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Catholic Relief Services was coordinating closely with Caritas Oceania agencies in an emergency response in Vanuatu, a remote island nation in the South Pacific devastated by Cyclone Pam on March 15. • As Kuwaiti legislators debated a law banning any new church construction, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, said on March 17 that it was actually “necessary to destroy all the churches” of the Arabian Peninsula because of an edict that only Islam could be practiced in the region. • The Presbyterian Church (USA) joined most other American mainline Protestant churches, approving same-sex marriage on March 17. • On March 20, Pope Francis accepted the decision of Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Scotland, who resigned in 2013 after admitting to sexual misconduct, to renounce all “duties and privileges” associated with being a cardinal. • Melkite Patriarch Grégoire III Laham, speaking in Damascus on March 16, rejected calls for an international military intervention in Syria as “reckless” and urged Pope Francis and Christians to “promote a concrete and realistic road map” to peace for the beleaguered nation.

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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