An odd choice for sex abuse inquiries
Sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church is really big news this week, largely due to the start of a Cambridge, Massachusetts, trial of former priest John Geoghan and the Vatican's new rules on how to deal with such cases. "The Boston scandal is bringing out every left-wing Catholic malcontent and dissenter, who will attempt to associate their causes—women's ordination, abortion rights, and the like—with the case against the Boston hierarchy," writes Rod Dreher in National Review Online. But conservatives are so angry about the church's inaction that they're letting the Catholic leadership stew. "The Catholic League is not the Church's water boy," says the organization's chief, Bill Donohue. "We are here to defend the Church from the kind of scurrilous attacks that have become all too frequent in our society. But we will never defend the indefensible."

In Britain, however, the Roman Catholic Church has brought on an interesting choice to head the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults—someone who's not sure she believes in God. "I think the value of the fact that I am not a Catholic lies in the transparency of my independence from the church," says Eileen Shearer. "I feel I understand the Christian ethos and I think that both my personal and professional values are consistent with Christianity, although I am not a practicing Christian."

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  • The gradual illumination of the mind | The advance of science, not the demotion of religion, will best counter the influence of creationism (Michael Shermer, Scientific American)

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