Sunday, May 19, 2019

Adriano Oliva's Amours: L'Église, les divorcés remariés, les couples homosexuels — Response from a Reader re: Aquinas' Theology of Marriage

One of my Facebook friends, Jean-François Garneau in Montréal, has responded to my recent posting about how Adriano Oliva's book Amours: L'Église, les divorcés remariés, les couples homosexuels — deals with the topic of procreation in Thomas Aquinas' theology of marriage. As my posting noted,

Friday, May 17, 2019

Notes on Adriano Oliva's Amours: L'Église, les divorcés remariés, les couples homosexuels — On Sexual Relations Between Women as Less Sinful Than Sodomy

As a footnote to what I posted yesterday regarding Adriano Oliva's book Amours: L'Église, les divorcés remariés, les couples homosexuels (Paris: Cerf, 2015) and its discussion of Aquinas' views regarding the sacrament of marriage, I'd like to offer  you the passage above as a reminder of some aspects of Aquinas' worldview that affect his understanding of sexuality, gender, and marriage. I offer this passage from pp. 78-9 of Adriano's book both as a footnote to the discussion of his theology of marriage, and as a prelude to his discussion of homosexuality, on which I'll focus in my next posting (or two) about his book.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Notes on Adriano Oliva's Amours: L'Église, les divorcés remariés, les couples homosexuels — Procreation in Aquinas' Theology of Marriage

Back in January 2016, I shared with you some notes about Adriano Oliva's book Amours: L'Église, les divorcés remariés, les couples homosexuels (Paris: Cerf, 2015). As I shared my comments about Oliva's book, which was written as theological reflection on issues central to the synod on the family in 2015, I told you that my comments were more a set of notes than a review of the book per se.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Ruth Krall, A Considered Response to a Canadian Catholic Educator's Quarterly Review of the Covington Catholic Story

Ruth Krall was inspired by Paul2port's quarterly review of the Covington Catholic story last Saturday, and in response to it, she has offered some reflections, with a helpful bibliography for further reading. I'm very grateful to her for this thoughtful response. Ruth writes: 

Saturday, May 11, 2019

A Canadian Catholic Educator's Quarterly Review of the Covington Catholic Story: "Get Serious About Living Your Faith"

Near the start of February, I posted commentary from a Canadian Catholic educator, Paul2port, regarding the story of the young men from Covington (Kentucky) Catholic high school and the controversy that ensued due to video coverage of their actions as they left the March for Life in Washington, D.C., this year, sporting MAGA hats. Paul2port has continued to think about this story as a Catholic educator, and has sent me a "quarterly review" updating his commentary of early February. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Tom Doyle on Why Clericalism Is Primary Root of Catholic Abuse Horror Show (Contra Benedict)

The emeritus pope recently published a statement about the abuse horror show in the Catholic church which makes absolutely no mention at all of the roots of this horror show in clericalism, and which takes no responsibility, on the part of the clerical governing sector of the church, for this horror show and the cover-up of clerical abuse for years. The emeritus pope's statements blaming the Catholic abuse horrors on the 1960s, not clericalism, were followed by a statement by the emeritus prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Müller, affirming the emeritus pope's analysis and suggesting that the clericalism explanation of the abuse situation in the church is "ideological."

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Where's Solidarity When You Need It? Letting Off a Bit of Steam

I don't need this.

Today, I shared on Facebook the following statement by Rev. Andrew Foreshew-Cain from a Guardian interview published online today:

Friday, April 26, 2019

Ruth Krall, "In a Roman Catholic Voice: Clergy and Religious Leader Sexual Abuse of the Laity — A Study Bibliography of Resources" (2)

As I stated yesterday in introducing this two-part posting in which Ruth Krall offers us a valuable new resource for studying sexual abuse of minors in religious settings, all of us concerned with this issue owe Ruth a debt of immense gratitude for her generosity. She has made available to us resources that reflect her years of intensive study of the topic of sexual violence, rape, and abuse of minors in religious settings. What follows is the bibliography of resources Ruth is offering with this latest contribution to this research field; yesterday's posting featured Ruth's introductory essay for this important resource.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Ruth Krall, "In a Roman Catholic Voice: Clergy and Religious Leader Sexual Abuse of the Laity — A Study Bibliography of Resources"

