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A True Antagonist for a Broken World: Faith in a Secular Age
The glass, I thought, was indeed half-full and filling..I think I, like many people now see the glass as half-empty and draining.How can we fight when it seems as if the very body of Christ seems to be tied down and rent apart not only by a hostile secular world but by her own weakness? Does this sound like a glum assessment? I suppose it does. The Church, the one true Ark, as Newman would say, is the one he describes as the great Antagonist to our broken world, and yet the Church as a whole seems like more and more like the original Ark of Noah—if it weren’t for the storm outside we couldn’t stand the stench inside. Or, in another version of the old joke, full of clean and unclean beasts. And though we have the divine promises for it, in the midst of the storms it can feel as if we are going to capsize—or at the very least that we are wandering far off our course. But this is where I think Blessed John Henry Newman meets us right where we need to be met, for his own life of faith was one of feeling lost and bewildered, of fighting battles that seemed ever to be lost, of seeing that the ways of Providence are mysterious and even frustrating.
catholic  faith  secularism  scandals 
2 hours ago by thomas.kochi
#MeToo allegations fabricated: M.J. Akbar
Lies do not have legs, but they do contain poison, which can be whipped into a frenzy. This is deeply distressing. I will be taking appropriate legal action,”There is no story, but a sea of innuendo, speculation and abusive diatribe has been built around something that never happened. Some are total unsubstantiated hearsay, others confirm on the record that I didn’t do anything,”..the events related to incidents from 16 years ago before he “entered public life” and are “utterly bizarre” and “nonsense”. He also said women who levelled allegations continued to work with him.
scandals  legal  celebrities 
5 days ago by thomas.kochi
Moksha is all bullshit - Tanushree Dutta
Whether it was her inability to survive the shenanigans of showbiz, or her incapacity to court a world thriving on wiles, or an inherent depression... or a mix of all these, the young actor quit it all for a spiritual quest. She sought refuge in an ashram, did menial chores, practised yoga, meditated... only to remain as confused as ever. In search of solace, she returned, saddled with disappointment. With the so-called gurus and the nirvana they hard-sell and the literal price she had to pay in a bid to attain so-called ‘moksha’. “It was a waste of time. Peace is the last thing that you’ll find in ashrams,” she cries. A tonsured head and several kilos later, a wary Tanushree stumbled upon peace in a non-descript monastery in Ladakh, which earmarked her return to life and normalcy. In Ladakh I came across a Buddhist meditation centre where I learnt the simple breathing technique. There was no big talk! That did the trick. Someone returned my life to me. An uncanny peace returned. My food habits fell milder. I was advised Vipassana. Before Ladakh, I was like a possessed person. I was exorcised in Ladakh. Today she’s a great deal lighter — having shed not only several pounds but also her befuddled ideologies. “I’ve finally found my faith in Christianity,” she says pointing to the crucifix on the wall. “I prefer the dead (saints) over the live,”
celebrities  scandals  faith 
6 days ago by thomas.kochi
Wuerl hounded from office for becoming face of abuse crisis
"Antistite nostro Donaldo." For more than 10 years, from the time of his installation as Archbishop of Washington in 2006,.. every Sunday at Mass, I softly repeated these words as the priest said them in the Roman Canon. "For our bishop Donald,"Today, the Body of Christ in the United States is bruised and bloodied. The depredations of former-cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the grim and gruesome details of clergy sex abuse revealed in the Pennsylvania grand jury report both conspired to place the abuse of children by clergy back at the center of the church's consciousness and public image. Cardinal Donald Wuerl was a link between the two scandals, having succeeded McCarrick in Washington in 2006 and been a bishop in Pennsylvania for 18 years.It did not matter that Wuerl was one of the first bishops to meet with victims and their families, despite being advised by lawyers not to do so. It didn't matter that he introduced policies, such as mandatory reporting to police, a decade before the 2002 Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children made such policies the law for all bishops. It did not matter that he was one of the leaders in Dallas who fought back against efforts at ameliorating the "zero tolerance" policy which many, many priests found offensive and unfair. It did not matter that the grand jury report was spotty and inconsistent. It did not matter that unscrupulous columnists and commentators conflated stories and elided details, all of them unable to answer the core problem with the report: Why, if Wuerl was willing to risk his career fighting powerful Vatican forces to remove pedophile Fr. Anthony Cipolla from ministry, was he being portrayed by news accounts as indifferent to the suffering of child victims at the same time? It didn't matter that fringe and dangerous groups like Church Militant were calling for Wuerl's resignation before the grand jury report came out. None of that mattered. He has been hounded from office because he became the face of the crisis
