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JPII: Under the Bus


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.

Western Mo. Catholics rally for immigration reform


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.

Darkness will have its hour


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.

Covering the coverage


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.

Pope's prayer intentions for April


The Vatican Information Service released this morning Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for April.

His general prayer intention for April is:

"That every tendency to fundamentalism and extremism may be countered by constant respect, by tolerance and by dialogue among all believers".

His mission intention is:

"That Christians persecuted for the sake of the Gospel may persevere, sustained by the Holy Spirit, in faithfully witnessing to the love of God for the entire human race".

It takes a friend to remember


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.


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