How syphilis took Europe by storm during the 1490s, and the far reaching effects it's had ever since
How I Lost Faith In The Pro-Life Movement: "What I want to share here is how I came to this realization. And if you, reader, are one of those who opposes abortion because you believe it is murder and you want to save the lives of unborn babies, well, I hope to persuade you that the pro-life movement is not actually your ally in this, that you have been misled, and that you would be more effective in decreasing the number of abortions that occur if you were to side with pro-choice progressives. If this is you, please hear me out before shaking your head." [more inside]
Irish PM condemns Vatican interference in sex abuse cases. Enda Kenny, the new Taoiseach of Ireland, has scathingly criticized the Vatican, citing the Cloyne Report and a recently-leaked Vatican letter intended to prevent sex abuse cases from going public, despite their public policy of reporting all abuse claims to the authorities. (Similar claims of the Vatican not reporting recent child abuse cases have also been made in the US.) Ireland's Minister for Justice has cited an extensive list of The Church's failures to comply with their policies, and is supporting legislation to make it a crime not to report child abuse claims. The Vatican's envoy was asked to report to Parliament and explain The Church's position on this matter quickly, with the implied threat that they might be forced to testify. Today, the Church, citing "surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions" has recalled their envoy. "(This) should be interpreted as an expression of the desire of the Holy See for serious and effective collaboration with the (Irish) Government."
The Pope was drawn directly into the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal last night as news emerged of his part in a decision to send a paedophile priest for therapy. The cleric went on to reoffend and was convicted of child abuse but continues to work as a priest in Upper Bavaria. [more inside]
Mexican government bans American Catholics who sued Mexico City Prelate The Mexican government took the unprecedented and controversial step of banning Dave Clohessy of SNAP and Jeffrey Anderson, a lawyer specializing in abuse cases, from entering the country for five years. The men had filed a lawsuit against Mexico City Archbishop Norbeto Rivera, who they allege covered up sex abuse in his diocese.
The value of disobedience. [note: nytimes] "Ignoring the reactionary policies of the Vatican, some local priests and nuns quietly do what they can to save parishioners from AIDS." So: when and why do people choose to quietly disobey, rather than leave and promote change from outside their social institutions...or vice versa? Should dissenters just leave, or stay and fight? Anecdotes from Republicans and NRA members are especially welcome ;-)
No zero tolerance for ass hunting priests !! "...the group of cardinals and top bishops stopped short of developing a zero-tolerance plan to punish abusive priests" Attention all catholics ! Be sure to ask your priest if he has already used his one free, get out of jail for sexually assaulting an unsuspecting child card, before you send your kid to Sunday school. It baffles me how they cannot have zero tolerance for this.
Catholic Church offered solution to AIDS crisis? Though I certainly lean more left than right, I have The National Review in print an online for many years to get some balance in my media intake. I must say, they have run numerous articles online of late that I felt were well-reasoned, fair and insighful. This, however, is crap. "Many have tut-tutted the Church for opposing condoms even as an AIDS prevention tool. Some have even called the Church complicit in AIDS deaths. But, as it has turned out, condoms aren't a very good AIDS-prevention tool after all. [emphasis mine] " So now condoms are not useful for preventing AIDS. Did we miss something?