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Bankruptcy threatens lay workers' pensions

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Delaware's The News Journal reports that the bankruptcy of the Wilmington, Del., diocese -- brought on by a law suit over sex abuse by clergy -- is threatening the pensions of some 2,000 lay employees of the diocese, including teachers, cafeteria workers, housekeepers and maintenance workers.

The article says:

The lay employees are fearful that the official committee representing the unsecured creditors has interests that are in conflict with the workers'. Currently, the committee consists of seven people who are all survivors of sexual abuse.

Read the full account: Diocese's lay workers fear for their pensions

How many church leaders think this way?

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I was appalled this weekend when I heard National Public Radio report that an Italian bishop had called the media coverage of the sex abuse scandal a "Zionist attack" on Catholicism. As if this were not bad enough, the bishop reportedly continued, saying that both the "freemasons and the Jews" are "natural enemies" of the church, and that "…deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are God killers."

Yikes!

L'Osservatore Romano editor defends church, pope

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Rome -- On the same day the Vatican published a "layman's guide" to procedures when a priest is accused of sexual abuse -- which, for the first time in a Vatican document, explicitly includes a directive to comply with civil laws requiring bishops to report abuse to the police -- the editor of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, dropped by Rome's Foreign Press Club to talk about the crisis that has engulfed Pope Benedict XVI in recent weeks.

Gian Maria Vian, a lay professor of history tapped to take over L'Osservatore Romano in October 2007, offered a robust defense of both the church and the pope. Vian generally kept his cool, though at one point he became testy in complaining that the media reads the crisis into everything said or done at the Vatican these days – a reflection, perhaps, of the intense pressure of the last few weeks.

Vian conceded that there were "great failures in governance" that made the crisis possible, but also insisted that the church now has an "exemplary" approach to the problem of sexual abuse of children, and blamed what he called a "media campaign" for tarnishing the pope's image.

A moment in the dark

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My wife and I spent a weekend recently in a little house way back in the woods in the country. We were miles from town, hundreds from the nearest big city. Evening fell. There was no moon that night. In the country, a moonless night means a kind of enveloping darkness we city dwellers seldom experience any longer.

My wife went to play cards with the neighbors for the evening and took our flashlight to light the way down the woodland path. I told her I’d be along later. When it was time for me to make my way through the woods I realized she had taken the only flashlight. Searching for some other light source, I found an old kerosene lamp. With the soot-blackened chimney sheltering a flickering flame, I made my way slowly along the twisting, turning path, flanked on both sides by fragrant pines.

About halfway down the path, a night breeze came up suddenly and blew out my lamp. I stopped and stood there, thinking at that moment how much I would give for a single wooden match with which to relight my flame. But technology had I none.

I stood with the useless lamp in my hand, stumped and more than a little afraid of the darkness – and gradually began to come alive.

Re-Christianize Europe? Really?

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I read with some interest and head-scratching the story on NCRonline.org that the sex abuse scandal exploding in Europe will likely imperil Pope Benedict’s project to “re-Christianize” Europe, and help it reclaim its Christian heritage.

I don’t disagree with the premise; a scandal of this magnitude will not send people flocking to the church. But I’m not sure what Pope Benedict was been doing before this scandal erupted to “re-Christianize” Europe.

MSW on Kiesle Case

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I do not normally cross-reference my blog posts at America magazine here, or vice-versa. But the coverage in the MSM of the "smoking gun" regarding then-Cardinal Ratzinger's handling of the case of Father Kiesle was so bad, the failure to ask simple questions so obvious, that I wish to share my concerns with as many as possible. Here is the link.
I shall be posting later today here on the subject of the anniversary of the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

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July 18-31, 2014

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