In response to a question from one of the 900 woman religious gathered at the Vatican today on behalf of the International Union of Superiors General (representing nearly half a million Catholic women religious on five continents), Pope Francis said he would convene a commission to study the possibility of permitting female deacons in the Catholic Church, "signaling an historic openness to the possibility of ending the global institution’s practice of an all-male clergy." [more inside]
The St. Louis Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church has some issues with the Girl Scouts , particularly, "in regards to sex education and advocacy for “reproductive rights” (i.e. abortion and contraceptive access, even for minors)" (2-page PDF). Don't worry, though -- Archbishop Robert J. Carlson isn't telling you not to buy cookies: "Each person must act in accord with their conscience." [more inside]
"His palms were bloody, knees beat, cross was heavy, there's wine on his torso already" From BuzzFeed.
The Sad State of America’s Aging Sisters: Why are there so few nuns today?
You may wonder whether the global church the sisters belong to is interested in keeping the convents open. It sure seems like it isn't. By 2005, the Catholic Church had spent $1 billion on legal fees and settlements stemming from priests sexually abusing children. Yet church leaders have allocated no funds to take care of elderly sisters, and while priests’ retirement funds are covered by the church, the sisters have no such safety net. When their orders run out of money, that’s it.[more inside]
“Why would you want to be a nun if the archdiocese is going to treat you like they do?” Ann Frey at the Wartburg said. “Their whole lives they’ve been obedient and done what they were asked to do, and now nobody is helping them?”
Betrayed by Silence — In a four part investigation, MPR News details the cover up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in Minneapolis and St. Paul. [more inside]
A week later she got back to me and said do you really want all of these deaths? I said I do. She told me I would be charged for each record. Then she asked me did I realize the enormity of the numbers of deaths there?”It had long been known children had died in the Mother and Baby home for "fallen women" in Tuan Galway, but it was not until local historian Catherine Corless started investigating that it became clear that between 1925 and 1961, 800 children were buried in a mass grave on the site, possibly inside a septic tank. [more inside]
The registrar came back with a list of 796 children. “I could not believe it. I was dumbfounded and deeply upset,” says Corless. “There and then I said this isn’t right. There’s nothing on the ground there to mark the grave, there’s nothing to say it’s a massive children’s graveyard. It’s laid abandoned like that since it was closed in 1961.”
More than 12,000 Catholics from five continents answered questions in a massive survey commissioned by Univision and conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International. Topics covered included all the issues most likely to generate lively discussion among Catholics all over the world. Here's how they responded. [more inside]
The Vatican’s new secretary of state has said that priestly celibacy is not church dogma and therefore open to discussion, marking a significant change in approach towards one of the thorniest issues facing the Roman Catholic Church.
"Here are some of the things and people that my father loved: Gregorian chant, Joe Louis, airplanes, the Detroit Tigers infield of the mid-1930s, Salem cigarettes, Martin Luther King Jr., Latin, and big northern lakes. 'That’s not a lake,' he would say, whenever I used the L-word about some muddy little man-made body of water, 'that’s a pond.' Once, we drove all night from Missouri to vacation at Torch Lake, in Michigan, where he had experienced some happiness as a boy. I was in the front with him when we arrived, exactly at dawn, the rest of the family slumbering in the back of the wagon, a golden sun fingering across the blue water. He had tears on his face. Another thing he loved: reporting."
David Bowie continues his return with The Next Day, the third video from his latest album. [YouTube link, requires age verification] This time around, he has assistance from Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard. Some controversy surrounds this release. Bowie himself finally broke his silence about his new album by sharing 42 words with The Ice Storm author Rick Moody. [more inside]
The 115 cardinals under 80 years old, who can vote and can be voted for are now in Conclave. You can watch a Live Stream, mostly a shot of the Sistine Chapel chimney, who apparently is now on Twitter. You can get acquainted with the 2013 Papabili using Wikipedia's List of Papabili.
Or, why is there still socialism in the United States?
