Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, right, leaving Downing Street with Dominic Cummings, his most senior aide. Credit Daniel Leal-Olivas/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Anyone else would have been sacked for it.

Twelve days ago Britain’s media and social media erupted in indignation and incredulity. Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s most senior aide, had been exposed for breaking the strict lockdown rules he helped to write, and which everyone else had endured for the previous two months.

“Stay at home and save lives,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the country. It was an incantation, an instruction not a request, backed up by the law and the police.

Britain shut down. Police patrols issued instant fines, sending second-home owners, day trippers and park sunbathers back home.…  Seguir leyendo »

When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was fighting for his life last month, his chief adviser Dominic Cummings was dealing with his own Covid-related battle.

Now the circumstances of Cummings’ case, and in particular how and where he chose to deal with it, pose a challenge to the health of the British government and may even threaten the UK’s capacity to swiftly fight off the virus.

Johnson has proved staunch in his defense of his close ally since the latter was accused of breaking the UK’s strict lockdown by driving 260 miles with his wife, who he admits was displaying some symptoms of coronavirus, and young son to be near his extended family.…  Seguir leyendo »

El rey Felipe VI de España se dirigió a la nación el 18 de marzo desde el Palacio de la Zarzuela.Credit...Getty Images

El monarca que reinó España durante casi cuatro décadas recibió cien millones de dólares de Arabia Saudí, los ocultó en paraísos fiscales y entregó una parte a su amante, según la justicia suiza. Pero el cuento con final infeliz de Juan Carlos I, con su mezcla de traiciones amorosas, espionaje y supuestas comisiones, no quedaría completo sin el drama familiar: su hijo y actual rey, Felipe VI, lo ha repudiado públicamente al renunciar a una herencia manchada por la sospecha.

El rey reconoce en el comunicado que difundió el domingo que conocía la existencia de esa fortuna desde hacía un año.…  Seguir leyendo »

Benjamin Griveaux ended his Paris mayoral campaign last month after a sex tape became public, a decision that left some French people puzzled.Credit...Lionel Bonaventure/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Like everyone else in France, when I heard that Benjamin Griveaux was quitting the Paris mayor’s race because someone released his sex tape online, I immediately searched for the tape.

When I couldn’t find it, a friend warily agreed to send me a link. It was a video selfie of a man masturbating. You could hear him breathing but you couldn’t see his face.

I watched it, then wrote back, “I understand why people have sex in the dark.”

But what I didn’t understand, at first, was why Mr. Griveaux had dropped out of the mayoral race — whose first round is March 15.…  Seguir leyendo »

1. Señor Ábalos, ¿qué hacía usted la madrugada del pasado lunes en el avión de negocios de la vicepresidenta de la dictadura socialista venezolana Delcy Rodríguez?

2. ¿Por qué se han dado hasta cinco versiones distintas de lo que ocurrió esa noche, todas ellas incompatibles entre sí?

3. Señor Ábalos, usted ha cambiado su versión de los hechos varias veces. Es decir, ha mentido a los españoles en repetidas ocasiones durante las últimas 72 horas. ¿Por qué deberíamos creer entonces su última versión de los hechos?

4. A la señora Rodríguez se la acusa de graves delitos contra la democracia y los derechos humanos.…  Seguir leyendo »

In 2006, Prince Andrew invited Jeffrey Epstein to the 18th birthday party of his daughter Beatrice. Andrew didn’t know, he claims, that an arrest warrant had been issued for Epstein earlier that year for sexual assault of a minor — because Epstein had never mentioned it to him. (Even though the British royal family have numerous staff who vet guests.)

It hadn’t been reported in the British press. How was a Prince to know?

That is just one of the excuses Prince Andrew offered the British people on Saturday night. In an extraordinary BBC TV interview recorded on Thursday, the Queen of England’s second-born son attempted to defend his relationship with the convicted sex abuser.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sérgio Moro, ministro de Justicia y Seguridad Pública de Brasil, el 11 de junio de 2019 Credit Adriano Machado/Reuters

Sérgio Moro se había convertido en el símbolo definitivo de la justicia brasileña. Fue el juez que dirigió la operación Lava Jato, la investigación judicial que reveló una red de corrupción sistémica entre empresarios y políticos. La investigación ha condenado a 159 personas y tuvo repercusiones en casi toda la región: seis expresidentes latinoamericanos han sido condenados por casos de corrupción, entre ellos el expresidente brasileño Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