L'Osservatore Romano/AP Pool Photo, BXVI's 65th anniversary of ordination, 28 June 2016
Pope Francis (i) with Pope Emeritus Benedict (ii)

All of us seeking to understand and deal with the abuse of vulnerable people within religious communities owe a deep debt of gratitude to Ruth Krall. In one powerful essay after another, she has unpacked years of her research in this field, making insights and titles available to a wider community. Over the course of several years, Ruth has been producing extensive annotated bibliographies reflecting her years of study in this field. What follows is Ruth's latest contribution to the documentation of abuse in religious communities, of studies of this abuse and its roots, and of resources for combating such abuse. The essay below is Ruth's preface to the study bibliography of resources she is providing with this new document. The bibliography itself will follow in a subsequent posting:

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

"Christ Has No Body on Earth Now But Ours": An Easter Meditation on Hands and Feet by Jessica Pegis

In her recent essay at the Women in Theology site entitled "Hands and Feet," Jessica Pegis notes that one of her favorite icons, depicting Jesus washing his disciples' feet, shows Peter touching his head. This is, as she notes, a gesture noting divine epiphany in ancient Greek culture.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Sri Lanka, the Spiral of Violence, and Global Turn to Strongmen Messianic Solutions: The Temptation of This Moment

I grieve — so very much — the carnage we've just seen enacted in Sri Lanka, on the day many Christians consider the holiest day of the liturgical calendar. I grieve above all the enormous loss of life, the manifestation of gross religious hatred we see on full display in this event, and the way in which it's very clear that this latest act of religious hatred is immediately rooted in the atrocious act of religious (and white supremacist) hatred we saw recently in New Zealand. As Dom Hélder Câmara reminded us over and over, violence spawns more violence in an endless chain of reaction until someone finally has the courage and compassion to break that chain.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

What They're Saying About the Mueller Report: "Russian Government Interfered in the 2016 Presidential Election in Sweeping and Systematic Fashion"

What They're Saying About Barr's Press Conference: What Checks? What Balances?! — Commentary Hot Off the Press

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Tara Westover's Educated: "What my father wanted to cast from me wasn't a demon: it was me."

Having finished reading Tara Westover's Educated several weeks ago, I've been thinking about what I'd like to say as a concluding statement about it. I've blogged about Educated previously — here and here — noting that Westover grew up in a survivalist Mormon family in Idaho. Educated recounts the story of her attempt over the course of years to emerge from the prison in which her upbringing put her. It tells us about her father's wild delusions of grandeur, his belief that he was directly guided by God and watched over by angels — and of his danger-courting and relentless attempts to control his daughter with threats of damnation when she sought to move beyond his control.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Bannon Link: Using Trump Playbook to Attack Pope Francis

Yesterday, I wrote,

Benedict's poisonous letter; Cardinal Sarah's toxic bile: these are part and parcel of a bigger initiative, coordinated and heavily funded by right-wing Catholic money, especially in the U.S., to Trumpize the Catholic church. Bannon is at the very center of this.

Friday, April 12, 2019

More Valuable Commentary on Benedict's Poisonous Letter: Part of a Bigger Initiative of Catholic Right, with Bannon at the Very Center

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Benedict Undercuts Francis on Abuse Narrative: The 1960s Made Us Do It

Pope Benedict has written an astonishing letter on the abuse situation, which he calls a set of "notes" on this topic. Here’s my summary of his notes:

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Civil Rights Center in Tennessee and Black Churches in Louisiana Burn as Hate Crimes Increase

Tweets and articles with a common theme that have caught my eye in the past few days, which I want to share:

Monday, April 8, 2019

Paul Elie on "Seeming Transparency" of Dioceses Releasing Lists of Priests "Credibly Accused" of Sexual Abuse of Minors


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Kathleen Holscher on Lack of Attention to Colonialism and White Supremacy in Accounts of Catholic Abuse Crisis

In today's Tablet, a valuable reminder from historian Kathleen Holscher of the University of New Mexico that how we view the abuse story in the Catholic church depends on how we frame it — and on who is doing the framing: Holscher writes,