Why, then, would we look for evidence of socialism only where a state seized by radicals of the Left inaugurates a dictatorship of the proletariat? Or, to lower the rhetorical volume and evidentiary stakes, why would we expect to find socialism only where avowed socialists or labor parties contend for state power? We should instead assume that socialism, like capitalism, is a cross-class cultural construction, to which even the bourgeoisie has already made significant contributions – just as the proletariat has long made significant contributions to the cross-class construction we know as capitalism. What follows?
Brown Moses Blog curates and analyzes news regarding the Syrian uprising, the wider Arab Spring, and the UK phone hacking scandal. It is written by Something Awful forums moderator Brown Moses. Recent entries include discussion of the increasingly well armed Free Syrian Army, senior members of the Catholic Church criticizing pro-Assad clergy, and a look at the evidence of more sophisticated IEDs being used in Syria. [more inside]
In the wake of so many recent controversies over women and their right to safe, affordable health care and the supposed desire of working women to be "put in their place" by aggressive men in the bedroom, Penny Red suggests that "Right now, we are in the middle of a sexual counter-revolution." [more inside]
After much protestation from religious communities, the Obama administration has compromised on its controversial contraceptive law. Non-profit organizations (such as hospitals) that are affiliated with religious institutions will not be required to provide contraceptives--but insurance companies will. But some Catholics still aren't satisfied.
Mary MacKillop became Australia's first ever saint yesterday (Vatican time). In a counterpoint to the celebrations, pressure groups are calling for MacKillop, once banished from the church for exposing sex abuse, to be made the Patron Saint of those sexually abused by the clergy.
NOM Exposed collects information about the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a secretive front group for the Mormon and Catholic churches which funds other front groups across the country, in their fight against recognition of same-sex marriage rights in the United States. NOM Exposed pulls together biographies about the leadership behind the organization, the ties to extremist religious and other groups, the money trail and the shadowy outfits where the cash leads, the organization's ethical, campaign finance, and other legal violations across the country (such as that pointed to here), and various propaganda that NOM uses to spread its message.
'No Belgian church escaped sex abuse', finds investigation. It reveals that abuse was so extensive that it was going on in almost every diocese and at every Church-run boarding school: "We can say that no congregation escapes sexual abuse of minors by one or several of its members," the commission concluded." 'Hundreds of sex abuse victims have come forward in Belgium with harrowing accounts of molestation by Catholic clergy that reportedly led to at least 13 suicides and affected children as young as two, an independent Belgian commission said Friday.' 'Friday's report lists 507 witnesses who came forward with stories of molestation at the hands of clergy over the past decades. It says those abused included children who were two, four, five and six years old.' [more inside]
Pope Benedict XVI has announced the establishment of a new Vatican department dedicated to tackling what he called 'a grave crisis in the sense of the Christian faith and the role of the Church." The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelisation will (per Archbishop Vincent Nichols,) focus on countries "in which, even though the Christian Gospel has shaped an entire culture," secularism now reigns, in what the Pope termed an "eclipse of a sense of God." [more inside]
“Deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are God killers." And also, according to an Italian bishop, the culprits behind the Catholic Church's sex scandals. [more inside]
The nation's Catholic bishops approved a broad new document on marriage. "Since marriage and same-sex unions are different realities, it is not unjust discrimination to oppose the legal recognition of same-sex unions," the letter says. "These unions pose a serious threat to the fabric of society that affects all people." Also Tuesday, the bishops reaffirmed a moral obligation to maintain nutrition and hydration for patients in a persistent vegetative state and approved a document on reproductive technology. "Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology" reaffirms Catholic teaching against in vitro fertilization, egg, sperm and embryo donation, surrogates and cloning. [more inside]
Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of The Society of Saint Pius X, has been making news since his excommunication was lifted by Pope Benedict XVI in January. On January 21, 2009, in a nearly six minute interview Williamson told a television news program in Sweden that "I believe that history is strongly against, is hugely against, six million Jews having been gassed in gas chamber as a deliberate policy" during the Holocaust. In 2001, the bishop wrote "That girls should not be in universities flows from the nature of universities and from the nature of girls: true universities are for ideas, ideas are not for true girls, so true universities are not for true girls." The Vatican is now repudiating the Holocaust denials. And Bishop Williamson has claimed he will reconsider the issue of Nazi gas chambers by reading the book of a former Holocaust doubter.
