May Archive

‘Good troops, bad generals’

Carolyn Moynihan | 26 May 2010
An emerging “meta-narrative” about the Catholic sexual abuse scandal goes like this: The scandal is the fruit of a morally conservative, inhuman power elite in the Church. This top hierarchy will overlook any abuse or crime rather than admit the Church needs changing. This is the Bad Catholic Church, which is out of step with grassroots Catholics, especially some courageous priests and religious. These guys, the Good Catholic Church, know that it has to discard its ideas about contraception, abortion, gay sex, celibacy for priests, and embrace modern sexual ethics.

‘Forgiveness does not replace justice’

Rome Reports | 24 May 2010
Pope Benedict live: Speaking to journalists on his trip to Fatima the Pope said that "the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from external enemies, but is born of sin within the Church."

Belgium’s bishops say ‘sorry’

Carolyn Moynihan | 21 May 2010
Belgium’s bishops, just returned from a visit to Pope Benedict in Rome, issued a pastoral letter this week in which they asked pardon from all victims of clerical sexual abuse and promised to improve the way they exercised authority in the Church.

Undiplomatic manners

Rome Reports | 21 May 2010
Bolivian president Evo Morales tells the Pope how to run the Church.

Vatican seeks dismissal of US class action suit

Carolyn Moynihan | 18 May 2010
The Vatican this week has filed a motion to dismiss a class action suit in Kentucky that is attempting to put the blame for clerical sex abuse on the Pope and the Holy See. The suit claims that bishops are employees or officials of the Holy See, which “orchestrated a decades-long cover up of priests sexually abusing children throughout the US,” in the words of an AP report.

Balloons and banners

Michael Cook | 18 May 2010
Here's a video of the vast crowd gathered to support the Pope on Sunday. “It’s great to see this multitude of people in St. Peter’s Square, as it was to see so many people in Fatima, praying at the Shrine for the conversion of hearts,” he told them. He also had a more sombre message. Christians should fear sin, not the world: “The true enemy to fear and fight against is sin, the spiritual evil that unfortunately sometimes infects even members of the Church.”

Crowd fills St Peter’s Square to support Pope

Michael Cook | 17 May 2010
A crowd of 150,000 filled St Peter’s Square on Sunday to support Pope Benedict XVI in the midst of the clerical sex abuse scandal. The Pope said that he appreciated this "beautiful and spontaneous show of faith and solidarity" and again denounced what he called the "sin" that has infected the church and needs to be purified, a theme in his addresses which has become stronger in recent weeks.

Confusion in Vienna

Michael Cook | 14 May 2010
Like any major international news story which develops in languages which are not English, information about developments in the sex abuse scandal tend to be partial, fragmentary and confusing. This is what happened to Vienna's Cardinal Christoph Schönborn when he spoke to the press recently.

Benedict in Portugal

Rome Reports | 13 May 2010
In celebrating Mass in Lisbon during his visit to Portugal Pope Benedict lifts the spirits of the Catholic faithful, and his own, no doubt.

Layers of meaning

Michael Cook | 12 May 2010
I have a suggestion. Send the Vaticanistas on a crash course in literary criticism. It seems to me that they need to tease apart the different layers of what the subtle mind of Benedict XVI is trying to communicate.

Weigel: “faithful and holy priests don’t abuse young people”

Michael Cook | 12 May 2010
Catholic historian George Weigel makes some interesting points in an interview with Canada’s National Post (May 10). First, on how to fix the mess. The answer is not dropping celibacy or updating the Church’s views on sexuality:

Cardinals bicker over scandal fallout

Michael Cook | 10 May 2010
Confusing news reports are giving the impression that the Vatican’s top brass are at war with each other over the sex abuse scandal. It was widely reported that Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, of Vienna, had openly attacked the Vatican’s former secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

Practicing Catholics unfazed by abuse scandals

Carolyn Moynihan | 07 May 2010
A new poll conducted by CBS News and The New York Times has found that 77% of Catholics who attend Mass weekly say that “the Vatican’s handling of recent child sex abuse reports” has had no effect on how they “feel about the Catholic Church.” An additional 12% of practicing Catholics say that they have a more positive feeling about the Church as a result of the Vatican’s handling of the scandals.

An attempt to trace delay’s in Maciel case to ‘Benedict’s desk’

Carolyn Moynihan | 07 May 2010
Last Saturday the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict had taken control of the Legionaries of Christ, an order of priests whose founder, the late Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, was dismissed from priestly duties in 2006 and ordered to live a life of prayer and penance as a result of sexual abuse and other offences. The New York Times tries to implicate the Pope.

April Archive

New York Times gives itself a tick for fair coverage

Carolyn Moynihan | 30 April 2010
After receiving hundreds of complaints about the paper’s treatment of Pope Benedict in stories about the Catholic sexual abuse scandal, the New York Times’ Public Editor replies in an article published last weekend.

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