See one answer from Saint Stephen’s, Edina, Minnesota.
Daily Archives: March 20, 2010
Faced with a church sexual abuse scandal spreading across Europe, Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday apologized directly to victims and their families in Ireland, expressing “shame and remorse” for what he called “sinful and criminal” acts committed by clergy.
But the pope did not require that church leaders be disciplined for past mistakes as some victims were hoping; nor did he clarify what critics see as contradictory Vatican rules they fear allow abuse to continue unpunished.
“You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry,” the pope said in a long-awaited, eight-page pastoral letter to Irish Catholics. “Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated.”
The strong letter was written in language at once passionate, personal and sweeping. And the pope did take the relatively rare step of ordering a special apostolic delegation to be sent to unspecified dioceses in Ireland to investigate. But even that action raised questions among critics who wondered what the investigators might unearth beyond what was found in two wide-ranging and scathing Irish government reports released last year. One of those reports said the church and the police in Ireland had systematically colluded in covering up decades of sexual abuse by priests in Dublin.
As the House Rules Committee labored to set the formal terms of the debate, the dispute over the abortion provisions was shaping up as a bitter stand-off between the abortion opponents, led by Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan, and lawmakers who favor abortion rights, led by Representative Diana DeGette of Colorado. At the center was Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to serve as House speaker, who is a champion of abortion rights.
The issue has divided Roman Catholic groups in the United States, with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops opposing the bill and other organizations, including the Catholic Health Association and a coalition of nuns from leading religious orders, favoring it.
In a similar showdown in November, Mr. Stupak succeeded in winning approval of tight limits on insurance coverage of abortions in the House health care bill. But the current package now includes language from the Senate-passed bill, negotiated by Senators Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Ben Nelson, who have built up solid credentials in their political careers as opponents of abortion.
Mr. Stupak and many of the lawmakers insisting on the tighter restrictions are Catholic, as is Ms. Pelosi, and all have cited their faith in justifying their position on the legislation.
I’m not saying Christians are more to blame than Muslims for the world’s diverse Christian-Muslim tensions. In Nigeria, for example, the intensity of Christian proselytizing comes partly from past persecution by a Muslim majority; the Christians seek safety in numbers, so the bigger their numbers, the better. (Griswold explained this to me, and confirmed that, yes, assertive Christian proselytizing exacerbates tensions in Nigeria.)
Still, even if proselytizing isn’t the prime mover, my guess is that it pretty consistently falls in the “not helpful” category from the point of view of world peace and, ultimately, American security. And some of it ”” e.g., the “Camel Method” ”” is particularly antagonistic. Which explains why I’m not a big fan of that first headline, “A Christian Overture to Muslims Has Its Critics.” Overtures, when effective, don’t heighten tensions.
I’d like to be able to report that the “critics” in this headline are Christians who worry about heightening tensions and so refrain from offensive proselytizing. Alas, they’re Christians who favor assertive proselytizing but are offended by any suggestion that Muslims and Christians might worship the same god. One of them, Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, in Lynchburg, Va., said in a recent podcast, “There’s nothing that the two gods ”” the god of the Koran and the god of scripture ”” have in common. Nothing.”
Well, to look at the bright side: Maybe that’s a basis for interfaith rapport; Caner can sit around with Malaysian Muslims and agree that they worship different gods.
Campaigners for the victims of sexual abuse in Ireland claimed the Pope’s letter failed to address the “core issue” of why the perpetrators were protected.
Sexual abuse charity One in Four said the Catholic Church was “still in denial”, while a survivor of abuse said the apology did not address the cover-up.
One in Four director Maeve Lewis said: “Victims were hoping for an acknowledgement of the scurrilous ways in which they have been treated as they attempted to bring their experiences of abuse to the attention of the church authorities.
“Pope Benedict has passed up a glorious opportunity to address the core issue in the clerical sexual abuse scandal: the deliberate policy of the Catholic Church at the highest levels to protect sex offenders, thereby endangering children.
Today is a very historic day for the Catholics of Ireland.
Pope Benedict has written a pastoral letter to express his closeness to us at this challenging time. He says ”˜with words that come from my heart… I wish to speak to each of you individually and to all of you as brothers and sisters in the Lord’. He speaks of the wounds inflicted on Christ’s body by child sexual abuse and of the sometimes painful remedies needed to bind and heal them. He talks of the need for unity, charity and mutual support in the long-term process of restoration and renewal.
I welcome this letter. I am deeply grateful to the Holy Father for his profound kindness and concern.
It is evident from the Pastoral Letter that Pope Benedict is deeply dismayed by what he refers to as ”˜sinful and criminal acts and the way the Church authorities in Ireland dealt with them.”˜
He says the Church in Ireland must acknowledge before the Lord and others the serious sins committed against defenceless children.
Pope Benedict XVI has apologised to victims of child sex abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland.
In a pastoral letter to Irish Catholics, he acknowledged the sense of betrayal in the Church felt by victims and their families.
The Pope said there had been “serious mistakes” among bishops in responding to allegations of paedophilia.
The pastoral letter is the first statement of its kind by the Vatican on the sexual abuse of children.