Reporter  scandals  catholic 
7 days ago by thomas.kochi
First Synod reports focus on abuse and sexuality
In their first formal reports to the entire Synod of Bishops, many of the gathering’s working groups reported that they had discussed the clerical sexual abuse crisis and, especially, its impact on young Catholics...“the context for vocational discernment has changed utterly. Our group suggests that the issue of child sexual abuse in the church cannot be skimmed over tangentially in a few short sentences.”“The shattered trust, the trauma and lifelong suffering of survivors; the catastrophic failures in case management; the continued silence and denial by some of these awful crimes and sins – these issues cry out to be named openly by the synod,” ‘Trust arrives slowly, on foot, but Trust leaves on horseback! Trust must be rebuilt, one person at a time.'”..the central concern of the synod must be the central concern of the church: preaching salvation in Jesus Christ. Pastors today “do not have answers to young people’s questions nor a pastoral and missionary strategy appropriate for a globalised, secular and digital culture,” the group said. “It appears urgent and necessary to rethink the content of formation in seminaries and novitiates, to propose a new style of priestly life and a new form of exercising priestly ministry.
C.Herald  catholic  summits  scandals 
9 days ago by thomas.kochi
The Church’s Disease Is Called Post-modernism. The Diagnosis of a Theologian
More than 80% of known sexual abuses committed by clergy are not in fact cases of paedophilia, but of pederasty. The conviction that any form of love is to be accepted has become more commonplace as a consequence of lifting the ban on contraception, even without changing dogmatic formulas. The very essence of Modernism consists in changing the theory with the praxis, by letting people become used to customs accepted by the majority.
catholic  scandals 
14 days ago by thomas.kochi
Pederasty and Paedophilia – What’s the Difference? And What Difference Does It Make? – Part II
Among sex offenders, the habituated homosexual pederast has one of the highest incidences of recidivism.Father Gerald Fitzgerald founder of the Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete in 1941. Based in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, Father Fitzgerald’s Paraclete Center was one of the first Catholic facilities to treat clerical sexual perversions including pederasty.Father Fitzgerald understood the incorrigibility of priests and religious who sexually abused adolescent boys, stating that they “would never be free of the temptation to act out.” He recommended the involuntary laicization of these men, or at the very least, that they be restricted to the seclusion of a monastery. Under no circumstances were they to be permitted to exercise their ministry in the outside world..before his death in 1969, Father Fitzgerald shared his first-hand knowledge of the crime of pederasty with the Vatican during the pontificate of three popes – Pope Pius XII, Pope John XXIII, and Pope Paul VI. Numerous bishops in the United States received letters warning them of the dangers of homosexuality and pederasty in the clergy and religious life.The crime of pederasty, including clerical pederasty, as evidenced by the early writings of Saint Peter Damian in the 11th century; in the tragedy of the Piarist Order in the 17th century; and the recorded history of the founder of the Paraclete Fathers in modern times, has been a reality of clerical life since the earliest days of the Catholic Church.
catholic  scandals 
14 days ago by thomas.kochi
“Being a priest in an unprecedented time of change”
The crisis we face in the Church is deep-seated, perhaps not unlike the financial institutions whose culture of corruption and self-interest has been exposed.Indeed, to many people, Catholics included, it is not only the case of a few bad apples. It is more like the apple that is rotten at its core... the dirt hit the fan in the Vatican itself.The sexual abuse crisis is inundating the whole Church like a tsunami and it has the potential to cause long-term damage, chaos and even schism. (Mind you, there is already a silent schism in that the majority of Catholics in many parts of the world have simply walked away from the practice of the faith.)Clearly, Captain Francis will have to weather both the storm and the mutiny onboard. Pope Francis has unleashed a new energy, he has poured a new wine which cannot be contained in old wineskins. He has challenged us to move in concert with him and bring about the rebirth of the Church The harder part is to do what most of you do, which is to labour at the coalface of the Church.t is have the smell of the sheep, to accompany our people in their joys and griefs, hopes and struggles. Transition times call for deep discernment, courageous imagination and prophetic action.Like Noah before the flood, we must be able to prepare for what is around the bend. Like the prophets who accompanied their people into exile, who interpreted the signs of the times and led them in the direction of the Kingdom, we must do the same for our people in the context of this new millennium.Like Ezekiel who dream and enact the dream of the New Temple, we must embody the vision of the Church made anew and the priesthood made anew from the ashes of the old clericalist model. We must learn to re-incarnate the spirit of Jesus, faithful to the past but also creative to the present and courageous to the future.
