Morning Briefing

A popular former president of Marquette University has asked that his name be removed from a new residence hall at the school because he mishandled accusations of sexual abuse more than 25 years ago.

President Trump called the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church “devastating,” but added that Pope Francis “is handling, I guess the best anyone can handle it,” according to a Daily Caller reporter who interviewed the president.

Meanwhile, veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s new book about Trump has staffers comparing the president to a fifth or sixth grader.

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh began yesterday. His supporters praise him for being an originalist who only interprets the law, rather than making it. But “originalism” isn’t what it used to be, discovers columnist Michael Sean Winters. Meanwhile, some Catholics might be surprised at how a Justice Kavanaugh might decide religion cases, says Mark Silk. And more than 1,500 sisters, priests and brothers have signed a letter expressing concern about Kavanaugh's nomination.

Although the world is facing its worst crisis of displaced people in recorded history, the U.S. has set the maximum number of refugees allowed to enter the country at an historic low—and may only accept half that number. And it might get worse, reports Maria Benevento.

As conservative Catholics embrace the issue of sexual abuse and assault, Franciscan University at Steubenville has announced a new sexual assault initiative, which will include an outside audit to evaluate the school’s compliance with Title IX.

The nine members of the original National Review Board have asked the current USCCB president to reinstate them to investigate current issues of sexual abuse in the church, including “how Archbishop McCarrick and others rose in their ecclesiastical careers when troubling facts regarding sexual abuse were known by the hierarchy which promoted them.”

And the Archdiocese of Chicago has removed ministry faculties from two priests who were arrested for lewd and lascivious behavior and indecent exposure in Miami Sunday.

ICYMI: Young Catholics are mad at church leaders for how they’ve mishandled clerical sexual abuse, but many of them say they will stay in the church to fight for reform.

Greek Orthodox priests who have been widowed or been abandoned by their wives will be allowed to re-marry, according to a document to come from Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Days after participating in the 50th anniversary of the historic Medellín meeting of Latin American Catholic leaders in 1968, the Confederation of Latin American Religious called for “structural reformation of the church, ‘a new way to be a church,’ that would bring laypeople and women to the decision-making table.”



The funeral of Sen. John McCain inspired Sr. Joan Chittister, who saw “the America we'd all been trained to love and protect rose again for all to see.” She hopes it’s not too late to re-capture that spirit.

A new book that takes a historical look at the papacy describes how various popes—including the current one—have exercised their power. Reviewer Paul Lakeland says Paul Collins’ Absolute Power is helpful for Catholics and non-Catholics trying to make sense of the current occupant of Peter’s chair.


Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR.

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here