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

SNAP Holds Media Event in Charlotte: Bishop Peter Jugis Endangering Children by Refusing to List Names of Predator Priests

An update for you about the continuing refusal of the Catholic diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, to release a list of names of predator priests who have served in that diocese — even after the second in command in that diocese, Monsignor Mauricio West, stepped down from his position as chancellor last week (and here) after the diocesan review board found credible allegations that he sexually abused a student at Belmont Abbey College when he was Vice-President for Student Affairs there in the 1980s.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

My Gratitude for Your Birthday Wishes

Miriam Toews' Irma Voth and Tara Westover's Educated: On Patriarchal Religion and Misogynistic Violence

It's by accident — or synchronicity — that I happen to have read Miriam Toews' novel Irma Voth at the same time that I'm reading Tara Westover's Educated. Toews' book explores the lives of several young women and girls in a Mennonite family in Mexico, which previously had roots in Manitoba (and before that in Russia). Westover focuses on her experiences growing up in a survivalist Mormon family in Idaho.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

On My 69th Birthday, Words That Touch My Heart

Today, on my 69th birthday, these words to me from a reader I've met through this blog, who inspires me constantly by her lived witness to the beatitudes, touch my heart deeply:

Friday, March 29, 2019

Footnote to Story re: Resignation of Chancellor of Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, Mauricio West: The Damage Clericalism Does in the Catholic Church

As I think about the story I shared with you today — yesterday, it was announced that the chancellor of the Catholic diocese of Charlotte, Msgr. Mauricio West, had resigned after the diocesan review board found credible allegations that he made repeated sexual advances to a student when he was Vice-President of Student Affairs at Belmont Abbey College in the 1980s — I keep revisiting in my mind some crystallizing incidents involving West that for me epitomize the rank, ugly clericalism that is the root of the abuse crisis in the Catholic church. As I noted this morning, West was previously a Benedictine monk at Belmont Abbey monastery, which owns Belmont Abbey College. He left the monastery in the early 1990s and was immediately made chancellor of the Charlotte diocese by Bishop William Curlin, and was then retained in that position by Bishop Peter Jugis.

Chancellor of Charlotte Catholic Diocese and Fomer Belmont Abbey College Administrator Resigns: Credible Allegations of Sexual Abuse

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican: Concluding Remarks About Why This Book Matters — The Extensive Damage Done by a System "Perverted Since the Outset"

I've now finished reading Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican, and want to share some concluding thoughts about the book. Two interrelated points strike me as I think about the book as a whole. The first is that the book's importance lies in how it moves what has been far too much a parochial Catholic conversation into the public sphere. The second, and related, insight is that this move is entirely necessary if the Catholic church wishes to regain any measure of moral credibility or pastoral or theological relevance following the abuse revelations.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Frédéric Martel on the Tragedy That Is the Pastoral Career of Joseph Ratzinger — A Tragedy for the Entire Church

From Frédéric Martel, In the Closet of the Vatican, on the tragedy of Joseph Ratzinger's (Benedict XVI's) pastoral career:

Friday, March 22, 2019

More from Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican on the Source of Corruption in the Catholic Church: Not Glitches, but a System

As I keep reading Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican, I'd like to say more about the theme of corruption I featured in my last commentary about this book. I noted, pointing to several important passages in Martel's book as documentation, that  much of the corruption in the Catholic church right now is rooted in the historical matrix of the papacy of St. John Paul the Great. The corruption is rooted quite specifically in the following: while hiding homosexual secrets, the powerful Vatican courtiers surrounding John Paul chose to mount war against the queer community, combating its rights, scapegoating LGBT people — especially for the abuse crisis in the church — and targeting theologians calling for compassionate outreach to queer people.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Ed Kilgore on White Evangelicals as Heart of Trump Base: "Committed to a Common Desire to Take America Back to Its Days of Greatness in the 1950s"

In "White Evangelicals Are Still the Heart of Trump's Base," Ed Kilgore comments on new Pew Research Center data that some commentators are erroneously interpreting to mean that white evangelical support for Donald Trump is waning. As Ed Kilgore notes, it's not waning. To the contrary, it remains robust, especially among the most churchgoing and committed of white evangelicals, 70 percent of whom report strong support for Trump.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