catholic  scandals 
16 days ago by thomas.kochi
Claims against Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor 'lacked credibility'
The Church in England and Wales’ child protection policies, considered to be among the most robust in global Catholicism, arose out of an independent review conducted in 2001 by Lord Nolan and recommendations in a report compiled by Baroness Cumberlege in 2007. A 2016 policy statement from the National Catholic Safeguarding commission makes clear that “Church authorities always report allegations of abuse to the statutory agencies to ensure that they are dealt with promptly and properly.” After an allegation is lodged, the Church ordinarily uses the police inquiry for the substantive part of their investigation into an abuse claim, and following that outcome take the next steps in the canonical process for assessing the allegation.This includes a review panel to examine allegations and undertake a risk assessment of the accused, who is in many cases withdrawn from ministry throughout this process...according to the guidelines set out in the 2007 Cumberlege report “the management of an allegation of abuse and whether or not a priest or religious is temporarily removed from active ministry (or an employee or volunteer is suspended from his duties) depends entirely on the nature and seriousness of the allegation and the situation of the alleged offender at the time the allegation is made.” It also states that this decision “remains that of the Bishop or Congregational Leader” and recommends that bishops “apply the civil standard of proof” in an “internal investigation and determination of any matter relating to the abuse of children and vulnerable adults.”This means that an assessment of allegations made against priests needs to be made, as it runs the risk that any clergy or church worker could be removed from ministry or a job as the result of false claims.The Cumberlege report also makes clear that as a general principle those accused of abuse are treated with "respect and in a consistent manner in accordance with nationally agreed procedures, natural justice, and Canon Law.”
catholic  scandals  Britain 
20 days ago by thomas.kochi
Both on China and the abuse crisis, Pope Francis faces a trust deficit
Five days after announcing a landmark deal with China over the appointment of bishops, Pope Francis released a letter to Chinese Catholics on Wednesday. The gist of it amounts to, “Trust me.”Specifically, Francis asked the roughly 13 million Catholics in China to “place your trust ever more firmly in the Lord of history and in the church’s discernment of his will.”In some ways, the situation isn’t entirely dissimilar from the approach Francis has taken on the charges leveled a month ago by Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.In some ways, it’s an understandable request. From the beginning of his papacy, Francis has shown himself to be a friend of victims, underdogs and oppressed peoples everywhere, and to have a keen pastoral heart for those shoved to life’s peripheries. It’s thus perhaps not unreasonable for him to think that he could rely on a certain benefit of the doubt.The problem he faces, however, is two-fold.First, Francis suffers from an institutional trust deficit that didn’t begin with him, but he inherited it and it’s part of his reality.Moreover, both constituencies are feeling a little ambivalent about Francis himself these days, wondering if despite the new tone the underlying music from the Church really hasn’t changed that much.Transparency, in other words, isn’t just a “best practice” in both avoiding and remedying scandals, though it certainly is that. It’s also a down payment on trust - a payment that can’t just be made once, but regularly, like gas and water, because otherwise the service gets turned off.Both on China and on sex abuse, making that payment may be costly for Francis and his Vatican team, but experience may prove that doing is no longer a luxury but a necessity.
