President Bush and his presumed Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry, are in a virtual dead heat among American Catholic voters, according to a poll released in mid-April by Georgetown University. The survey of 1,001 Catholics found that Kerry drew support from 46 percent, Bush 41 percent. With the poll’s 3 percentage-point margin of error, the two candidates are virtually tied.
The Israeli government’s refusal to renew visas to Christian clergy in the Holy Land has precipitated a crisis with the Vatican and the entire Christian world, say Catholic representatives. All told, it is estimated that hundreds of priests, nuns and Christian volunteers have not been granted permission to remain in Israel.
Proponents of traditional family values are championing a unanimous California Supreme Court ruling March 11 that halted—at least temporarily—gay marriages in the state. “What the court has done . . . is take a stand against the anarchy that has reigned in San Francisco since February 12,” said James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family.
Inadequate screening of potential priests, not celibacy or homosexuality, is to blame for the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, according to a blue-ribbon panel formed by the nation’s Catholic bishops. The findings of the 12-member National Review Board were released late last month along with the first-ever report on the scope of sexual abuse of minors in the church.
The first-ever tally of clergy sexual abuse by the Catholic Church revealed the status of the crisis in the nation’s largest dioceses. The national report, by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, found 4,392 abusive priests and 10,667 victims, which cost the church hundreds of millions in legal settlement and counseling fees through 2002.
President Bush used a special presidential prerogative January 16 to get one of his most controversial judicial nominees installed, temporarily, on a federal appeals panel. Just days before Congress returned from its holiday recess to resume its legislative work, Bush used a “recess appointment” to get Charles Pickering installed as a judge on the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Exactly two years after the sexual abuse scandal erupted in the Catholic Church, 82 percent of local dioceses have implemented reforms intended to protect children from predatory priests, U.S. church leaders said this month.
Catholic attendance low in wake of sex abuse scandals
Jan 13, 2004
A higher percentage of Protestants now attend church on a weekly basis than Catholics do, the Gallup Organization has has announced. “Historical Gallup Poll data show that Protestants have now clearly overtaken Catholics in church attendance, for the first time in Gallup polling history,” George H. Gallup Jr. said in a recent commentary.