The bombings at two hotels in Jakarta are sad from every angle. First, of course, there is the immediate loss of life and the suffering of those families who have lost their loved ones.
But, a second sadness emerges quickly and has geo-strategic import. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world but when you visit it, as I was lucky enough to do some 15 years ago, you realize pretty quickly that the mullahs are not in charge.
Perhaps the most prominent pro-life politician in Europe has said that he won't support efforts to make abortion illegal, because “God entrusts a child to its mother in such a special way, that to defend the child against the mother is just, but impossible.”
t“We have to support the mother, making her more free,” said Italian politician Rocco Buttiglione. “The more free she is, the more difficult it will be for her to renounce the child.”
In an appeal to kept documents about clergy sex abuse secret, the Bridgeport, Conn., diocese is taking its case to the U.S. Supreme Court, The Associated Press is reporting.
If you're in Chicago this weekend and looking from something to do, check out "Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution," The annual national conference on peacemaking of Pax Christi USA. The event starts today at the Wyndham O'Hare Hotel in Chicago and goes all weekend.
I know Pope Benedict has declared this "The Year of the Priest," but that doesn't mean any old Joe can impersonate one.
This strange news item out of the City of Brotherly Love: A 26-year-old man dressed as a Catholic priest and entered the intensive care unit room of an injured Philadelphia police officer and comforted the officer and his family last month. Paul Schlear of North Philadelphia also has admitted to wearing an alb in processions at the funerals of two fallen police officers. According to one report, he pretended to talk to Cardinal Justin Rigali on his cell phone while at the hospital.
A statement from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia called the matter deeply disturbing. "The Archdiocese, which has fostered a close prayerful relationship with the men and women of the Philadelphia police force and their families, is pained by the duplicity of anyone who would betray the Church and cause such hurt to God's people in such a vulnerable position," the statement said.
Former Bush I ambassador to the Vatican Thomas Melady and Fred Rotondaro, chairman of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, write in a letter to the editor of the Washington Post that "the time is ripe to end the nation's divisive abortion battles."
The king of fake news dances to "The King of Glory."
A Buffalo pastor, now retired, has admitted in court that he stole $213,000 from his last parish. He has, apparently, escaped jail time by paying it all back. Here's the story from The Buffalo News:
He owns a home on nine acres of wooded land in Colden, a condominium at the Estero Beach & Tennis Club in Fort Myers, Fla., and another condo in the U. S. Virgin Islands.
And on Thursday, when he pleaded guilty to stealing $213,732 from Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Cheektowaga — including taking money out of the collection plate—he avoided a prison term by repaying every cent of his theft.
Because he repaid the money he stole, including a last check for $94,619.88 on Thursday, Buscaglia said he had agreed to impose five years' probation on Sullivan when he returns for sentencing Oct. 5.
Prosecutors got onto the case with two anonymous tips. The story details how Sullivan skimmed the money and how he got way with it and then adds some Buffalo church history:
Agence-France Presse is reporting:
AOSTA, ITALY - Pope Benedict XVI's operation for a fractured wrist on Friday "went well," the president of the Val d'Aosta region said in televised remarks.
"Everything went well" in the operation performed with a local anaesthetic in the hospital in Aosta, northern Italy, where the pope is on holiday, said Augusto Rollandin.