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August
20
  1:40:52 PM

The Catholic Church has always gone through crises


This is a translation of an earlier post -- an interview in Le Figaro with a young French intellectual who puts the clerical sexual abuse scandal in historical perspective.

Born in 1971, Fabrice Hadjadj, a young French intellectual of the Jewish faith, converted to Catholicism 12 years ago. Philosopher and writer, his latest book, The Faith of Devils (or, Atheism Outdated), (Salvator, 2009) a brilliant essay on atheism, received the 2010 prize for religious literature.

 

LE FIGARO: The Catholic Church is going through a crisis without precedent, how [would you] describe the morale of Catholics?

Fabrice HADJADJ: First of all, this crisis is not without precedent. There have been others, probably worse: the Arian crisis of the IVth Century, the great western schism of the fourteenth [century], the scandalous moral behaviour of certain popes such as Alexander VI Borgia: assassin, keeper of concubines,… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
August
17
  4:20:53 PM

Young French intellectual defends the Pope


Here is an interesting little post from Catholic Culture -- more so if you read French.

A prominent young French intellectual has remarked that attacks on the Catholic Church reflect a general “instinct about the special purity of its mission.”

Fabrice Hadjadj, a convert from Judaism, reminded Le Figaro that the crisis caused by the sex-abuse scandal is not unique in Church history, and the Church has overcome similar crises. It is ironic, he said, that no one understands the gravity of the scandal better than Pope Benedict XVI. He explained: “The Pope, who understands the mystery of the priesthood, finds these crimes much more terrible than the non-Christian media can even conceive.”

Source: L'Église catholique n'a cessé de traverser des crises (Le Figaro)

click here to read whole article and make comments

 
August
10
  2:49:58 PM

Kentucky sex abuse case against the Vatican dropped


Three men who sought to hold the Vatican liable in an American court for sexual abuses by Roman Catholic priests are abandoning the case, according to a court motion filed Monday, the Associated Press reports.

Lawyers looked to question Pope Benedict XVI under oath but had to leap the high legal hurdle of the Vatican's sovereign immunity status in the U.S.

The Kentucky lawsuit was considered the first in the U.S. to make it to the stage of determining whether victims had a negligence claim against the Vatican. The Vatican argued that the plaintiffs never showed a connection between Rome and the American clergy abuse scandal.

The plaintiffs filed a motion on Monday asking a federal judge in Louisville to dismiss their claims.

Their attorney, William McMurry, said he was seeking to end the case because of the Vatican's immunity and failure to turn… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
July
21
  12:27:15 AM

Benedict XVI seventh-oldest pope in history


 

On July 19, 2010, Benedict XVI passed Gregory XIII to become the seventh-oldest pope in history.  Benedict XVI turned 83 years, 3 months and 4 days old.

The sixth-oldest pope was John Paul II, living 84 years, 10 months and 15 days.  Benedict XVI would pass John Paul II on February 29, 2012, a leap day.

The oldest pope dating back to 1400 was Pope Leo XIII, who lived to 93 years, 4 months and 18 days.  Benedict XVI will have to live to September 3, 2020 to surpass Leo XIII.
click here to read whole article and make comments

 
July
20
  9:28:32 AM

The bad news from Brussels goes back a long way


Alexandra ColenSometimes I am glad that I cannot read other languages fluently. It insulates you from some pretty nasty stuff. But this news should have emerged in the English-speaking world long ago because it helps to explain why the Catholic Church in Belgium has been racked by scandal in recent weeks. So far the worst has been the resignation of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, of Bruges, after having abused his nephew before and during his time as bishop. But hundreds of allegations are flooding in. Police have hauled Cardinal Godfried Danneels, until recently the Primate of Belgium, over the coals about abuse cases which he allegedly ignored.

From what cesspit did this filth bubble up? A member of the Belgian Parliament gives a very, very disturbing answer in the conservative blog Brussels Journal. Dr Alexandra Colen, of the Flemish-secessionist party Vlaams Blok, says that the Belgian bishops ignored a… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
July
18
  8:20:25 AM

Holier than thou in Times Square


Whatever the Holy See does to correct the problem of clerical sexual abuse it is never enough for the Holy Office of The Holier Than Thou Media -- the editorial department of the New York Times. That bastion of sexual propriety has used the codification of norms dealing with "grave offences" by Catholics to once again attack the Vatican for not doing things exactly the way the high priests of the media would like.

