Links for 8/21/18

In The Washington Post, Karen Tumulty on why she is remaining a Catholic and what the curate at her D.C. parish had to say Sunday morning that confirmed her in that conviction. A beautiful testimony.

Francis in the Baltics:
Read NCR's on-the-ground coverage of the latest papal trip

On the other hand, at the Catholic News Agency, Bishop Robert Morlino discusses what he thinks is the core issue in the clergy sex abuse crisis: "In the specific situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics. We're also talking about homosexual propositions and abuses against seminarians and young priests by powerful priests, bishops, and cardinals. We are talking about acts and actions which are not only in violation of the sacred promises made by some, in short, sacrilege, but also are in violation of the natural moral law for all. To call it anything else would be deceitful and would only ignore the problem further." I will resist the urge to defer to his expertise and merely note that Morlino has become a leader of the neo-Feeneyites, who wish to roll back the clock to the 1950s. It is a fool's errand and Morlino is just the fool to lead it.

At First Things, when they are not trying to hijack the clergy sex abuse scandal for ideological ends, a group of right-wing Catholics is calling on the cardinals of the Catholic Church to gang up on Pope Francis and force him to rescind his change to the Catechism regarding capital punishment. These two things are related and only a blind or very naive person could fail to see it. All this is related — the attacks on gays, the attack on Cardinal Wuerl, the attack on Pope Francis — and it is not about protecting children. Lest we forget First Things was the organ attacking NCR for exposing the crimes of Fr. Marcial Maciel.

At America, a 2015 piece by Kathleen McChesney considers the arguments for and against the disclosure of names of clergy accused by dioceses and religious orders. McChesney brings her usual care to both sets of arguments and correctly comes down on the side of disclosure. Here is something that every bishop in the country can do and do before the November plenary meeting.

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Rudy Giuliani, in a 2009 file photo (CNS photo/pool)

From the "dictatorship of relativism" file, a collection of comments by Rudy Giuliani that defy the principle of non-contradiction and other essential philosophic premises. Politico has the story.

In The New York Times, a look at how Democrats are trying to win back the Keystone State they lost to Donald Trump in 2016. Rep. Conor Lamb is an obvious rising star in the Democratic Party, and Sen. Bob Casey is a hero to many social justice Catholics. He is running against a pre- and pro-Trump congressman, Lou Barletta, known for his anti-immigrant stance. But keep an eye also on the candidate for lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, whose empathetic outlook will be key to Democrats' hopes: "Two things can be true at the same time: There is xenophobia and nationalism and racist undertones," said John Fetterman, the longtime mayor of Braddock, outside Pittsburgh, and the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor. "But there's also people that are reachable."

[Michael Sean Winters covers the nexus of religion and politics for NCR.]

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