I guess no one can say the hierarchy is not taking the threat of scandal seriously anymore. In an interview yesterday, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna, spoke about the desire of many to have a full-scale investigation of charges leveled against his predecessor Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer. He said that then-Cardinal raztinger supported the investigation but others counseled against it. He had this to say about Pope Benedict’s commitment to rooting out the scourge of clergy sex abuse. “I can still very clearly remember the moment when Cardinal Ratzinger sadly told me that the other camp had asserted itself.” There was no investigation.
Did he just throw Pope John Paul II under the bus? Yes, he did.
The U.S. bishops' immigration reform campaign is hitting the Congressional districts of Western Missouri today and tomorrow.
Bishop Robert Finn, ordinary of the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese, launched the U.S. bishops' "Justice to Immigrants" campaign in January with a postcard campaign (There was a sign-up table in the narthex of my parish church.), and the diocesan Human Rights Office has taken up the challenge.
NCR Senior Correspondent John Allen was a featured guest on Charlie Rose last night.
Take a look. Allen and Rose cover the Pope's response to the sex abuse crisis and where Benedict should go from here. At about 13 minutes in Allen shares some personal reflections on his own meetings with the pontiff.
Holy Week: Accompanying El Salvador
Jesus and his disciples have slipped back into the city after two days of rest in Bethany. The city is jammed with a quarter of a million pilgrims who have come home out of the diaspora to observe Passover. The Romans are nervous and soldiers are everywhere in full gear, leather body armor and helmets, with swords, metal tipped spears and truncheons at the ready.
The Catholic media often analyze how the secular media cover the church--specifically the sex abuse story. Now a secular publication--the Atlantic--is analyzing how Catholic media are covering it.
NCR gets high marks, as do Commonweal and America. Not surprisingly, the National Catholic Register, a conservative publication, is more concerned about anti-Catholic spin from the secular media than with the crimes committed by priests.
I take issue with the author's opinion that NCR's March 26 editorial represents a "turning point in the publication's coverage of the scandal." The editorial's call for accountability is just the latest in years--no, decades--of strongly worded observations and appeals from this newspaper's editors, columnists and reporters.
The Vatican Information Service released this morning Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for April.
His general prayer intention for April is:
His mission intention is:
I think of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement that began during the depths of the Great Depression, and which continues today to give care and comfort to the forsaken. I think of Thomas Merton and his outspoken protest of the Vietnam War. I think of the Catholic bishops who stood side by side with César Chávez in his fight for justice among the farm workers of California's Central Valley. I think of Archbishop Óscar Romero and the struggles of San Salvador. And I think of blighted neighborhoods across America where all-but-ignored nuns, priests, and committed laypeople offer hope to the nearly hopeless through soup kitchens, schools, and community centers. For them, and for energetic Catholic women I work with and teach -- so unjustly banned from a priesthood that sorely needs them -- the importance of justice-making always exceeds the importance of collars and confessions.
Iraq has not been on the front pages for some time, although recently, news of that country’s elections has made it to the back pages of most newspapers. The results of the election were messy but hopeful: The religious parties did less well than their secular counterparts and, so far, everyone has agreed to abide by the law and the results. After Florida in 2000, U.S. commentators should be reluctant to raise alarms about contestants challenging results in other countries.
But, the bigger, albeit quieter news, is that the U.S. is continuing its draw down of combat troops. On the radio the other day, its was reported that by September 1, we will have only 50,000 combat troops in that country. This is President Obama’s ace-in-the-hole with his base. It is easy to forget how much opposition to the war in Iraq figured in President George W. Bush’s plummeting poll numbers in his last years in office. Democrats who always thought the Iraq War was a mistake should remember that one of the happy consequences of the 2008 election of President Barack Obama is that the war is coming to a close.