Editor's note: "The Field Hospital" is NCRonline's newest blog series, covering life in Catholic parishes across the United States. The title comes from the words of Pope Francis: "I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds. ... And you have to start from the ground up."
"The Field Hospital" blog will run twice weekly on NCRonline.org along with feature stories and news reports about parish life in the U.S. If you have a story suggestion, send it to Dan Morris Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Peter Feuerherd (email@example.com).
As for parish scandals, this is about as bad as it gets: The New York tabloids are having a field day. Beyond the story's salaciousness, there are some big questions here, among them: if true, what does this story say about what parishioners need to do when faced with a corrupt pastor? In the Bronx, a lawsuit brought this case to light.
In Las Vegas, the headline is Christians attacking Catholics. Is there something wrong with that wording? In any case, it seems that a small fundamentalist Christian sect has been disrupting Sunday Mass around Sin City.
Two Milwaukee ladies go on an extensive visit to 50 area Catholic parishes, and find out that it's a diverse church.
Here's a theme that keeps repeating around the country: Latino ministries emerging in seemingly unlikely places. This one is about the Mexican community developing at the campus parish for Indiana University in Bloomington.
In St. Louis, ecumenism goes grassroots as a parish-based Lutheran dialogue develops.
[Regular Catholic press contributor Peter Feuerherd writes from Queens, N.Y.]