In a strange exchange at a hearing today, FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the Bureau's community outreach programs, which was not necessarily what Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) wanted to hear. Catholics, it seems, don't rate special treatment.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Knights of Columbus, citing a statute of limitations, asked a judge to dismiss lawsuits by two men who say a youth leader sexually abused them decades ago.
The men sued the New Haven-based group in December and said a former leader of the Columbian Squires, the Knights' official youth program, abused them in Texas in the 1970s and 1980s. Their attorney has said the lawsuits appear to be the first against the Knights, the world's largest Catholic lay organization, to allege sexual abuse of children.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd weighed in on the sex abuse scandal in Philadelphia yesterday.
Here's a snippet:
It tells the story of a fifth-grade altar boy at St. Jerome School given the pseudonym Billy. Father Engelhardt plied him with sacramental wine and pulled pornographic magazines out of a bag in the sacristy and told the child it was time “to become a man,” the report says.
A week later, after Billy served an early Mass, the report states that Engelhardt instructed him to take off his clothes and perform oral sex on him. Then the priest told the boy he was “dismissed.”
Where our treasure is, there our heart is also. Our treasure is lodged in the Pentagon. Well, lodged might not be the right word. Perhaps squandered is a better word. Whatever. Military spending tells us a lot about our national heart.
Right now Congress is debating whether to permanently end funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which would leave some rural areas at the mercy of corporate news casting and endanger Sesame Street and other commercial-free children’s television. The cut would reduce the deficit by about $400 million.
It is difficult for me to get my mind around how much a million dollars is, especially since I heard yesterday that a poll of millionaires reports most wouldn’t feel really rich unless they had at least seven and a half million dollars.
But take a look at ballistic missile defense. The Pentagon has been trying to do it -- that is, acquire the capacity to shoot down incoming enemy missiles while they are still in the stratosphere -- since 1961. We have spent $135 billion on this effort and the Pentagon has budgeted another $40 billion for the next four years. And we still don’t have the hang of it.
As a freelance writer, I compose my columns for NCR, first in my head and then on the computer screen, in solitude. Then I email them off to the editors and wait to see them in print or online. So it's always interesting to see what touches people--or hits a nerve.
In my most recent piece, "In religious education, actions speak louder than words," I wrote about the importance of parents teaching the faith through example.
Not a whole lot to debate about there. But it seems one small phrase in the column prompted a number of comments. After remembering how our family made a monthly trek to a soup kitchen, I noted that the lessons learned there were reinforced at our "Vatican II parish."
"A "Vatican II" parish?" asked one commenter. "As opposed the other, Vatican I parishes? Are you claiming some special insight into doctrine or ethics or theology that other Catholics don't have?"
Ten years ago, I visited Israel as a guest of the government. I was part of a group of Catholic journalists invited to the Holy Land in hopes we would return to the U.S. and write articles encouraging travel to Israel. I have many memories of that trip, but a few stand out:
- Going to the Holocaust museum and realizing that what was done to Jews then is similar to what Jews do to Palestinians now. For instance, the Germans made Jews wear yellow stars; in Israel, Palestinians have to have green license plates.
- Interviewing the mayor of Jerusalem and naively asking, “Why can’t you just share the land?” and flinching as he snapped, “You Americans and your 200-year-old history. You know nothing of history!” He went on to describe with disdain the U.S.’s vision of starting fresh every day.
- Getting a phone call from a priest I’d met there and hearing him describe a complaint he’d received from a parishioner who had been stopped at an Israeli checkpoint as his pregnant wife labored in the back of the car. They were detained until the woman’s water broke and then, finally convinced she was actually pregnant, let them through.
From the Star Tribune:
The St. Paul university's governing board changed its bylaws last month to allow a Roman Catholic layperson serve as president.
It will still show priests "strong preference."
The move acknowledges the shrinking number of Catholic priests interested in and qualified for colleges' top jobs. Seton Hall University in New Jersey recently hired a layperson after its first search -- for priests only -- was unsuccessful.
About 60 percent of Catholic colleges are now led by lay people, said Michael Galligan-Stierle, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
On this day, we commemorate St. Eusebia, who was born c. 637, and who died c. 680.
Eusebia was a member of a Merovingian family of saints. Her great-grandmother, St. Gertrude, Abbess of Hamay, was the daughter of King Theudebald, King of Austrasia.
L.A. Times editorial Secrecy won't heal a sex scandal
Main Line Media. Pa. Catholic Church Coverup: It is time to say Enough!
Many of you have noticed that we turned off the commenting function for much of today. Behind the scenes, we were being flooded with wave after wave of spam comments. To get a handle on the situation we had to stop accepting comments.
This was a drastic measure because of the unprecedented flow of spam comments. We are hit with such things from time to time, but nothing like what we saw today.
The good news is that it did not interrupt the flow of web site content to you. If you missed the chance to comment today, come back tomorrow. We are open for business.
I apologize from the inconvenience.