The buck stops where? Sex abuse and the bishops

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Vatican
The biggest question in the sex abuse crisis is why some bishops still have their jobs.

It could have come out of any newspaper’s police blotter: Adult male arrested for possessing child pornography. The detail that took it from the blotter to the front page was the fact that the offender, Shawn Ratigan, is a priest, and that the diocesan bishop, Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, had quietly transferred Ratigan from a parish to a women’s monastery last December without notifying the diocesan review board.

The times they were a'changing: Mark Massa on the Catholic '60s

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology Vatican
A church historian explains why the events of the 1960s still echo through the church 40 years later.

Mark Massa, S.J. was 14 years old on the First Sunday of Advent, 1964, when Catholics across the country arrived at Mass to find the priest facing them across the altar and—even more jarring—speaking in English and expecting them to respond. The disappearing Latin Mass was but the first of many old certainties that would be blown up during the next few years.

You can go home again: Catholics return to the church

By Kristin Peterson| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
People leave the Catholic Church for a host of reasons, but exactly what brings them back?

For many Catholics it is a Sunday routine, but for Laura Bendini, going back to church on Sunday was extremely intimidating. For the first two weeks she didn't even make it inside. She couldn't find parking outside of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Arlington, Virginia, so she just went home, somewhat relieved. When she did make it inside she snuck up to the balcony and stood in the back, behind all the families with squirming and squealing kids.

They're baaack! What's behind the return of the exorcist

By Daniel Burke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
After a decades-long absence, interest in demonic possession—and the ritual to defeat it—is on the rise.

For more than a decade, Frank, a software consultant who lives near Silicon Valley, California has been haunted by depression and rage. Searching for remedies to lift his dark mood, Frank, 52, tried pills, therapy, even channeling spirits. Nothing worked.

The scandal continues: Clergy sex abuse crisis

By Anne M. Burke| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Vatican
Despite the steps taken to protect children in recent years, Justice Anne Burke says that recent development suggest little has changed for the hierarchy.

Just when it appeared that the fallout over the abuse scandal in our own nation could not get any worse, the other shoe dropped in Philadelphia. A large number of accused clerics had never been removed from active ministry by either the past or current archbishop of Philadelphia.

When in Rome: John Paull II's legacy at the Vatican

By Richard R. Gaillardetz| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Vatican
In his 26 years as pope, John Paul II gave new shape to the papacy, Richard R. Gaillardetz reflected shortly after his death. With his beatification, it's worth looking back on his papal legacy to see whether Pope Benedict XVI has followed in John Paul II’s footsteps or found his own way.

Habemus papam. We have a pope. The election of Pope Benedict XVI marks the conclusion of one of the most significant transitional moments in Roman Catholicism, rivaled only, perhaps, by the convocation of an ecumenical council.

Our lips are sealed: Why young Catholics don't confess

By Robert Nugent, S.D.S.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Young Adults
A priest ponders ways to get young Catholics to confession.

He was a 16-year-old Catholic high school student who entered my confessional during a school reconciliation service at a local retreat house where I assist with confessions. “I’ve done everything,” he said, like some penitents when they don’t know where to begin or how to get started.

What's right with this picture? Young Latinos take the lead

By Agustin Gurza| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Hispanic Catholics Immigration Young Adults
Young Latinos are changing the face of Catholic youth ministry.

Judgment call: Bishop v. conscience

By Bryan Cones| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology Vatican
A bishop’s authority cannot replace the graced conscience of the baptized.

I’ll never forget my first serious argument with a priest: I was a senior in high school and co-director of a retreat. A highlight of the experience was a surprise letter from our parents, often an emotional moment after a long weekend of little sleep, a lot of soul-searching, and the combined intensity of 40 teenagers.

Pregnant with possibility: Joyce Rupp on keeping the faith

By Joyce Rupp| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Women
In this edited version of her acceptance speech for the 2004 U.S. Catholic Award, author Joyce Rupp describes herself as a spiritual midwife, aiding the birth of a more balanced and inclusive church.

A medical midwife has to be knowledgeable about the birthing process. She informs and helps the one giving birth. She cheers the mother on but cannot do the birthing for her. So, too, with a spiritual midwife.