Daily Links, Jan. 10: Catholics in the White House, bad journalism, and sex abuse solutions

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As we await the results of today's New Hampshire primary, Rick Santorum is still getting lots of press over his showing in Iowa last week. Santorum isn't getting as much support from members of his own church, but he is doing a good job winning over Evangelicals, who are in large part responsible for his newfound momentum. But Santorum is in line with Catholic leaders in his views on same-sex marriage and gay rights.

There is one new Catholic in the White House already, as President Obama named Catholic immigration expert Cecilia Munoz as his top domestic policy official.

In Philadelphia, there are still a lot unhappiness in the wake of the archdiocese's announcement that 48 schools will close or merge next year, with rallies ongoing to try to save some of the schools. But are the school closings, like those of other Catholic schools in the country, a long overdue response to changing demographics?

There have been a lot of reports about Pope Benedict's speech to diplomatic corps yesterday, but this one by Reuters chose to focus only on one aspect, and it is something Benedict didn't even say directly. That's just bad journalism, argues Bryan Cones here on our blog.

Speaking of getting things wrong, Protestant pastors think scientists are way off with their theories of evolution and estimates on the true age of the earth, according to a new study. Who do you think is right?

Finally, here's a story out of Ireland that is one of the most surprising responses I've seen to the sex abuse crisis: A diocese is asking all of its priests to contribute financially to a fund that will pay for clerical sex abuse lawsuit settlements, since the diocese just can't afford them any longer. Talk about paying for the sins of the past, literally.