Heidi Schlumpf is NCR's national correspondent, based in Chicago. She has three decades of experience covering religion, spirituality, social justice and women's issues, and is the author/editor of three books, including Elizabeth A. Johnson: Questing for God (Liturgical Press, 2016). Schlumpf is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has a master’s degree in theological studies from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University. She and her husband are members of St. Gertrude Parish in Chicago.
A prominent and popular Chicago priest, who headed a five-campus child services organization, has been removed from ministry while the Chicago Archdiocese reviews allegations of sexual abuse of minors against him.
After Jesuit Fr. Benjamin Hawley's sermon — which was critical of church leadership but also pondered whether the church might finally be experiencing an "appearance of dawn" on the issue — Sen. Patrick Leahy said he "wanted to stand up and applaud him."
Catholic historians, who by definition are usually focused on the past — were very much thinking and talking about the present sex abuse crisis and what the future might bring for the church, during last week's meeting of the American Catholic Historical Association. For one, they are divided — and the evidence is not clear — about how far back the crisis goes.
Restoring trust requires humility and service, not competition or "concern with marketing or strategizing to reclaim lost prestige or to seek accolades," the pope wrote to the bishops, currently on retreat.