More on Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican: The Dark Heart of Martel's Story — Corruption of Pretend Heterosexuality Coupled with Abominable Treatment of Queer People

I have now made my way about halfway through Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican, trans. Shaun Whiteside (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), and am finding the book grim going. It's, as many commentators have noted, eye-popping, and overwhelming in the detail with which it tells — and documents — its story of corruption. To quote Mary Oliver in her poem "The Chance to Love Everything," this is for me the dark heart of the story here: it's a story of incredible corruption running through the governing structures and clerical culture of a major Christian institution, a story that does a very convincing job, I think, of rooting that corruption genetically in the intense homophobia of the governing elite of this institution.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Now New Zealand: Murderer's Manifesto Proclaims Trump as "Symbol of Renewed White Identity and Common Purpose"

Things I've read this dark morning that are illuminating, and which I want to pass on to you:

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Pell Conviction in Light of Frédéric Martel's Exposé of the Gay "Parish" Inside the Vatican: Twisted Connection of Catholic Officials to Gay Community

In commenting on Cardinal Pell's conviction and sentence, Michael Cook's Lessons from Cardinal Pell’s 6-year jail sentence makes a move that should trouble all of us concerned about shoring up the legitimacy of court systems and criminal justice systems in democratic societies. Cook opens by reminding us of that Pell was conficted on the basis of the testimony of one person testifying behind closed doors.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Trump Signs Bibles: Golden Calves, Get 'Em While They're Hot! — Commentary on White Evangelicals' Idolatrous Cult of Trump

Some things I've read this past week that I want to pass on to you:

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Pell Case, the Continuing Vast Gulf Between What Francis Says re: Abuse and What Really Happens, and the Anger of Catholic People

Another set of items that have gotten my attention lately, with a theme binding them together:

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Connections: UMC Hardening vs. Queer People to Catholic School Barring Child of Gay Couple to Failure of Utah Bill Outlawing "Conversion" Therapy to "Pro-Life" Administration Caging Children

I offer you today these selections from items I have been reading lately, because — to my way of thinking, and I am hoping you'll agree — there's a common theme here. These stories interlink:

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Tara Westover's Educated: Questions re: the Anti-Government, Anti-Schools, Anti-Science, Anti-Medicine Lifestyle of Many Americans Today

Sorry to have been silent the past week. As I mentioned previously, I have had an onerous textual revision process on my hands, and I was also asked last week to do a media event on behalf of SNAP, which is calling on the Catholic bishop of Little Rock to explain why several names of credibly accused priests on other lists have been left off his diocesan list of credibly accused priests with ties to Arkansas, and to add those names to his list.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Frédéric Martel's In the Closet of the Vatican: Valuable Commentary — "A Dishonest System Cannot Demand Honesty"

I have not read Frédéric Martel's explosive new book In the Closet of the Vatican, about which there has been a flurry of commentary since it was officially released this past week as the Vatican meeting on sex abuse began. So I'm not able to comment on the book itself. I do intend to read it soon. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Belmont Abbey, Where I Met Waterloo as a Theologian, Back in News: Two Abbey Priests Who Served at the College Appear in List of Accused Priests — Footnote

Belmont Abbey, Where I Met Waterloo as a Theologian, Back in News: Two Abbey Priests Who Served at the College Appear in List of Accused Priests

Readers of this blog who have followed it for any length of time will know the story of how my career as a Catholic theologian and that of my now-husband Steve were destroyed by a Benedictine college in North Carolina, Belmont Abbey, with the active assistance of the diocese of Charlotte. The "About Me" section of Bilgrimage's home page contains a brief biographical statement with links to a number of postings providing details of that story. Please click them if you want further information about this story. A compendium is here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

"Everything in This Spreading Crisis Revolves Around Structural Mendacity"; "Poland's Most Senior Nun Has Been Banned from Further Media Contact": Talking Abuse

Talking abuse, Catholic context and Southern Baptist context: good things I've been reading and want to share with you:

Monday, February 18, 2019

McCarrick Defrocked, Abuse Summit Convening, and NY Times Lets Gay Priests Speak: My Twitter Commentary

