sex abuse scandal

On the Strange Function of Absolutes

Most people today “absolutely” maintain that they do not hold or live by “absolutes.” They live by their desires and choices, which are readily changeable. No one is much bothered by the “logic” of his own views. The proposition that “No absolutes exist” is itself an absolute. If it is true, an absolute exists. If [...]

The Rage of the New Puritans Is Sweeping America

The announcement that the “Silence Breakers” have been named “Person of the Year” by TIME magazine has catapulted the sexual harassment scandals into the national spotlight. Sexual assault in the workplace has taken on crisis proportions. Many are saying that men and women will soon revert to minimizing contact among themselves. They fear a new [...]

Shining a ‘Spotlight’ on Hollywood Duplicity and Bias

Portrayed as a villain in Spotlight, the new film describing the clergy abuse scandal, Jack Dunn, the media spokesman for Boston College and trustee for Boston College High School, has hired a lawyer to demand that the scene portraying him as a cold and callous bureaucrat—caring nothing for victims—be stricken from the film. The scene [...]

Priest Scandal Movie: Painful, Disturbing, and Surprisingly Fair

“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.” This dialogue sums up the primary lesson of the film Spotlight, currently playing in a major nationwide release. The movie, “based on actual events” and starring Michael Keaton, chronicles a Boston Globe four-person investigative team's discovery of Cardinal Bernard [...]

There is No Link between Celibacy and Clerical Sexual Abuse

The Independent newspaper reported last August that “the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said he dealt with issues of child sex abuse on a daily basis (my emphasis) and he anticipated that more ‘bad stories’ would emerge. He said: ‘I would love to say there weren’t, but I expect there are.’ He told the BBC that it was ‘becoming [...]

Seeing Clerical Corruption in a Larger Light

It must be because February is so fleeting that one naturally assumes the news cycle will follow suit.  Less calendar time translates into fewer stories, right?  Wrong.  Recent events have blown that thesis completely out of the water.  Begin with the announcement of a papal resignation—could anything be more newsworthy?  It will take effect by [...]

Scandal Déjà Vu

A religion writer for a secular news organization and a retired church official were comparing notes on developments relating to clergy sex abuse. At the time, the Vatican was preparing to issue guidelines for bishops' conferences in handling the problem (the American conference has had guidelines for nine years). The U.S. bishops were getting ready [...]

The Church Paid $1.8 Million, and All I Got Was This Lousy Report

When you spend US$1.8 million to identify the causes of a crisis, you expect more for your money than, “well, you know, it’s really, really complicated.” But this is the message of a five-year investigation into the sexual abuse crisis in the US Catholic Church. “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by [...]

Reactions to the John Jay Report

  Yesterday, the John Jay College research team released their report on the clerical sex-abuse scandal, titled "The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010." First, hats off to the U.S. bishops for commissioning the report and outsourcing the investigation to the John Jay College of [...]

Benedict: Church authorities ‘not sufficiently vigilant’ in abuse scandal

Benedict's visit to the UK is already underway, and the coverage began on his flight over, with the pope's customary habit of answering written questions from journalists -- a practice that tends to set the tone for the first day of reporting. As with several of Benedict's recent state visits, one of those questions dealt [...]

Benedict: ‘The greatest persecution of the Church’ comes from within

Pope Benedict, on his flight to Portugal yesterday, regarding the sex-abuse scandal (emphasis added): [A]ttacks against the pope or the church don’t come just from outside the church. The suffering of the church also comes from within the church, because sin exists in the church. This too has always been known, but today we see [...]

Pope Benedict publicly addresses scandal

In his General Audience today, Pope Benedict addressed the sex-abuse scandal publicly for the first time since his March 20 letter to the Irish bishops: Pope Benedict XVI promised Wednesday that the Catholic Church would take action to confront the clerical sex abuse scandal, making his first public comments on the crisis days after meeting [...]

Victims Unseen

Imagine a rash of fires, lit by fire chiefs, in certain ghettos of Eastern Europe during the 1930s. A synagogue burns to the ground in Kraków, another in Prague, a Jewish community house in Danzig, the Beth-salem Orphanage in Leipzig, and yet another synagogue in Bratislava. All are destroyed. Imagine that half of the leaders [...]

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