The U.S. Catholic bishops’ point man on sexual abuse has said that the hierarchy’s credibility on fixing the problem has been “shredded” and that the situation is comparable to the Reformation, when “the episcopacy, the regular clergy, even the papacy were discredited.”
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NEW YORK (RNS) The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, a popular Franciscan friar who defended priests who sexually abuse children and blamed some victims for "seducing" them, has apologized for the controversial remarks.
Groeschel, 78, said in a statement released late Thursday (Aug. 30) that he blamed his failing health for the way he phrased the comments.
c. 2012 Religion News Service NEW YORK (RNS) The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, a prominent author and speaker who is especially popular with conservative Catholics and bishops, has sparked outrage by saying that priests who sexually abuse children "on their first offense" should not go to jail.
He added that in "a lot of cases," the child is "the seducer."
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(RNS) The news that New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the nation's most prominent Catholic prelate, will deliver the closing blessing to the Republican National Convention in Florida next week was seen as a huge coup for Mitt Romney, the party's presumptive nominee.
c. 2012 Religion News Service KIRKWOOD, Mo. (RNS) The light, clear tones of young women's voices filled the chapel, their chanted prayers drifting across the wooden altar screen that shielded the sisters from the full view of those sitting in the pews.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) News that Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert and New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan would appear together on a panel on faith and humor next month was greeted with widespread anticipation: Both men are devout Catholics and pretty darned funny.
American nuns facing a Vatican takeover of their leadership organization have rejected Rome’s plans to recast the group in a more conservative mold, but declined—at least for now—to respond with an ultimatum that could have created an unprecedented schism between the sisters and the hierarchy.
c. 2012 Religion News Service ST. LOUIS (RNS) Catholic sisters gathered here for their annual assembly on Thursday (Aug. 9) intensified discussions aimed at thwarting a Vatican takeover of their group, but hanging over the meeting was an even larger existential question: Do the nuns have a future?
c. 2012 Religion News Service ST. LOUIS (RNS) As hundreds of nuns met here on Wednesday (Aug. 8) to begin crafting an answer to Vatican demands that their leaders toe the line on orthodoxy, there was a pervasive sense that this week's discussions could lead to a fateful juncture in the history of Catholicism in America.
c.2012 Religion News Service NEW YORK (RNS) By tradition, the storied Al Smith Dinner has provided a few hours of comic relief from the angry volleys of the campaign trail -- a white-tie charity banquet held in the weeks before Election Day, hosted by the archbishop of New York and featuring speeches by the two presidential candidates on the condition that they lob nothing more than good-nature
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) Though she is at the center of one of the biggest crises in the Catholic Church today, Sister Pat Farrell is loath to talk about herself, and certainly not in any way that would make her a focus of the looming showdown between the Vatican and American nuns.
Of all the controversies that have followed in the bloody wake of the July 20 shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado, few have provided such clarifying insight into the moral tensions and contradictions in American culture as the argument over whether gun control is a religious issue.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) The Obama administration's policy requiring most employers to provide free birth control coverage in their health insurance policies takes effect on Wednesday (Aug. 1) -- a deadline that has sparked apocalyptic warnings from conservative activists and some faith groups.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) A Catholic priest has suggested that Satan may have driven accused killer James Holmes to open fire at a Colorado cinema, continuing the religious debate over a shooting that claimed 12 lives and wounded 58 more.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) Supporters of President Obama's health care reform law were elated on Thursday (June 28) -- and admittedly a bit surprised -- by the Supreme Court's narrow decision upholding the landmark legislation. But they may want to keep the corks in their champagne bottles, at least for now.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) The leading advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse by clergy is urging Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput to defrock the priest convicted last week of shielding other clerics who preyed on children. But laicizing Monsignor William Lynn is not as simple as it sounds.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) A popular online advice columnist has said that the late Rev. Robert Drinan, a famed Jesuit priest and onetime Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, tried to kiss and fondle her in the 1970s when she was 18 or 19 years old.
A Philadelphia priest was convicted June 22 of one count of child endangerment, becoming the first cleric in the Catholic Church’s long-running clergy sexual abuse scandal to be tried and found guilty of shielding molesters.