Like the man in the White House, I've been tweeting this morning — but what preoccupies my attention is perhaps quite different from what preoccupies his. Here's a selection of tweets from this morning that, to my way of thinking, tell a certain story when they're read together.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Stephanie Krehbiel on Religious Groups Facing Abuse Revelations: "Godly Men, Be Quiet"

I have written here in the past about Stephanie Krehbiel's important commentary on abuse in religious communities. If you click her name in the tags below this posting, the string of other posts in which I've featured or mentioned her will pop up. Stephanie is a scholar with a background in American studies and gender and sexuality studies. She's executive director and co-founder of Into Account, a group that provides resources and advocates for survivors of abuse as they seek accountability.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Southern Baptist Abuse Report, Next Installment: "Preying on Teens"

The third installment in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News investigation of abuse in Southern Baptist churches is out today. It's entitled "Preying on teens: More than 100 Southern Baptist youth pastors convicted or charged in sex crimes." An excerpt:

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Southern Baptist Abuse Report, Next Installment: "Offend, Then Repeat"

The next installment in the Houston Chronicle (and San Antonio Express-News) ground-breaking report on abuse within Southern Baptist churches and institutions has just come out. It's entitled "Offend, then repeat":

Monday, February 11, 2019

Houston Chronicle Invites Readers to Share Stories of Abuse in Southern Baptist Churches: My Commentary

Houston Chronicle is not playing, with its exhaustive investigation of abuse within Southern Baptist churches. On a page attached to its exposé report yesterday, the Chronicle invites readers to reply directly via an online form and share their own experiences of abuse in Southern Baptist churches with the Chronicle reporting team:

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Remembering a Grandfather on the Anniversary of His Death: "Everything, in Time, Gets Lost"

As I've said here before, Daniel Mendelsohn's book The Lost is one of the most powerful books I've read in my long lifetime of voracious reading. I read it soon after it came out in 2006. It recounts the engrossing tale of Mendelsohn's years of searching for information about what happened to his relatives in Ukraine during the Nazi period. Mendelsohn’s obsession to find out the fates of his relatives began when he was a young teen, and continued into his adult life — and The Lost recounts the story of how, miraculously, he eventually discovered details about the final days of these relatives, their murder during the Holocaust.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock Updates List of Priests Credibly Accused of Abuse of Minors

This is another footnote to my posting two days ago entitled "As Catholic Dioceses Release Lists of Priests Credibly Accused of Abuse of Minors, Important Things to Watch for: The Case of Arkansas." In that posting, I told you that Father Bede Mitchell, OSB, of Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas, was listed by the Fort Worth diocese in its recent list of priests credibly accused of abuse of minors, but was not listed on the list of credibly accused priests released by the diocese of Little Rock last year.

Michael Iafrate on How Jurisdictional Mentality Protects Abusive Priests by Hiding Cross-Diocesan Connections in Lists of Abusive Priests

This is a follow-up/companion piece to what I posted two days ago about lists of priests credibly accused of abusing minors which are now being compiled and published by many Catholic dioceses* across the U.S. (and by some religious orders). As I noted in that posting, as more and more Catholic dioceses (and some religious communities) release names of priests credibly accused of abusing minors, it's important that we monitor those lists to spot "cross-pertinent" information that may be omitted from any given list. In many cases, priests named in one place have also had pastoral assignments in other places.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Covington Catholic Pro-Life MAGA Boy Threatens Wide Legal Action v. Journalists and Dioceses as "Operation Stand Your Ground" Rolls Out on U.S. Campuses

And now there's this development in the story of the Covington Catholic pro-life MAGA boys, as Sarasi pointed out to us in a comment here yesterday: Carol Zimmerman writes,

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

As Catholic Dioceses Release Lists of Priests Credibly Accused of Abuse of Minors, Important Things to Watch for: The Case of Arkansas

As more and more U.S. Catholic dioceses — but not the diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, which remains "one of the least transparent" dioceses in the nation — release names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors, I am following those lists to see if I spot names of priests with connections to my diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas. I'm doing this, in part, because I think it's important that we inform ourselves of what's happening in our own back yard as we talk about bigger problems that manifest themselves in more than one place in the world. I also want to note that others who are monitoring these lists have been very generous in pointing me to important Arkansas-themed information in them: this is not a project I'm undertaking all on my own, but a collaborative one.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Covington Catholic Pro-Life MAGA Boys: A Canadian Catholic Educator's Perspective