La operación Lava Jato rompió un pacto de silencio entre políticos corruptos y corruptores y aceleró un proceso de renovación política en Brasil. La velocidad y destreza de la investigación —además de los 3000 millones de dólares recuperados— convenció a buena parte de los brasileños de que iniciaba una nueva era de rendición de cuentas y que los tiempos de impunidad habían terminado.…  Seguir leyendo »

De la indignación al chapoteo

Lo que era ilusión en los inicios de la Transición tuvo su particular ocaso, que se dio en llamar desencanto. La vibrante y limpia indignación del 15-M parece estar derivando hacia su específica y propia forma de ocaso, todavía pendiente de denominación. En ambos casos, fue el aterrizaje en la realidad, esto es, el acceso (o el regreso) al poder, el que terminó por generar en amplios sectores de la izquierda una intensa sensación de decepción, al ver incumplidas, cuando no traicionadas (recuérdese el caso de la OTAN con Felipe González recién llegado al Gobierno de la nación), buena parte de sus expectativas.…  Seguir leyendo »

A few weekends ago, Naka Nathaniel stood up during a Mass in Atlanta and confronted his priest about the Roman Catholic Church’s response to the Pennsylvania sexual abuse cover-up. In an Op-Ed essay last week, Mr. Nathaniel wrote about balancing his already complex relationship with Catholicism with his role as a father raising a 9-year-old son in the Catholic faith. He concluded that the church can no longer be reformed from within. “I’m mad at the church administration,” he wrote. But, he added, “I’m also angry at the congregation. I’m upset with the people who aren’t demanding that every member of the clergy resign.”…  Seguir leyendo »

St. Paul Cathedral, the mother church of the Pittsburgh Diocese. The diocese was rocked this month by revelations of abuse by priests.CreditCreditJeff Swensen/Getty Images

The Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis blankets the globe in darkness. We are at a tipping point — or at least we ought to be.

The unmasking and resignation of the former archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, placed alongside the recent release of an exhaustive grand jury report in Pennsylvania that describes in withering detail more than 1,000 grotesque abuses, has reinforced the growing public sentiment in favor of eliminating the statutes of limitations for child sex abuse. Under current law, a vast majority of victims will receive no justice because of an arbitrary procedural deadline.

To pierce the darkness of clerical knowledge of child sex abuse and to obtain justice for the victims, we need to change the statutes of limitation for these crimes, but that is not enough.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pope Francis at the holy shrine in Knock, Ireland on Sunday.CreditCreditCharles McQuillan/Getty Images

Pope Francis must resign. That conclusion is unavoidable if allegations contained in a letter written by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò are true. Archbishop Viganò, the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States from 2011 to 2016, says that Pope Francis knew Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had abused seminarians, but nonetheless lifted penalties imposed on Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI.

No matter what Francis does now, the Catholic Church has been plunged into all-out civil war. On one side are the traditionalists, who insist that abuse can be prevented only by tighter adherence to church doctrine. On the other side are the liberals, who demand that the church cease condemning homosexual acts and allow gay priests to step out of the closet.…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters against clerical sexual child abuse in Ireland, at a rally in Dublin on Sunday.CreditCreditPaulo Nunes dos Santos for The New York Times

On Sunday, while the faithful gathered for mass with Pope Francis in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, a large group gathered in the city’s Garden of Remembrance at an event called Stand for Truth. The railings had been hung with dozens of tiny pairs of baby shoes.

Colm O’Gorman, who runs the Irish office of Amnesty International, organized the event. He told the crowd that he had been 13 years old, and deeply religious, when Pope John Paul II visited in 1979 — the last time a pope visited Ireland. “I was in a liturgical group,” he said. “The church was in every part of my life.…  Seguir leyendo »

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images Survivors and activists of Ending Clergy Abuse, a new international organization against the child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Geneva, Switzerland, June 7, 2018

The grand jury report of Catholic priests’ predations in Pennsylvania is enough to make one vomit. The terrifying fact that hundreds of priests were preying upon over a thousand victims in that state alone makes one shudder at the thought of how many hundreds and thousands of abusers there are elsewhere in the nation, elsewhere in the world. It is time to stop waiting for more reports to accumulate, hoping that something will finally be done about this. Done by whom? By “the church”? If “the church” is taken to mean the pope and bishops, nothing will come of nothing. They are as a body incapable of making sense of anything sexual.…  Seguir leyendo »

Last Sunday, I did something that no properly raised Catholic ever does. I stood up in the middle of Mass and called out the priest.

