Bishops: "It is we who need to confess; and so we do"
Weblog isn't going to read everything on the Catholic bishops' meeting in Dallas. There's just too much. Those interested in all the details should check out Poynter.org's clergy abuse tracker, Yahoo's full coverage, and the Dallas Morning News. The big story, however, is the bishops' huge mea culpa, delivered yesterday by Wilton D. Gregory, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. "The crisis in truth is about a profound loss of confidence by the faithful in our leadership as shepherds, because of our failures in addressing the crime of the sexual abuse of children and young people by priests and church personnel," Gregory said. "Both 'what we have done' and 'what we have failed to do' contributed to the sexual abuse of children and young people by clergy and Church personnel." The full text of Gregory's speech is available here.

Senate reluctantly moves on faith-based initiative bill
Remember that bill that would allow Americans who don't itemize on their tax forms to take deductions for charitable donations? It still hasn't passed the Senate. The Associated Press reports the Senate Finance Committee says it will probably move the bill along, "but only because it's one of President Bush's priorities." Chances of it expanding charitable choice (that is, to allow religious organizations to compete for more federal grants) are almost nil. And now that the bill has been watered down so much, both Democrats and Republicans are far from enthusiastic about it. Both sides wonder if the bill will actually help the poor.

Why you should support prison ministries Jose Padilla converted to Islam in jail, changed his name to Abdullah Al Muhajir, and was arrested ...

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