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Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Meeting Joseph at the Home Depot

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Homily preached at the Church of the Good Shepherd on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 19, 2010

Who is Joseph? When we look at the Holy Family, we see Jesus, about whom we know so much. We see Mary, who holds a place of honor in our hearts. But what about Joseph?

We know so little about him. But maybe we know more than we think.

We learn a little about Joseph in today’s gospel reading. Here we see a truly heroic figure whose courage is somewhat forgotten. (more…)

My Memories of a Pedophile Priest

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Just as the wounds of the American Church began to heal after the excruciating, drawn-out crisis of clerical abuse that exploded in 2002, we are again seeing the crime of clerical abuse being manifested in other countries.

Shortly after the passion of the American Church, the tsunami of shame inundated Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The Vatican insisted it was a peculiarly Anglo-Saxon issue. Then the Church in Ireland imploded. The Vatican said it was a problem of English-speaking nations.

Now we hear of cataclysmic crises of sexual abuse striking in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, The Philippines and Brazil. The Vatican can no longer claim it is a problem peculiar to those who speak English. Now they say it is either a plot by the media, a conspiracy of homosexuals or a symptom of the Sexual Revolution in the 1960s (despite the fact that many of the cases occurred before then). (more…)

Rome Must Lead on Dealing with Clerical Abuse

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Tomorrow Benedict XVI will sign a letter to the Catholics of Ireland, expected to be a formal apology for the long national nightmare the Irish have experienced as a result of discovering decades of horrific sexual abuse and torture of thousands of children by clergy and religious. The text is scheduled to be released on Saturday.

We in the United States have endured several years of shocking revelations of how our trust in clergy has been violated in the most appalling ways, not only by the priests who abused children but even more by the subsequent coverups. This has cost us some $2.6 billion that cannot be used for parishes, education and the poor, and a decade of unrelenting shame that has more importantly left thousands of people traumatized for life and tens of thousands so justifiably enraged that they can no longer participate in the life of the Church.

But our experience here pales in comparison to what the Irish have endured. Not only is their bill now about €1.2 billion during a debilitating recession (in a nation of 6.3 million, to keep perspective—about 1.5 times size of the entire Catholic population of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles), but the crisis has reached catastrophic proportions in that predominately Catholic nation, with hundreds of thousands estranged from the Church, the once-full seminaries depleted and thousands of walking wounded trying to recover from childhoods of cruelty and prolonged torture. Some wonder if Ireland can ever again have a Catholic culture. (more…)

Social Justice is not a Communist Plot

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Recently Glenn Beck, the High Priest of Mammon, alerted his followers to a supposed hidden conspiracy in their churches: social justice. (more…)

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Is Canonization a Perk of Papal Election?

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Recently the Vatican announced that the causes for canonization of Pius XII and John Paul II are moving along at a brisk pace. While John Paul II remains quite popular, the opposite is true for Pius XII. Many feel he did not do enough to stand up to the Nazis during World War II. And while Benedict XVI said in a visit to the Rome Synagogue today that Pius helped Jews “often in a hidden and discreet way,” many, including a rabbi who spoke before the pope today, do not feel that was sufficient.

Now I think there are certainly two sides to the Pius XII issue. I can see merits on both sides, and we probably don’t know the full story (and won’t until the Vatican Archives on his pontificate are opened—so why the hurry?). But it does seem to me that the proponents of the canonization of Pius XII want him declared a saint as a way of scoring a win against his detractors, to put a stamp of approval on everything he did during the war. And that’s not what canonization should be about. (more…)