Tuesday, July 9

Initial news reports of Sharon Osbourne's cancer didn't indicate what type it was. Now it's revealed that it was early-stage colon cancer. The article also clears up another mystery. I remember seeing older photographs of Sharon Osbourne years ago in which she was uh...a little heavier than her current svelte self. Well, turns out she's had stomach-shrinking surgery and lost 90 pounds as a result.
Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli separate. Do we care? Sort of. Bertinelli is, sadly enough, a sort of pop culture reference for me. She's my age, she was a teen on television when I was a teen watching television, and so on. Hard to believe the two of them were married 21 years. Hard to believe he's 47.
No surprises here:

Insurance a problem for the Church

In 1990, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona, Minn., were hit with a civil judgment of more than $1 million stemming from the sexual abuse of a minor by a priest in the 1970s. Quite naturally, the two Roman Catholic entities turned to their insurance companies to pay the judgment under the terms of their general liability policies.But the insurance companies refused, arguing that, because the priest had a 15-year history of repeated abuse that was known to his superiors, church officials knew or should have known that he would abuse again. After a six-year legal struggle that reached the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the insurance companies prevailed. The dioceses had to pay the judgment themselves. The Minnesota case was in many ways a harbinger of the problems the Catholic Church would face as more and more cases involving abusive priests began to surface. As the terms of general liability insurance policies began to change more than a decade ago, the church, along with other institutions, began tailoring its insurance to provide special coverage for liability from sexual misconduct by priests and other employees. But now that it is facing dozens of such cases, it finds itself increasingly at odds with its insurers and apparently unable to depend on much compensation from them.

Thanks to Anne Wilson for pointing us to this brief notice of a principal (now resigned) of a Legionaries-of-Christ run school in St. Louis being charged with eight counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14

Ah, those Catholic liberals, responsible for all of our ills.

Or not.

From Christianity Today:A very brief look at philosophers making room for God

Arguments such as Swinburne's contribute to the plausibility of belief in the supernatural, in miracles, and in God. They don't prove anything, nor are they the basis for our theology (that function is reserved to God's revealed Word), but they make it all more believable by reshaping a cultural mood. Fuller Seminary president Richard Mouw told CHRISTIANITY TODAY that 30 years ago the academy would have ostracized a philosopher who made such arguments. Today academic philosophers unblushingly make bold claims for God. The academy has moved, Mouw said, "from an overwhelmingly secularist approach to orthodox Christians defying the secularist agenda."


Study finds that combined hormone therapy does more harm than good for postmenopausal women

Five years into the trial the results show that taking the combination therapy increased a woman's risk of breast cancer by 26 percent, strokes by 41 percent, and blood clots by 100 percent. In addition, the researchers were stunned to find the therapy did not decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, as was anticipated. In fact, women in the treatment group saw their risk of heart attack increased by 29 percent. "We now know that the overall risks clearly outweigh the benefits," says Marcia Stefanick, PhD, chair of the study's steering committee and associate professor of medicine at Stanford University. The 16,608 women participating in the trials will be sent letters this week telling them to stop taking the treatment.
The trial, called the Women's Health Initiative, or WHI, has unexpectedly found that taking the combination hormone treatment of estrogen plus progestin significantly increased a woman's risk of invasive breast cancer, stroke, heart disease, and blood clots in the legs and lungs. The hormone combination also does not reduce the risk of heart disease, as was previously believed.

An article on Slate on why vouchers could be bad for Christian-based schools:

If voucher programs proliferate, the biggest winners may end up being Muslim schools. When Humari Bokari was principal of St. Leo's Catholic school in Milwaukee during the 1990s, she said she "didn't get much of a boost in attendance" from vouchers. But when Bokari became principal of an Islamic primary school, she said vouchers made a big difference. In 10 years, the school went from seven students to 360 in part, she told Beliefnet.com, because of vouchers. Muslim educators believe the Supreme Court's voucher decision could be significant because it comes at the moment that Muslims are focusing on expanding their schools.

Umm....that interests me. Someone goes from being principal of a Catholic school to being principal of an Islamic school? Does the principal have principles?

A reader sends along this article on hymn vandalism from an interesting British Catholic website.
More articles about McCormack's deposition here, here,here , and here.
Baptist pastor accused of beating boy because he read wrong Bible verse

According to Taylor and family members, the beating occurred Wednesday while the boy and other children practiced for a Bible competition. "He was trying to find the verse and he was on the wrong verse, and they thought he was goofing around," the boy's mother said.
She said church assistants summoned Joshua Thompson, who took the boy to Caleb Thompson's house. Taylor said the boy was placed facedown on a bed and beaten with the tree branch on his back and buttocks. When the boy tried to break free, Caleb Thompson held him down so the beating could continue, Taylor said.
Taylor said the beating lasted 90 minutes, during which the boy was allowed to use the bathroom one time. The boy told his family the Thompsons turned up a radio to drown out his screams. ..According to the police affidavit filed in support of the arrest warrants, the stepfather told investigators the Thompsons said they tried to break the child and make him repent from wrongdoing.

George Neumayer dissects recent Catholic events in California


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