July 22, 2013 |
RIO DE JANEIRO -- A smiling Pope Francis rode an open-roofed popemobile through the streets of downtown Rio de Janeiro on Monday afternoon, as huge crowds of onlookers cheered, laughed and snapped photos. Mostly young Roman Catholics from around the world, especially from Brazil and the pontiff's native Argentina, lined up for hours, waving flags, dancing and singing soccer-style chants until Francis landed at the Rio airport and then drove downtown to pass quickly through the crowds in his white car. "It was beautiful.
July 22, 2013 |
RIO DE JANEIRO - The first pope from the Americas, making what many hope will be a triumphant homecoming to his native continent, will find a massive audience that reflects both hope for a shift in the Roman Catholic Church and deep skepticism that he can right a social imbalance that has sent hundreds of thousands into the streets in protest. The Argentine-born Pope Francis, on his first overseas trip since his election in March, arrives Monday in the world's largest Catholic country, Brazil, where he will walk the Stations of the Cross on the glittering Copacabana Beach and visit a slum so poor and violent it is sometimes called the Gaza Strip.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 2013 |
At the height of the clergy sex-abuse scandal in 2002, Catholic leaders stayed silent as California lawmakers passed a landmark bill that gave hundreds of accusers extra time to file civil lawsuits. The consequences were costly. California dioceses paid $1.2 billion in settlements and released thousands of confidential documents that showed their leaders, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles, had made plans to shield admitted molesters from law enforcement. Now, state legislators are considering a bill that would give some alleged victims more time to sue. But this time, the church is waging a pitched battle in Sacramento to quash it. A group affiliated with the church has hired five lobbying firms and spent tens of thousands of dollars fighting SB 131. Opponents argue that the bill unfairly opens the church, the Boy Scouts, and other private and nonprofit employers to lawsuits over decades-old allegations that are tough to fight in court.
July 13, 2013 |
As millions of Roman Catholics rejoice in the news that two popes are being fast-tracked to sainthood, many Jews are smiling with them. Pope Francis has approved John XXIII and John Paul II for the church's supreme honor in a process that quick-stepped protocol. Jews, on the other hand, will remember both of these men for taking steps that were a millennium in the making. Over the centuries, Catholic Church-inspired anti-Semitism spawned the demonizing and murder of countless Jews.
July 12, 2013
Re "Catholic bishops cry wolf," Editorial, July 8 Conservatives and progressives hold conflicting conceptions of liberty. For conservatives, liberty has meant being free to dominate or control others. For progressives, liberty has meant liberation from others' control. Edmund Burke, the archetypal conservative, viewed English "liberty" as including a hierarchical, hereditary monarchy and aristocracy. In the post-Civil War period in the U.S., Southern conservatives viewed maintaining laws that favored whites as part of their liberty.
July 8, 2013 |
When the Supreme Court struck down a section of the Defense of Marriage Act, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said it was a "tragic day for marriage and our nation. " But the bishops go further, arguing that when the state legalizes same-sex civil marriage, "conflict results on a massive scale between the law and religious institutions and families.... Religious liberty is then threatened. " The bishops are equally alarmist about what they see as the threat to religious freedom posed by the Obama administration's requirement that employee health plans - including those at religious colleges and hospitals - include contraception services.
July 7, 2013 |
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish . - David Hume Last week the Vatican announced that a meeting of cardinals and bishops had ruled that the late Pope John Paul II was responsible for a second miracle, and thus the way was cleared for sainthood. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints decided he had cured a woman from Costa Rica in 2011 after a panel of doctors apparently ruled that her recovery was otherwise inexplicable.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2013 |
The preschooler's hair was falling out in clumps. He had stopped playing with other children and barely spoke to his teachers. He woke screaming each night, and during the day clung to his mother. What's wrong, she asked again and again. Finally, he told her: His big brother, adopted seven years earlier from the Maryvale Catholic orphanage in Rosemead, was molesting him. Devastated, she rushed the older boy to a therapist's office, where he offered a harrowing explanation. "He said that Brother Larry had done it to him at Maryvale - him and other children," his mother recalled years later.
June 29, 2013
Re "Silent witness to abuse," Column One, June 26 Many in his Ventura County Catholic community more than three decades ago suspected that Father Donald Patrick Roemer sexually abused children, but few spoke out. Some approved of his affection for children; others were unable to accept the accusations brought against him. Catholic seminarians live in tight-knit communities and are held to high standards of behavior. How is it that more than a few pedophiles manage to squeeze through the system and reach ordination?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 29, 2013 |
On the plaza of the future Christ Cathedral, 3,000 chairs and 7,000 water bottles awaited the faithful. On Saturday, before Mass welcomed families from St. Callistus Church to their new home, an organizer said into the microphone: "Those sitting in the sun will get more blessings from God. " The service on the grounds once belonging to the Crystal Cathedral started on time at 4 p.m., as a parade of priests led by Bishop Kevin Vann let their words...