Browsing News Entries

The Pennsylvania grand jury report is not what it seems...

August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption, a “holy day of obligation,” when Catholics are expected to attend Mass. This year millions of Catholics went to church sick at heart. I was among them. The day before, the attorney general of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had released a grand-jury report declaring that hundreds of Catholic priests had sexually abused minors...

Don’t fear the fragility of Auntie Janis and Cousin Judy...

Recently someone on Facebook asked how people felt about the music of Janis Joplin. I answered that my tolerance for her sound was limited to two classic songs, largely because I found her pathos to be more than I could endure. I added that Judy Garland’s singing had affected me similarly: “Too much pathos, too much ‘love me...

This Sunday, we celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord...

The Christmas decorations coming down in our churches and homes inevitably leaves a feeling of sadness and nostalgia. We don’t want to move on from meditation on all the joyful aspects of Our Lord’s early life, the incidents of wonder and mystery, like the angels singing to the shepherds, or the visit of the Magi. Nonetheless...

What does the Christian tradition mean by the word “mystery?”...

In the secular world, a “mystery” is something that baffles or eludes understanding, something that lies undisclosed. And the usual attitude of the world toward mystery is to solve it, get to the bottom of, or uncover it. Mysteries must be overcome! The riddle, or “who-done-it” must be solved! In the Christian and especially the Catholic world...

Vatican puts together track team consisting of Swiss Guards, priests, nuns...

The Vatican launched an official track team Thursday with the aim of competing in international competitions as part of an agreement signed with the Italian Olympic Committee. About 60 Holy See runners — Swiss Guards, priests, nuns, pharmacists and even a 62-year-old professor who works in the Vatican’s Apostolic Library — are the first accredited members of Vatican Athletics...

Cardinal Wuerl knew McCarrick abuse allegations in 2004, says Diocese of Pittsburgh...

An allegation of misconduct against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick was reported to Cardinal Donald Wuerl in 2004, despite Wuerl’s insistence he knew nothing about McCarrick’s alleged sexual misconduct until 2018. Wuerl forwarded the report to the apostolic nuncio in Washington, DC, the Diocese of Pittsburgh said Thursday. A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington confirmed to CNA that an allegation against McCarrick was presented to Wuerl while he served as Bishop of Pittsburgh...

The media scripts about Catholic bishops and clergy sex abuse are bad cartoons...

Peter Steinfels at Commonweal has a long article that needed to be written. It’s 11,700 words (none are wasted) on the sex-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church — specifically, on the Pennsylvania grand-jury report released last summer. The heinousness of the sexual crimes and misconduct described therein has been amply noted by just about everyone who has commented on the report...

Pennsylvania grand jury’s Catholic sex abuse report gets a factcheck...

The 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report on Catholic clergy sex abuse didn’t get the thorough scrutiny it deserved, and both readers and reporters have been too accepting of the “sensational charges” it made, says veteran Catholic journalist Peter Steinfels. In a lengthy essay published this week by Commonweal, Steinfels argued that many of the report’s charges are “grossly misleading...

These points must be made forcefully in Rome in February...

The Vatican is a hotbed of rumor, gossip and speculation at the best of times — and these times are not those times. The Roman atmosphere at the beginning of 2019 is typically fetid and sometimes poisonous, with a lot of misinformation and disinformation floating around. That smog of fallacy and fiction could damage February’s global gathering of bishops...

A Lamb with the heart of a lion: Remembering Fr. Matthew Lamb...

On the morning of Friday, Jan. 12 last year, Fr. Matthew Lamb, a noble soul and indefatigable defender of Catholic education, passed from this vale of tears into the bosom of the Lord he had spent his life serving so well. Today, on the first anniversary of his death, I’d like to pay my personal tribute to this great theologian...