The quicker you succeed the better. Declassified documents show Secretary of State Kissenger gave a green light to the Argentine Junta, whilest Rev. Christián González aka Christián von Wernich, also leant a hand, showing that The Catholic Church's involvement with fascism and the Dirty War was far from dead. The Vatican was instrumental in witholding detail. The Desaparecidos probably exceeded 12,000.
The Catholic Church is traditionally not seen as a progressive institution, but when it comes to global warming, Vatican City is aiming to become the worlds first fully carbon-neutral state, and the Pope is expected to use his first address to the United Nations next April to deliver a powerful warning over climate change in a move to adopt protection of the environment as a "moral" cause for the Catholic Church and its billion-strong following.
Philadelphia Priest scandal unfolds The Philadelphia Archdiocese concealed sexual abuse by priests for four decades, but no criminal charges can be brought against the church or its priests because of the constraints of state law, according to grand jury findings released Wednesday. With 63 confirmed and as many as 170 suspected - all accused of multiple acts, Priests in the city of brotherly love are making a mockery of the city's moniker. It's being reported that Both Cardinal Bevilacqua and Cardinal Kroll not only ignored the abuse but were complicit in preventing the abuse from being reported to the police.
BenedictXVI.com registered a few weeks ago by our very own rcade. He hedged his bets by registering six domains in all, and now is being called out for popesquatting.
The Catholic Church settles for 85 million over pedophilia accusations. Yet, most priests and all of the Church leaders who admittedly moved pedophiles from parish to parish to protect them will be NOT be facing criminal charges. Is this justice? What if NAMBLA was caught doing the same thing? I would think there would be criminal charges all around.
Female Victims of Church Scandals Speak. With all the news of Cardinal Law resigning, and the church trying to oust homosexuals from their ranks, I thought this article about the under-reporting of female victims of the scandal was timely.
Vatican to test if trainee priests are gay. As if the Catholic Church doesn't have bigger concerns. They seem to be trying to throw dirt onto their own graves. Organized religion is SO last millennium. If a gay person really wanted to be a priest, wouldn't it be simple to "pass" a psychological screening? And what self-respecting gay person would want to be a part of something that seeks to exclude him?
Jimmy Brelsin has been taking stabs at Catholic Church over the last two days (the bishops are abusing money this time). As one of the last true beat reporters in NYC, if not the nation, he's been writing for underdogs for over 40 years. Fairly well too.
Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the founder of the Opus Dei movement, was canonized today. Opus Dei is a conservative movement within the catholic church, and counts many powerful people among its adherents - the current pope among them. However, it is not without its detractors and opponents. Some of the most important people in the Franco dictatorship were part of the group, as were several of the participants in the Venezuelan coup earlier this year. Should we keep an eye on these guys? They are certainly secretive and aggressive, but are they just a group of concerned, pious Catholics, or a power-hungry fraternity? I'm half-catholic myself, and certainly curious to hear if any Catholic MeFiers have thoughts on this subject. Even better, an Opus Dei member to clarify some of these misunderstandings...
'"Would you state your name for the record?'' the man whose visage has now graced the cover of every national newsweekly was asked at the start of yesterday's session. 'Yes,'' the cardinal said. ''My name is Bernard Francis Law.'' Wonderfully written analysis on yesterday's deposition from my favorite paper.
Pope calls holed up Boston Cardinal Law and others for meeting on sex abuse scandel. Why is Law hiding out like a new David Koresh, but without any charges brought down on him? Now this alleged accomplice to pedophiles will leave the country. Its called obstruction of justice, Dan.
Help wanted, celibate. The Diocese of Rochester NY is using the web to recruit young men for the priesthood. According to MSNBC the supply of priests is dangerously low.