Said yesterday's editorial sniffily:

 

They doubled the internal statute of limitations to 20 years for defrocking abusers. Yet they failed to emphasize the problem as a state crime as the American bishops did after being forced to dismiss more than 700 priests. “It’s not for canonical legislation to get itself involved with civil law,” one prelate airily declared, insisting Rome’s existing “guidelines” — not mandates — are sufficient for prelates… click here to read whole article and make comments

 
July
16
  10:51:00 AM

New Vatican rules on abuse do not replace state laws


 

The Vatican prosecutor for sex abuse cases has presented the new Church rules to combat sex abuse and to judge priests who have committed crimes more quickly.

Msgr. Charles Scicluna, the Vatican's Promoter of Justice, said at a press conference: “I think it gives the signal that we are very very serious in our commitment to promote safe environments and to offer an adequate response to abuse.”

The new Vatican rules against sex abuse are a set of processes and sanctions exclusively internal to the Church. The rules are not intended to replace state laws, which the Vatican insists must be respected as well.

"If state law requires reporting, we must absolutely obey. No excuses. If the law allows the victim to decide whether to report or not, we must respect the legislature's decision," said Msgr Scicluna.

The new Vatican text is an update to the Apostolic Letter… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
July
09
  6:12:00 AM

Lawyers cannot judge institutions


On June 29, the Supreme Court refused to examine the Holy See's request to dismiss charges against the highest Vatican authorities as part of a lawsuit in Oregon (Holy See v. John Doe) over sexual abuse committed by a religious.

Writing on the Italian Catholic news site Chiesa, editor Sandro Magister notes:

As a result, the Supreme Court has left the judgment to a lower court, in this case the federal appeals court of Oregon. Theoretically, therefore, this court could approve the naming as defendants of Pope Benedict XVI, of his secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, of the prefect for the congregation of the faith Cardinal William Levada, and of the apostolic nuncio in the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi. This would become possible if the Oregon court were to establish that the religious who committed the abuse, who died in 1992, was an "employee of the Holy… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
July
08
  12:31:48 AM

Mandatory reporting of child porn possession by priests under new church rules


 

Soon the Vatican will publish new rules to handle sex abuse. The revisions are largely a matter of consolidating norms that have been in place for several years. However, there are some new things.

The possession of child pornography by a priest will become a felony and bishops should immediately inform Rome of the crime. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can even decide to immediately remove a priest.

Additionally, the statute of limitations will be extended for sex abuse crimes to 20 years after the victim's eighteenth birthday. The Church can proceed canonically against the guilty until the victims have turned 38 years old.

In civil proceedings often the statute of limitations has already been reached, usually 10 years after the abuse was committed.

The rest of the guidelines refer to the canonical status of accused priests of these crimes and will allow the quick… click here to read whole article and make comments


 
July
03
  4:25:29 AM

Keeping ‘the case’ against Pope Benedict simmering


Saturday Night Live used to feature a skit in which comedian Jon Lovitz played “The Pathological Liar” who enjoyed weaving fantastical tales which he enjoyed delivering as truth. That comes to mind, thinking through the audacity of the latest New York Times’ wildly spun tales about the pope. Only this is no joke…

Untethered to anything grounded in truth, the once great broadsheet that claims it carries “all the news that’s fit to print” has plunged into a parallel universe where facts are whatever they say they are, all distortion that’s print to fit…an agenda. And they’re on a rampage against Pope Benedict and the Vatican.

Because the “paper of record” is now a broken one, and because so many other media outlets still lack the manpower or veracity to fact-check the Times before re-running their stuff, we have to take the Times’ war on the pope seriously. Phil Lawler at… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

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  Useful links about the crisis

Question: Who said: ‘Not all sex involving children is unwanted and abusive’?
Peter Hitchens | Daily Mail, London | 13 Sept 2010
Answer: The Pope's biggest British critic

The Pope deserves better from Britain
London Telegraph
Pope Benedict XVI is a serious man whose message risks being drowned out by misguided noise

It’s those who oppose Pope Benedict XVI’s visit who are the real bigots
Daily Mail
'I have been trying to puzzle out the sheer bloody mindedness and unreasonableness of some of the Pope’s critics', writes and Anglican journalist.

Report to the Council of Europe
Cesnur | June 22
Statement of Dr Massimo Introvigne

Do You Despair Over the Current Crisis in the Church?
New Oxford Review
Anyone with a sense of history should know that such things can go on and have gone on throughout the life of the Church.

Time takes aim at the papacy, and misfires
Our Sunday Visitor
But then, who thought Time would want to separate itself from the media pack?

Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven. The Argument over Celibacy
Chiesa
A handy summary of the history of clerical celibacy.

Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Crisis
Our Sunday Visitor
Introduction to a just published book from Our Sunday Visitor president Gregory Erlandson.

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