Five years into the sex abuse crisis, some Catholics are growing weary, while others are cautiously optimistic.
The old German pastor of my first parish, Father Albert Henkel, was marked by both an endearing character-affectionately calling all us servers by our "real" name, George-and an almost indomitable resistance to change. When the liturgical reforms of Vatican II rolled around, the only new addition to the church was a plywood altar finished in family-room paneling, a reflection of Father Henkel's belief that the "old" liturgy would soon return.
The people of God in Los Angeles experienced collective jaw-drop in July when the archdiocese announced the largest sex-abuse settlement in U.S. history. Paying out $660 million to settle 508 claims, the archdiocese avoided costly litigation, which was to begin the next day.
Ecuador's new president, Rafael Correa, pledged during his campaign to reduce the nation's external debt burden. Now he could have played the game according to the existing rules and sought debt relief through renegotiation of Ecuador's many loans. Instead he has launched an unprecedented, comprehensive audit of the nation's $10.6 billion debt.
Among the theologians of the Second Vatican Council, the name of Dutch Dominican priest Edward Schillebeeckx is surely among the most well-known (and least pronounceable). His works on the church and ministry, such as the pithily titled Ministry and the more evocative The Church with a Human Face (both Crossroad), are marked both by their foresight and their pastoral sensitivity.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to church, a new menace has arisen that threatens to radically alter the face of your parish-with lipstick. That's right, women have begun an inexorable takeover of church leadership, and, worse, they are driving men away in droves. To use the phrase coined by those who-hopefully just in time-have recognized this growing trend, the church is rapidly becoming "feminized."
Geri had been married for several years to a solid, hard-working man when things started to get "weird." She discovered hundreds of dollars worth of *69 charges on their phone bill from him checking whom she had been calling. He berated her for spending time with family and friends, went through her mail, and scrutinized her cell phone records. Then one day she found him hiding under their bed, where he had been spying on her for hours.
The day after an evangelical Baptist preacher won the GOP primary, with religion set to again play a major role in the 2008 presidential election, Northwestern University history professor Gary Wills outlined the unsettled relationship between church and state in the United States. To those who say there is no separation in our country's founding document, Wills pointed out: "Separation is the only original part of our Constitution."