Before we let the discussion of the Covington Catholic pro-life MAGA boys recede forever as new brouhahas (the latest in the U.S.: Virginia governor Ralph Northam's racist pictures from back when, and his disgraceful reaction to their discovery), I wanted to share some valuable commentary a reader of Bilgrimage sent me soon after the Covington Catholic pro-life MAGA boys' story broke. I've been exchanging emails with this good reader of this blog, and he has sent me several pieces of commentary that I'm weaving together here, with his permission, as a guest posting. Part of what makes the commentary valuable is that this is a Canadian reader of Bilgrimage, offering one Canadian Catholic's perspective on this story.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Janelle Wong on How We Are All Evangelicals Now: "Evangelicals Embody U.S. Racial Attitudes on Steroids"

As I reminded us yesterday, it's not just white evangelicals: white U.S. Christians — of all confessional stripes, right and left, across the board — are chiefly responsible for preventing a much-needed national conversation about race that is necessary if American culture is successfully to negotiate its Trump-era political-religious crisis. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

James Cone, Said I Wasn't Gonna Tell Nobody, on What It Is to Be Black in America Today: What U.S. White Christians Refuse to Hear

Here is more from James Cone's book Said I Wasn't Gonna Tell Nobody (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2018) which glosses what I posted earlier today about the conversation white American Christians, who are singularly responsible for the nightmare that is the Trump presidency, refuse to allow the nation to have:

Yes, More on Catholic MAGA Boys: Conversation White Americans (& Especially White Christians) Refuse to Have, or Why Trump Is in the White House

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Some Final Takeaways from the Covington Catholic Story: "Conservatives Have Realized They Can Construct a Parallel Reality and Have It Accepted," but "I Know What I Saw"

The Twitter gods and social media gurus and faux-liberal nannies have decreed that We Shall No Longer Talk of Covington Catholic. Since I have been out of commission due to my tooth extraction, however, I'm behind the curve. I still have things to say, and am of a mind to say more. Here's a selection of commentary I want to bring to your attention today:

Monday, January 21, 2019

Apologies for Being Behind in Responding to Comments Here

My apologies to all of you good readers who have left comments here in the past several days, to which I have failed to respond. This is another of those periods when I find myself falling behind — too much to read and write about, all happening too quickly. I have also been wrestling with tooth pain which should, I hope, abate after the offending tooth is yanked out tomorrow — and the dull, constant ache leaves me a bit lethargic (and also prone to mistype words here, for which I also apologize). I surely do appreciate your comments and am reading and learning from all of them.

P.S. If you have read my posting earlier today, please note three important footnotes I have now added to it as documentation for some of its assertions.

Have Watched Additional Footage of Covington Catholic Boys, and People Are Right: Such Questions It Raises! — Here Are Mine

I've watched the additional footage of the Covington Catholic boys and Nathan Phillips circulated on social media yesterday, and it has really shifted my perspective. Now I have so many questions:

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Viral Video of KY Catholic Teen "Pro-Life" Marchers Taunting Native American Elder Puts "Pro-Lifers" in Spotlight: "A Feature Not a Bug" of "Pro-Life" Movement

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Kentucky Catholic Students at Pro-Life March Mock Native Americans; Michael Sean Winters Chides Catholics Lukewarm to Pro-Life Movement — Side-by-Side Stories

Friday, January 18, 2019

Celebrating Mary Oliver & Asking: Do We Want to Be the Kind of People Celebrating Mary Oliver, or the Kind Celebrating Karen Pence & John Finnis?

That's the big question, the one the world throws at you each morning, "Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?" 
     ~ Mary Oliver, Long Life (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2004), p. xiv. 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

On McCloskey's & Opus Dei's "Outsize Impact on Policy & Politics," & Attempt of Right-Wing Religionists & Journalists to Veil That Influence

In the statement by Terry Mattingly to which I linked yesterday, a statement which argues that the media have been much more focused on the story of Opus Dei priest John McCloskey's fall from grace than they have been on the fall from grace of Cardinal McCarrick, Mattingly states,

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

McCarrick Story Continues to Chug Along, While McCloskey Story Loses Steam: Why?

