The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) announced Friday that it would hold vigils in over 30 US cities to show solidarity with abuse victims in Europe. The announcement Friday came as the European press was reporting new abuse cases in Germany and The Netherlands.
Media outlets in the United States and Europe Friday raised fresh questions about the way Pope Benedict handled clergy sex abuse issues when he was Archbishop of Munich between 1977 and 1982.
The pace of coverage of the clergy sex abuse scandal, which has ebbed and flowed in the media for a quarter century now, quickened again in recent weeks as reports of abuse have become more widespread in Ireland, Germany and The Netherlands, and has Pope Benedict met with Irish prelates two weeks back and again late this week with the head of the German church hierarchy.
I want to like Michael Gerson’s writings. His essays are always well written and his overall ideological perspective - center-right, religiously inflected views – are rarely obnoxious even if they are wrong. Then, every once in awhile he writes a column that forces you to ask: Excuse me, but what planet have you been living on for the past few decades, Mr. Gerson?
Pope Benedict XVI's former German diocese said Friday it made a mistake when the pontiff was archbishop in allowing a priest suspected to have abused a child to return to pastoral work. However, it said Benedict wasn't involved in the decision, according to the Associate Press.
The details came hours after Germany's top bishop briefed Pope Benedict XVI on the spiraling cases of clerical sex abuse in the pontiff's native Germany and said the pope encouraged him to pursue the truth and assist the victims.
Twenty-five pro-life Catholic theologians and Evangelical leaders yesterday sent letters to members of Congress urging them not to let misleading information about abortion provisions in the Senate health care bill block passage of sorely-needed reform.
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, a Washington-based advocacy group, said that the Senate health bill upholds abortion funding restrictions and supports pregnant women.
The letter included a page by page analysis of the Senate bill as it pertains to abortion.
Today is the feast of Bl. Angela (Aniela) Salawa, born in Siepraw, Poland, in 1881.
At 15, she went to work as a servant for a family in Cracow. For almost twenty years, Angela was in domestic service.
I just read Fr. John Dear’s column on the documentary film/DVD called Pray the Devil Back to Hell. It’s the story of the incredible Christian and Muslim women of Liberia, who demonstrated and prayed publicly in concert, to bring an end to the horrific dictatorship of Charles Taylor in 2003. Their public testimony paved the way for the election of Africa’s first woman president, Ellen John Sirleaf of Liberia.
I recently returned from the Philippines where I did some reporting. The Asian island nation is generally off the radar screen for most Americans. However, it won't be for long. The Philippines will hold local and national elections May 10th. The official campaign period begins later this month. But already fears are being expressed that the elections could be rigged. The government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has made some moves that is causing this concern. At issue is a decision by the government to use untested electronic voting marchines to tally the May ballots.
I confess that I always get a bit nervous when circumstances require that I cross the Potomac into the Commonwealth of Virginia. In part it is the horrendous traffic situation, which can only be fixed by raising taxes, something that is the kiss of political death in the conservative state. In 2008, when the Old Dominion went for Obama, I briefly toyed with the idea of reconsidering my prejudice. After all, there are many beautiful sights from Monticello to Williamsburg and many others. But, just when I was prepared to set aside my prior antipathy, the state goes and does something so stupid, I am confirmed in my Yankee bias.
Yesterday, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia passed a law that would make it illegal to compel any of its citizens to buy health insurance. A mandate to purchase such insurance is at the heart of the current health care reform bill nearing enactment in Congress. According to the Washington Post, 24 other states are considering similar legislation.