In the News: TLC, THC, OMG

A round-up of the week’s religion news. Continue Reading →

In the News: TLC, THC, OMG!

A round-up of the week’s religion news. Continue Reading →

Upgrading to Homos

The Catholic League’s president, Bill Donohue, has written all of us a long letter which features in a full page ad in today’s New York Times.  Criticism of the church is outlandishly overblown, he argues, citing Philip Jenkins, a 2004 John Jay study (funded by the USCCB), and Robert S. Bennett of the Catholic National Review Board; he laments “assaults on priests” by the likes of George Lopez and the ladies at The View. Continue Reading →

Adult Sexual Assault Victims and the Catholic Church

From Kathryn Joyce’s recent article at Religion Dispatches:

Adult victims could comprise up to 25% of all clergy abuse cases, estimates David Clohessy, National Director of SNAP, but often face considerable skepticism about their stories. “In the eyes of the law, victims like Birge are adults. But that doesn’t mean that emotionally, psychologically, in the presence of a trusted, powerful, charismatic clergy person, that in fact they can function like adults.” Considering the abundant ethical and legal prohibitions against doctors or therapists having even consensual sex with patients, in recognition of coercive power imbalances in play, Clohessy notes, “none of us have been raised from birth to think that a therapist is God’s representative or that a doctor can get me into heaven.”

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The Longevity Loophole

We’ve seen how, in general, great crimes can go unpunlshed (a la George Monbiot) far more easily than the little ones. Here’s a new wrinkle in the annals of deviltry, so to speak. Apparently, you can rape your little, uh, heart out as a priest, as long as you make it to your golden years, at which point, you are just too old to be punished for your crimes. Continue Reading →

Pontifigate: Hazardous to My Health

Mary Valle: Oh! My stomach can’t take any more! Thank you, Pontifigate. You have literally made me sick. Watergate gave its followers such a savory feeling of justice being served; there were bad guys, breaking laws, covering it up, bungling along the way: then it all ended so satisfactorily. If a scandal could have umami, Watergate did. This mess gives no such satisfaction. Continue Reading →

Getting Pre-Modern.

Ah, the simpler times. When mass was in Latin, pedophilia was not spoken of, and suffering brought cries for mercy, not cries for justice. Catholic News Service reports on a two-and-a-half hour high mass held on April 24 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

Bishop Edward Slatterly (Tulsa, OK) was called in at the last minute to replace Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos (Columbia) who was, as Kevin Clarke at America writes, “forced to withdraw after a furor erupted over a letter he wrote in 2001 as the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, praising a French bishop for not reporting an abusive priest to authorities.” For the first time in the Basilica in decades the mass, dedicated to celebrating the fifth anniversary of Benedict XVI’s ascension, was delivered entirely in Latin. The Latin mass wasn’t the only sign of pre-Vatican II nostalgia. Continue Reading →