Two More Valuable Resources re: Opus Dei: Betty Clermont's and Penny Lernoux's Books

I'd like to add two valuable resources to the primer of books and articles about Opus Dei I posted this past weekend. That primer was not intended by any means to be an exhaustive list of the wealth of good commentary on Opus Dei that one can easily find by a Google search or a conventional search of library resources. It was, in fact, a recycling of something I had shared in the past, written for a specific purpose at that time. Because of its contextual nature, it missed some resources I did not think to share, but now want to recommend, after a good comment by Betty Clermont spurred my memory of these items:

Monday, January 14, 2019

This Has Happened: What to Make of Recent Chain of Events from Opus Dei-McCloskey to Cardinal Burke to Peter Steinfels to Archbishop Viganò?

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Front Page News Today in Charlotte, North Carolina: "PRIESTS ACCUSED OF SEX ABUSE — The Charlotte Diocese Has Not Released Lists"

On the front page of today's Charlotte Observer: a headline reading, "PRIESTS ACCUSED OF SEX ABUSE," with a notice that the Catholic diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, still has not released names of priests credibly accused of child sex abuse. The headline points readers to an article inside the front section of the paper that appeared several days ago in the online copy of the paper, but is being published in the print-media copy for the first time for today's Sunday edition. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Opus Dei, Its Wealth, Power, and Widespread Hidden Influence: A Primer of Informative Resources

I'd like to propose the following — an intuition of mine, rather than a proven conclusion:

Friday, January 11, 2019

News Continues to Break re: McCloskey + Opus Dei: "Catholic Right … Does Not Want to Grasp the Gravity" of Catholic Church's Sex-Abuse Crisis

As I have mentioned in my several previous postings about this story, I happened to be scanning Twitter right around the time Michelle Boorstein broke the McCloskey story on Twitter this past Monday evening, 7 January. I shared Michelle Boorstein's link breaking the story, and almost immediately, got pushback from a young Catholic whose Twitter profile states that he's connected to the right-wing Catholic publication First Things.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Catholics Who Have No Problem with a President Boasting About Grabbing Women's Genitals Appear to Find It Refreshing When a Priest "Only" Assaults a Woman

How did Catholics get to this point, many of them? How did some U.S. Catholics get to the point at which they find it refreshing when a priest "only" assaults a woman, and when revelations about a superstar politically prominent priest sexually molesting a women become the occasion for yet another outpouring of homophobic discourse blaming gay priests for the abuse horrors?

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Addendum to McCloskey Story: Opus Dei Priest Speaks Out: "He Was Around for a Year After We Were Informed. … It's Not Good. But We May As Well Own It"

More is coming out now about the McCloskey story. A few minutes ago, Michelle Boorstein tweeted out a link to a new Washington Post article entitled "In emotional interview, Opus Dei spokesman said he 'hated' how prominent priest’s sexual misconduct case was handled." Here are some pertinent passages in this article — which I encourage you to read in light of my previous posting about the McCloskey revelations earlier today:

Opus Dei Reveals It Paid Nearly $1 Million to Settle Suit vs. D.C. Superstar Priest John McCloskey: Questions We Should Ask

One of today's big stories: Opus Dei has revealed that it paid nearly $1 million in 2005 to settle a sexual misconduct lawsuit filed against the superstar Opus Dei priest John McCloskey. Michelle Boorstein broke this story in Washington Post last evening. As she reports, McCloskey has been well-known in religious and political circles due to his close association with such luminaries of the political right as Newt Gingrich, Sam Brownback, and Larry Kudlow, all of whom he ushered into the Catholic church.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Commentary re: Religious Issues, Hot Off Press: Catholic Abuse, Evangelicals & Trump, LGBTQ People & Church, U.S. Catholic Resistance to Pope Francis

"Whom Would Jesus Shoot?," Karen Fiorito

From the graphic above through the tweets and article excerpts below, some valuable commentary on a wide range of matters religious (and political) I've gleaned from social media or browsing the internet in the past several days. Hans Zollner's good statement on the spiritual damage done by sexual abuse of minors dates from a year ago, but is receiving attention right now because Mark Stephen Murray tweeted this article again today.