The Click of the Camera Should Haunt KC Bishop Robert Finn

By: Saturday February 22, 2014 10:14 am

Bishop Robert Finn, head of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Missouri, has not had a good week as two big stories have put him back in the headlines, and not in a good way. Back in October 2011, Finn was charged with failing to report suspicions that one of his priests was creating child pornography, and in May 2012 he was found guilty and given a sentence that amounts to probation and supervision. Meanwhile, he remains bishop.

But that may change, as these two big stories collide . . .

 

Cardinal Mahony Confirms That Archbishop Gomez Knew of Mahony’s Actions

By: Saturday February 2, 2013 9:00 am

Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Roman Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of LA, seems to agree with at least part of what I said yesterday about the actions of current LA Archbishop José H. Gomez. Mahony certainly confirmed that Gomez didn’t suddenly learn of how Mahony handled things in the last few weeks, and that as the two of them collaborated closely on the transition from one to the other, “Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices, or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors.”

Reading Mahony’s letter today only reinforces my suspicions that Gomez’s recent actions against Mahony were not driven by any sense of outrage, but rather are aimed at deflecting criticism of the archdiocese onto his predecessor. But insofar as Gomez kept silence until the courts forced disclosure — as Mahony says that Gomez has done — Gomez is as complicit as Mahony, and the actions to restrict Mahony’s public ministry are more window dressing for the public and less the product of disgust at Mahony’s conduct.

I look forward to hearing Archbishop Gomez’s reply.

Catholic Bishops Want More Concessions

By: Saturday February 11, 2012 9:00 am

While some are calling yesterday’s change of policy with regard to contraception coverage a win-win for both the Catholic church and the Obama administration, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops does not see this as a win. Instead, they see it as one small little step, and they are pressing for much, much more.

The first amendment’s protection of religious liberty is not a license for religious organizations or individuals to disregard any law or regulation they don’t like. If the White House wants to end this fight, that’s the argument they’re going to have to make to the public. Instead, they have allowed the USCCB to set the terms of the debate, and the USCCB is quite happy to continue doing so.

This isn’t over, folks. Not by a long shot.

Doug Kmiec, the Leona Helmsley of Ambassadors, Resigns

By: Sunday April 17, 2011 7:30 am

Last week, the US Department of State released an Inspector General’s report on the US Embassy in Malta, headed up by Ambassador Douglas Kmiec. Kmiec is an outspoken Republican (head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Reagan) and a conservative Roman Catholic, who bucked both the GOP and many in his church to support Obama in his presidential race against John McCain.

Nightmares Continue for Pope Benedict

By: Saturday July 3, 2010 9:25 am

Last week I wrote about three big scandals that no doubt gave Pope Benedict nightmares. Now, with a big story in the NYT, the nightmares continue, as bishops and canon lawyers — speaking on the record — call out the failures of then-Cardinal Ratzinger to deal appropriately with allegations of priestly child abuse when that was part of his office’s responsibility.

First They Came for the Nuns, But I Didn’t Speak Up Since I Was Not a Nun

By: Friday June 25, 2010 5:20 pm

It’s never been particularly easy for strong women to use their gifts within the Roman Catholic church’s hierarchical structure and their understanding of the separate roles prescribed for men and women. These days, though, it’s getting even harder — and the debate is not something that affects solely Roman Catholics.

Look at the ongoing health care battle, where the USCCB continues to fight inside and outside the church, to impose their beliefs on the entire US medical system.

Instead of Speaking With the Passive Voice, Benedict Needs More Active Bishops

By: Saturday April 3, 2010 9:02 am

In dealing with the current crisis in the Roman Catholic church of child abuse by its priests, the symptom the church is confronting is the abuse, but the underlying disease is a love of power. So long as Benedict addresses only the symptom and not the disease, real healing cannot occur. He called for “decisive action” and “complete honesty and transparency” in his letter to Ireland. A good place to start might be for more bishops to offer their resignations, and for Benedict to start accepting them.

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