apostolic visitation of the order, and that the Pope is set to soon rule on whether to disband it, reconstitute it under new leadership, or let it continue with its present leaders. The answer is simple: Pope Benedict XVI should shut it down. Period.

Yet, it appears that the protectors of the order remain busy and powerful and, as John Allen reports, efforts are being mounted to choose a compromise, letting the order continue with a Vatican-appointed “commissioner” to oversee it. Unfortunately, the people advocating for anything short of complete suppression are the same people who, according to Berry, were taking bribes from the Order and its founder over the years. They are hardly disinterested.

Sex abuse victim reacts to Cardinal Bertone's remarks

 | 

So how are abuse victim groups reacting to Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone's remarks, linking church pedophilia with homosexuality?

You might have guessed: negatively.

This is a statement released today by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Bertone is the 'deputy pope,' Benedict's right hand man, the #2 Vatican official. He's incredibly smart. So his remarks were no "slip up." They were calculated, as are so many similarly misguided, distracting, blame-shifting, finger-pointing comments by so many church staff seeking to scapegoat others - among them journalists, prosecutors, lawmakers, victims, lawyers, liberals, and gay people.

Bertone's statements rub even more salt into the already-deep and still-fresh wounds of hundreds of thousands of men and women who have been assaulted by clerics and betrayed by bishops, especially women and girls. They deny and minimize the deep devastation felt by hundreds of thousands of women and girls who are suffering and have suffered because of pedophile priests and corrupt supervisors.

Vatican Secretary of State's homosexuality remarks reveal perplexing gulf

 | 

I watched today the video of Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who linked the church's pedophilia crisis with homosexuality within the church, and found myself shaking my head. Is this a cultural divide? An educational divide? Is it homophobic denial? I am baffled. I have seen no studies backing Bertone's contention. Is he simply uninformed?

Gay groups and others are now condemning Pope Benedict's number two for calling homosexuality a "pathology" and linking it directly to sexual abuse of children. It sounds more like scapegoating than anything else.

Call for a commission to clean up 'the sex abuse mess'

 | 

Could an independent commission clean up 'the clergy sex abuse mess'?

Jesuit Father -- and sometime NCR contributor -- Raymond Schroth offered the idea in an online column New Jersey Star Ledger last week and the idea was seconded in an op-ed column in the Washington Post guest column by retired attorny Gerald T. Slevin today.

But what if the Pope does not decide to set up such a commission?

Slevin writes:

Andrew Sullivan Needs Loads Less Hubris

 | 

Andrew Sullivan has taken issue with my charge that the press is doing a poor job reporting on the role of then-Cardinal Ratzinger in the case of Father Stephen Kiesle of Oakland. It is notable, of course, that he does not actually rebut any of the examples I give, nor cite any of the documents in question to make his own case. With Mr. Sullivan, it is all sweeping, breathless judgment: “At best, [the 1985 letter] convicts Ratzinger of negligence and indifference to priestly child-rape, seeing everything through the Vatican's bureaucratic, institutional lens, concerned far more about protocol and authority than about defrocking a priest long ago known to have tied two boys up and raped them.” But, as I noted, the documents sent to Ratzinger do not mention “child-rape” and what Sullivan dismisses as a concern about protocol can as easily be explained by other concerns.

Pages

Subscribe to NCR Today

Feature-flag_GSR2.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

April 11-24, 2014

04-11-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.