As the priest began his homily, I drew my 9-year-old son closer and asked him to pay close attention. Days before, a Pennsylvania grand jury had released a damning report detailing decades of horrific child sex abuse by clergymen and a church culture that covered it up.

The priest addressed the report. He said he was surprised that people showed up for that day’s service. He said the church had to change. Then he began to move on.…  Seguir leyendo »

El papa Francisco durante una reunión con jóvenes en Roma, el 11 de agosto Credit Filippo Monteforte/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

La crisis por los abusos sexuales que cometió el clero católico ha recobrado la misma fuerza que llegó a tener en los peores días de 2002, cuando el tsunami del escándalo proveniente de Boston pareció inundar a toda la Iglesia.

Esta vez, las olas expansivas comenzaron a partir de acusaciones comprobadas sobre abusos en contra de niños cometidos por un muy conocido cardenal estadounidense, Theodore McCarrick, arzobispo retirado de Washington, quien tuvo que renunciar en julio al Colegio Cardenalicio. Después se dio a conocer el informe del gran jurado de Pensilvania, con detalles sobre más de setenta años de terribles abusos cometidos por unos trescientos sacerdotes, la mayoría de dichos abusos facilitados por obispos.…  Seguir leyendo »

El papa Francisco durante una reunión con jóvenes en Roma, el 11 de agosto Credit Filippo Monteforte/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Roman Catholic Church’s clergy sex abuse crisis has come roaring back to life as if it were the worst days of 2002, when the scandal tsunami out of Boston seemed to inundate the entire church.

The shock waves this time came from substantiated allegations that a well-known cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, a retired archbishop of Washington, had molested boys; he was forced to resign last month from the College of Cardinals. Then came the grand jury report out of Pennsylvania detailing 70 years of horrific abuse by some 300 priests, too much of it facilitated by bishops.

It has all landed on the desk of the current pope, and the scandals have the potential to undermine the Francis pontificate.…  Seguir leyendo »

St. Paul Cathedral, the mother church of the Pittsburgh Diocese, which was one of the six Pennsylvania dioceses included in the state attorney general’s report.CreditJeff Swensen/Getty Images

When I saw the name of the priest who molested me listed in the Pennsylvania grand jury’s report, I thought: I’m gonna be in big trouble. The abuse started when I was about 12 years old, so it’s not a surprise that the language that came to mind was straight out of that period of my life.

I scanned through the nearly 900 pages of the report that was released by the attorney general last week. It detailed abuse in six dioceses over 70 years, listing more than 300 abusive priests. The accounts were horrifying — young victims were given gold cross necklaces to signal to other predators that they were ‘optimal targets’ — and the documentation of what happened is surely a good thing.…  Seguir leyendo »

St. Joseph Catholic Church in Hanover, Pa.CreditCarlos Barria/Reuters

I often use a handy metaphor to explain to my students how feminists have historically differed among themselves in their approaches to bringing about change in patriarchal institutions. Some feminists seek a place at the table; others want to reset the table. The former hope to promote gradual progress from within an existing framework of norms and organizational structures; the latter demand nothing less than radical, wholesale reform.

When it comes to the Roman Catholic Church, I have always been a “place at the table” kind of feminist. When asked how to integrate women more fully into the life of the church, I offer reasonable strategies.…  Seguir leyendo »

What Must Survive a Corrupt Catholic Church

I have a Catholic friend who lives in an exceptionally bad diocese and who for years has been heaving rocks up mountains to keep his faith strong and his family in church. His resilience has amazed me. Yesterday, after a grand jury report revealed that bishops and other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania covered up child sexual abuse by more than 300 priests over a period of 70 years, my friend, a tough-guy lawyer, wrote to tell me that he wept in his office. He said, “I am at the end.”

Twelve years ago, so was I. My once-fervent Catholic faith had been eviscerated by my covering the scandal as a journalist.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Swedish Academy in Stockholm, Sweden.CreditJonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

We all love a prize, and a scandal, and a chance to shake our heads when the great and good fall into disgrace. So for the past few weeks, the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize for Literature, has offered excellent entertainment.

Instead of wondering whether this year’s prize would finally go to Philip Roth, we instead had the excitement of asking whether it would be awarded at all. On Friday, we got the answer: The Academy will postpone the 2018 prize until next year. The real comedy, however, is that it has taken accusations of sexual abuse — directed not at a member of the academy, but at the husband of a member — to call the prize into question.…  Seguir leyendo »