Daily Links, April 10: Santorum nostalgia kicks in, abuse claims pile up, and pope tires out

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The big news today is of course that Rick Santorum has officially suspended his presidential campaign, all but giving the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney. It took, well, minutes really before stories started popping up that reflected on Santorum's run for president, detailing how he became a champion of conservative values and left a legacy when it comes to putting issues of sexuality and reproduction at the center of American politics. Even before Santorum's official exit, David Gibson was asking if the voters who supported him will eventually back Romney in the general election.

Also before Santorum was officially out of the race, Cardinal Timothy Dolan conveniently reminded Catholics that they can still vote for Mitt Romney, and that Romney being a Mormon shouldn't discourage them from voting for him. Not that Dolan is making an endorsement, of course.

For those who think the sex abuse crisis is so 10 years ago, the AP reports today that Catholic dioceses received nearly 600 credible abuse allegations in 2011 and paid out $144 million in settlements. Most of the cases of abuse took place decades ago but are only now being reported.

The witch hunt for anyone receiving Catholic funding who may have the least bit of a connection to someone who disagrees with church teaching continues. Bryan Cones responds to the latest attack on a CCHD grant recipient.

Speaking of witch hunts, 'tis the season for attacks on Catholic colleges and universities over their choice of commencement speakers. The latest "scandal" takes place at the Jesuit Gonzaga University, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu will speak May 13. Though Gonzaga calls Tutu "an inspirational voice for justice, peace, truth and reconciliation," others are calling him a "pro-abortion rights" advocate and circulating a petition asking the university to withdraw its invitation.

Elsewhere in the church, it has been a busy few weeks for Pope Benedict XVI, who finished trips to Mexico and Cuba before returning home to celebrate Easter. And now the pope is tired, reports The Telegraph, adding that he is likely to cut down on foreign trips as he prepares to turn 85 next week. In other words, it's about time those retirement rumors pick up yet again.