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A Pope Who Doesn’t Fear Schism May Cause One

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“I am not afraid of schisms,” Pope Francis told reporters during his latest airplane press conference. Well, I am. And I’m afraid of any Roman Pontiff who isn’t afraid of splitting the universal Church. Which means that, yes, I’m afraid of Pope Francis. As we head into the Amazon Synod, there are numerous indications that the Pope and […]

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Viganò’s Testimony, One Year Later

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The first anniversary of the Testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is upon us today. That document, and the events that followed this bombshell, say a great deal about the crisis now facing the Church. It’s a crisis of truth, of grave immorality and cowardice, of unaccountability by Church hierarchs, of powerful clerics resisting revelation of […]

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Sick of Hearing About Scandals in the Church? You Should Be

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25-year veteran Catholic reporter and author  Phil Lawler pulls-back from front line of exposing Church corruption. I quit. For more than 25 years now, I have been reporting and writing about scandal within the Catholic Church. Yesterday, as I wearily wrote one more article about episcopal corruption, I realized how much the topic has come to nauseate […]

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A Whole New Scandal – Financial This Time – Looms for the Catholic Hierarchy

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Another week, another story about massive corruption in the Catholic hierarchy. But there is some relief as well. First, this week’s scandal is not about sexual misconduct. Well, not primarily about sexual misconduct. In his report to the faithful of Charleston/Wheeling, West Virginia, Archbishop William Lori said that there was no conclusive evidence that the former shepherd of […]

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New Interview, New Revelations Damage Pope’s Credibility

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In his latest interview Pope Francis says that he does not remember whether or not Archbishop Vigano told him about Theodore McCarrick’s sexual misconduct. He also insists that he knew “nothing, obviously, nothing, nothing” about McCarrick’s misconduct. Those two claims do not sit comfortably side by side. If you told me that you studied French in high […]

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Archbishop Gregory’s Appointment: ‘Safe’ In The Hands Of The Mainstream Media

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Reacting to the appointment of Archbishop Wilton Gregory to the Washington archdiocese, Michelle Boorstein, the religion writer for the Washington Post, commented on her Twitter account: “Largely a very safe choice. It will primarily piss off only the far-right.” That’s true enough (although not very elegantly expressed) if you define as “far right” those Catholics who unapologetically […]

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Ending Rule by the ‘McCarrick Doctrine’

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It cannot be denied that a large number of Catholic bishops and their vicars lied, covered up, and abused their positions and faith. The sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people were not only the result of the dereliction of duty of bishops in governing but in several cases obviously enabled by their […]

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Cupich Appointment Shows: February Conference in Rome will be All About Damage Control

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If you held out any hope that the Vatican might finally respond effectively to the sex-abuse scandal—that the February meeting could possibly prompt some real action—those hopes should have been shattered by the stunning announcement that Pope Francis had appointed Cardinal Blase Cupich to the organizing committee for that February event. This is the same Cardinal Cupich who […]

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Review Board Chairman Urges Bishops to Resign

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Chances are, you’ve only seen quick summaries of the address by Francesco Cesareo, the chairman of the National Review Board, to the US bishops’ meeting this week. I strongly recommend reading the whole text. It’s remarkable. Notice first the tone of the address. Cesareo delivers a series of home truths, in candid language. He is not […]