Thirty days of signs and signals have revealed to the world in Francis I, a pope who seems eager to earn the title pontiff, or bridge-builder. Beginning with his choice of a name, which evokes the beloved image of St. Francis of Assisi, the former cardinal of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, put the world on notice that change was afoot by forgoing the fancy red slippers and ermine stole favored by other popes.
Since then he has shown a remarkable common touch in his encounters with the public and greater sensitivity to others than the man who came before him.… Seguir leyendo »
London bookmakers see a contest among Nigeria’s Cardinal Francis Arinze, Marc Ouellet of Canada and Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana, each of whom would present a smiling face of Catholicism as the next pope. (Either of the Africans might also guide the church to a future in the developing world.) Liberals hope for someone like Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna, who seems open to sharing power with laypeople. Some longtime Vatican watchers say the Italians seek to reassert their control, in order to fix the management problems inside the bureaucracy. According to this faction, the church’s finances are a mess and the brand is severely damaged.… Seguir leyendo »
The files released last week by America’s largest Catholic archdiocese revealed new and disturbing details about how church officials schemed to protect priests accused of molesting children. But was the scandal in Los Angeles really so much worse than in other places?
Sadly, no. The details emerging from the documents mirror what happened in archdioceses across the country, as church officials time and again put their own concerns above the needs of victims.
One of the earliest cases to draw nationwide attention involved Gilbert Gauthe, a priest who raped dozens of boys in rural Louisiana. By 1984, when Gauthe was indicted on 34 counts of sex crimes against children, church officials had been aware he was abusing children for at least a decade.… Seguir leyendo »