J.Allen  catholic  pope  scandals  accords  China 
21 days ago by thomas.kochi
Conservatives must face John Paul II's legacy in sex abuse crisis
First, it is always an honor to be mentioned alongside Frs. Spadaro and Martin, as well as Professor Faggioli. But, while I can't presume to speak for them, I can assure Ms. Eberstadt that the reason I called Vigano's filthy lies a "putsch" attempt was because he not only mixed just enough truth amidst the lies to tantalize many journalists for a week, and apparently still has her believing him, but he called for the pope to resign. In the face of the fact that Francis is the only pope who ever really took action against McCarrick, this call for his resignation was self-evidently an attempt at triggering a putsch, the modern day ecclesial equivalent of the shot fired by the cruiser Aurora to trigger the October Revolution in 1917. This is what Viganò and his crowd of admirers want, for Francis to go.I detest hypocrites. I do not think John Paul's dreadful legacy on sex abuse takes away from the great things he did, but it does require us to rethink the whole "John Paul the Great" cult. I do not believe all the diplomatic work on behalf of the church that McCarrick undertook is vitiated because we know now he was living a double life for many years and what he kept hidden was predatory and disgusting. Still, to give credence to Viganò's unproven and self-evidently score-settling allegations, dribbled out through friendly media outlets aligned against the pope, and not to smell a rat? You have to be willfully obtuse. Eberstadt may not see it. Weigel may not see it. Still, their ideology blinds them.John Paul II, more than any other person, set the model for obfuscation and cover-up that became the sex abuse scandal. Saying so does not make me a partisan. It is the simple truth.
catholic  Reporter  scandals  pope 
21 days ago by thomas.kochi
Pilgrimage in a time of turmoil
Prepping us for the eight days ahead, the Jesuit leading our pilgrimage to the Holy Land said our time together would be less like a tour and more like a spiritual retreat. As it unfolded for me, it was also something like time travel by bus.Billed as an opportunity to walk “in the footsteps of Jesus,” the trip promised its 100 participants a chance to see for ourselves the places we’d been reading and hearing about since childhood.Given the turbulence roiling the present day church, the prospect of exploring its origins beckoned as a welcome respite, a refresher on the stories that shaped our beliefs in the first place...As much as there was nothing holy about the unruly queue we endured to get in, fumbling our way through conflict in pursuit of the sacred seemed not unlike what we’re up to in the life of the church these days.Once inside the tomb, we were hustled out after just a couple of moments. Exiting the place where Jesus is said to have done likewise seemed like a pretty good way to conclude a pilgrimage in the time of turmoil.
christian  Christianity  pilgrimage  Israel-Palestine  scandals  catholic 
26 days ago by thomas.kochi
Time to Leave?
Damon Linker, Sexual Abuse, and the Church Linker a convert to Catholicism. In a recent column titled “The Unbearable Ugliness of the Catholic Church,” Linker announced his decision to leave the church, which he described as “thoroughly corrupt.” A photograph of Pope Francis wearing what looks like a burial shawl accompanies the article online.What is harder to understand is why this would suddenly hit home for Linker now, sixteen years after the scandal broke wide open in Boston. The Pennsylvania grand-jury report, as horrible as the details are, does not provide any evidence that sexual abuse continues to be epidemic in the church.He writes, “But to wade through the toxic sludge of the grand jury report; to follow the story of Theodore McCarrick’s loathsome character and career; to confront the allegations piled up in Viganò’s memo—it is to come face to face with monstrous, grotesque ugliness. It is to see the Catholic Church as a repulsive institution—or at least one permeated by repulsive human beings who reward one another for repulsive acts, all the while deigning to lecture the world about its sin.”Like many converts, Linker seems to have a tendency to mistake flawed people and fallible institutions for a reified ideal, whether that is Rudy Giuliani, Richard John Neuhaus, or the Catholic Church. In my mid-twenties, I was getting reacquainted with Catholicism. One day I was waxing poetical about the church in the presence of my maternal grandfather, who had been educated by the Jesuits at Boston College High School and Boston College.He warned me in a vague but unmistakable way about the clergy and the church. He said in effect, “They’re not as bad as some people claim, but they aren’t as good as they want you to think.” In other words, although we owe a certain loyalty to the church, what priests and bishops say should get the same scrutiny we give to the pronouncements of others in positions of authority. Skepticism is warranted.How can we justify staying? I think the answer is similar to the one you might give when asked to justify allegiance to the United States of America, a nation founded as a slave state and established by the virtual annihilation of its native population, a country that killed several million Vietnamese in an unprovoked and unjust war and now threatens the peace of the entire world by putting nuclear weapons in the hands of a clearly repulsive and disturbed individual. You remain because, despite the nation’s manifold sins, you still want to believe in the truth of the propositions put forth in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address. You stay in the church, despite its sins, because you long for what it proposes about the nature and destiny of human life to be true as well.
catholic  scandals 
4 weeks ago by thomas.kochi

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