June 3, 2002
Clericalism in the Catholic Church is something like the pattern in the wallpaper: it’s been there so long you don’t see it anymore. That may be why, amid all the demands for change in response to the scandal of clergy sex abuse, more has not been heard about clericalism and the need to
Disclosures about sexual abuse among priests and coverups by the hierarchy have elicited, at least in Boston, levels of lay dissatisfaction and anger that rival the response to Humanae Vitae, the birth control encyclical issued in the summer of 1968. An interesting question now is whether lay reacti
The clerical sexual abuse scandals in Boston and elsewhere have brought home how far the Catholic Church still has to go in receiving into its life the Second Vatican Council, nearly 40 years after that council’s close. The council devoted itself, quite deliberately, to the nature and mission
As revelations of new victims of clerical sexual abuse spill into the news daily, we must face one mare discomforting truth: this scandal has sobering generational overtones. Many, if not most, of the victims are Gen-Xers, born in the 1960’s and 70’s. To be sure, those coming forward ran
Revelations over these past few months are enough to dizzy one’s mind. Even more dizzying, though, are the perhaps millions of words that have been penned in the media worldwide. Have we heard enough? Have we heard more than enough? What’s to be done? Shocking...scandalous...disgraceful.
I had to chuckle while reading Elizabeth Ficocelli’s Avoiding Mass Hysteria: Teaching Children to Behave in Church (5/6). She and her young ones would be as discomfited as I was by the children wandering loose at Sunday Mass in the Catholic chapel of the state
When the U.S. bishops meet in Dallas, Tex., on June 13-15, the sexual abuse crisis will be at the top of their agenda. The media, the laity and the nation will be watching, ready to pass judgment on the bishops if they do not meet expectations. Two issues have become litmus tests to measure how well