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In Belfast on June 27, Queen Elizabeth of Britain shook hands with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, a former Irish Republican Army commander, in a long-awaited encounter symbolizing progress on reconciliation in Northern Ireland. • Responding to criticism of poorly handled public relations, the Vatican hired Fox News correspondent Greg Burke on June 23 as its “senior communications adviser.” • The Society of St. Pius X rejected on June 25 as “clearly unacceptable” a Vatican doctrinal document that was supposed to lay the foundation for the group’s reconciliation with Rome. • On June 22 Msgr. William J. Lynn of Philadelphia became the first high-ranking U.S. Catholic clergyman to be convicted of a crime associated with the handling of priests accused of child sexual abuse. • Facing a $17 million shortfall in 2012, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia announced an administrative reorganization that will cut 40 jobs and close the 117-year-old diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Standard and Times. • Eight parish mergers, three elementary school closings and the creation of a consortium of five other elementary schools were among the proposals accepted by Omaha Archbishop George J. Lucas on June 19.

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 A photo panel shows Pennsylvania Bishops Ronald W. Gainer of Harrisburg, David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh, Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Alfred A. Schlert of Allentown, Edward C. Malesic of Greensburg and Lawrence T. Persico of Erie. The Pennsylvania attorney general released a grand jury report Aug. 14 on a months-long investigation into abuse claims spanning a 70-year period in the six dioceses. (CNS photo/courtesy of the dioceses)
The state’s attorney general said that his office’s two-year investigation identified 301 priests who abused children and more than 1,000 victims.
One of the leading novelists of our age on faith, fiction and his distrust of religious institutions.
James T. KeaneAugust 14, 2018
Panel members Ivor Frank and Alexis Jay at a public hearing of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (courtesy of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse)
The new report finds evidence of appalling sexual and physical mistreatment of students as young as 7, as well as a culture of secrecy, at two abbey schools.
David StewartAugust 14, 2018
The Gospel calls on all of us to get past “analysis paralysis,” where direct action is always put off in favor of more research and discernment.
Mary M. McConnahaAugust 14, 2018