Pope Benedict XVI rebuked Irish bishops Saturday for “grave errors of judgment” in handling clerical sex abuse and ordered a Vatican investigation into the Irish church to wipe out the scourge.
In a letter to the Irish faithful read across Europe amid a growing, multination abuse scandal, the pope did not mention any Vatican responsibility. And he doled out no specific punishments to bishops blamed by victims and Irish government-ordered investigations for having covered up years of abuse.
The letter directly addressed only Ireland but the Vatican said it could be read as applying to other countries. Hundreds of new allegations of abuse which have recently come to light across Europe, including in the pope’s native Germany.
“You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry,” Benedict said, addressing himself to the generations of Irish Catholics who suffered “sinful and criminal” abuse at the hands of priests, brothers and nuns.
For my part, considering the gravity of these offences, and the often inadequate response to them on the part of the ecclesiastical authorities in your country, I have decided to write this Pastoral Letter to express my closeness to you and to propose a path of healing, renewal and reparation.
It is true, as many in your country have pointed out, that the problem of child abuse is peculiar neither to Ireland nor to the Church. Nevertheless, the task you now face is to address the problem of abuse that has occurred within the Irish Catholic community, and to do so with courage and determination. No one imagines that this painful situation will be resolved swiftly. Real progress has been made, yet much more remains to be done. Perseverance and prayer are needed, with great trust in the healing power of God’s grace.
At the same time, I must also express my conviction that, in order to recover from this grievous wound, the Church in Ireland must first acknowledge before the Lord and before others the serious sins committed against defenceless children. Such an acknowledgement, accompanied by sincere sorrow for the damage caused to these victims and their families, must lead to a concerted effort to ensure the protection of children from similar crimes in the future.
A group with three churches in the Ottawa area has taken up the Vatican’s offer of a special legal structure enabling disillusioned Anglicans to return to Rome.
The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada — a denomination already closely aligned with Catholic precepts — is the first in Canada to approach the Vatican like this.
In November, the Holy See shocked the world by announcing it would allow Anglicans to become Catholic, yet keep their own liturgy, prayer books, and married clergy. It would form a separate set of rules for the group, much as it has done with Eastern Rite Catholics.
It is with profound sorrow that we, the Communion Partner Bishops and Rectors, express our deepest regret to our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion for the action of the majority of the diocesan bishops and standing committees of the dioceses of The Episcopal Church in voting to consent to the consecration as a bishop of a woman living in a sexual relationship outside Christian marriage. Unfortunately, where restraint was respectfully requested by the leadership of the Communion, it has been ignored. Where the General Convention has counseled study of the Anglican Covenant, this action has rendered that counsel moot.
Therefore, we disassociate ourselves from this action and grieve the state of separation that exists in The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. This separation is a witness to the need for the Anglican Covenant as the means through which dioceses and congregations in The Episcopal Church can affirm their commitment to the Anglican Communion.
This is a clear rejection of the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council.
We believe that it is vitally important for the Primates’ Meeting planned for January 2011 to go ahead, and that for this to happen the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church should not be invited to attend. Actions have consequences.
Caterpillar Inc. said the health-care overhaul legislation being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would increase the company’s health-care costs by more than $100 million in the first year alone.
In a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio, Caterpillar urged lawmakers to vote against the plan “because of the substantial cost burdens it would place on our shareholders, employees and retirees.”
Caterpillar, the world’s largest construction machinery manufacturer by sales, said it’s particularly opposed to provisions in the bill that would expand Medicare taxes and mandate insurance coverage. The legislation would require nearly all companies to provide health insurance for their employees or face large fines.
The Peoria-based company said these provisions would increase its insurance costs by at least 20 percent, or more than $100 million, just in the first year of the health-care overhaul program.
“We can ill-afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus our global competitors,” said the letter signed by Gregory Folley, vice president and chief human resources officer of Caterpillar. “We are disappointed that efforts at reform have not addressed the cost concerns we’ve raised throughout the year.”
Brian Stanley is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World at the University of Edinburgh, and so is the most appropriate person to write The World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh 1910. It is a meticulous, accessible, and theologically insightful account. It is doubly worth reading since the centennial of the conference will see a gathering called Edinburgh 2010.
While all historical moments are fraught, some moments are more equal than others, and the participants traveling to Edinburgh by train and ship in 1910 had a strong sense that they were attending an event of decisive significance. It was seen as a summit of strategic consequence at a time when the triumph of Christian evangelism worldwide seemed a goal one could speak of. (Stanley is careful to note that it was, in fact, less than a truly “world missionary conference,” since Roman Catholics and Orthodox were not present, and Two-Thirds World Christians themselves were badly underrepresented).
John Mott, whose famous watchword was “The Evangelization of the World in This Generation,” led one of the conference’s commissions, and even Randall Davidson, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the initially reluctant opening speaker, could allude to the consummation which that evangelization hastened. To be sure, the theological makeup of the conference was complex, with more scholarly and theologically liberal as well as evangelical voices represented, especially in the commission on relations to non-Christian religions.