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 causeswomen's ordination, abortion rights, and the likewith 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 Adultssomeone 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."
Weblog is short of time today, so there's not much commentary. But some of the stories below are very important. Be sure to check them out.
- Pakistan makes electoral reforms | "Religious apartheid" system scrapped; non-Muslims get same voting privileges as Muslims (Associated Press)
- Earlier: Pakistani Christians Fight Against 'Apartheid' in Election System | Under rule, citizens cannot vote for candidates outside their own religious affiliation. (Christianity Today, Aug. 3, 2001)
- The not-so-good book | Lai Kwong-keung is a God-fearing man, and that spooks Beijing - which is why the Hong Kong trader faces the death penalty in a mainland court. China's devout are learning that Bibles can bring big trouble (Time Asia)
- China arrest | A Hong Kong businessman was arrested while bringing bibles into China. But who was he taking the Bibles to? (Morning Edition, NPR)
- Nigeria stoning appeal delayed | Raped woman on trial for adultery says baby is from former husband, not rapist (BBC)
- Nigeria shari'ah court adjourns woman's stoning case (Reuters)
Christianity and Islam:
- Minister calls Islam evil threat from pulpit | Muslims say Nashville pastor preaches hate (The Tennessean)
- Orthodox leader visits Iran | Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I pushes dialogue between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (Associated Press)
Religion and politics:
- 'In God We Trust' tenet gains favor | Troy latest city to OK public building posting (Detroit Free Press)
- 'Jesus Christ is God': Taylor backs off from debate | Liberian president affirms Trinity after uproar (The News, Monrovia, Liberia)
- Talibanned in the USA | There are similarities, but the Religious Right is not America's Taliban (Bill Berkowitz, WorkingForChange)
- Pastor comes 'out'; church cheers | One of Denver's oldest churches gives standing ovation after pastor says he's leaving his wife and three kids (The Denver Post)
- Why good sex is a religious experience | It can be for fun alone, say Christian ethicists meeting in Vancouver (Vancouver Sun)
- Norway official marries gay partner | Conservative finance minister is first government official in legal gay union (Associated Press)
- California gay-union bill pulled | Both homosexual activists and traditional-family groups predict a rematch (The Washington Times)
- Pro-life side sees 'impediment' | Even though abortion opponents have a friend in the White House, prospects are dim for Congress to approve one of their top priorities: legislation to ban partial-birth abortion (The Washington Times)
- France rejects 'right not to be born' | Parliament overturns court decision (BBC)
- Islam course at middle schools angers parents | "We could never teach Christianity like this," says one (The Washington Times)
- Calvin takes unfair hits for parting ways with professor | Rule that faculty must send children to Christian schools serves a purpose (Ed Golder, The Grand Rapids Press)
Christians and Nazis:
- Nazis vs. Christians | Report corrects clichÉ thinking that has clouded the reputation of Christians in wartime Germany for over half a century (Uwe Siemon-Netto, UPI)
- Catholic church hit by new onslaught over Nazi links | Author of Hitler's Willing Executioners says, "There is no difference in kind between the Church's 'anti-Judaism' and its offshoot European 'anti-Semitism'" (The Sunday Times)
- Also: Author blames Vatican for Holocaust (BBC)
- Wife vows to take back archbishop | Maria Sung still pining for Emmanuel Milingo (Associated Press)
- Spirituality and the brain | Does research show new evidence for faith, or a challenge to religion? (Nightline/ABCNews.com)
- 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)
- Challenging the bishop, in court | Episcopal priest claims bishop arranged her firing at Grace Church in Manhattan so that a friend of his could take her place (The New York Times)
- Bishops file briefs in parish dispute | 26 line up with Accokeek church, 2 ally with ousted pastor (The Washington Times)
- Some Christians reluctant to share one cup | Others play down recent fears, defend ancient tradition (The Dallas Morning News)
- A monastery that embraces the old and thrives on the new | South Carolina Trappists market cultivated quietude (The New York Times)
- Church sues over land-use dispute | Cottonwood Christian Center claims Cypress is stunting its growth in favor of tax producers. (Los Angeles Times)
- Journey of faith has led him here | The man called to lead Maryland's largest Episcopal parish feels his Jewish heritage will help strengthen interfaith ties (The Baltimore Sun)
Other stories of interest:
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