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The Vatican's DA on sex abuse: 'False and slanderous charge against the pope'


Amid Germany’s mounting sexual abuse crisis, which threatens to engulf not only the pope’s brother but potentially Benedict XVI's record as Archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1981, the Vatican took the rare step yesterday of making its chief sex abuse “prosecutor” available for an on-the-record interview. Monsignor Charles J. Scicluna, a Maltese priest and canonist who works as Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sat down for an interview published in L’Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference.

The following is an NCR translation of the Scicluna interview, conducted by veteran Italian journalist Gianni Cardinale. The Italian original can be found here:

The Vatican’s DA: “The Church takes a hard line on pedophilia”

Growing focus on Pope Benedict in sex abuse scandal


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.

What Planet is Gerson On?


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?

Clergy Abuser was in Ministry in Munich under Archbishop Ratzinger


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.

Pro-life group urges Congress to pass Senate health care bill


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.

Leymah Gbowee


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.

Filipino-American leaders fear a rigged election


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.


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November 20-December 3, 2015


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