Tuesday, September 17
with Catholics trying to keep up:
The Roman Catholic Church also posted strong growth, although its geographic areas shifted. It remained the largest denomination in the country, growing 16 percent to 62 million.. A larger proportion of Catholics now live in the West than in the Midwest; the Catholic population grew faster in the South than it did in the Northeast."That has a lot to do with the growth of the Hispanic population in the United States," said researcher Clifford Grammich, who collected the figures for the study. In recent years some states in the West and South have had large increases in Hispanic populations, among whom Catholicism is by far the dominant religion.
The study was conducted using self-reporting by the denominations.
The Atlanta paper breaks apart the results for their area, with the interesting point that:
The area's Catholic population surged in the suburbs. Catholics now outnumber Methodists -- Atlanta's second largest religious group -- in Cobb, Gwinnett, Fayette, DeKalb, Rockdale and Clayton counties.Nationally, the Catholic Church gained 16.2 percent during the 1990s, outpacing the 13.2 percent increase in the nation's population. But the church hardly grew in traditional Catholic areas of the Northeast and Midwest, while exploding in the South and West, with 30 percent and 42 percent increases respectively."It doesn't come as a surprise to me," said Monsignor R. Donald Kiernan, pastor of All Saints Church in Dunwoody. "There's a lot of immigration coming here from the North and a lot of industry has moved down here, too."Hispanic immigrants also play a role, but perhaps not as significant as one might think because they often don't register with local parishes, church officials said.
The Queens pastor whom school principal Barbara Samide accused of embezzlement and sexual harrassment has turned himself in.
The Rev. John Thompson surrendered today and is expected to plead guilty in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens to a charge of grand larceny for stealing $95,000 from St. Elizabeth’s parish in Ozone Park.Thompson will receive 5 years probation and not serve any jail time.Thompson, who presided at St. Elizabeth's Roman Catholic Church for four years, left on Palm Sunday amid accusations by former parish school principal Barbara Samide that he siphoned church dollars to his gay lover.The reverend told parishioners he was leaving because of health problems.
...it reminds you how churches completely shook off the past after WW2. They built sleek stripped-down structures that abandoned their specific historical vocabulary. Churches now looked like ski lodges, motel lobbies, golf-course clubhouses. Machines for efficient praying to a Savior in the gray flannel robe. The church we attended in Fargo was modernized in the 50s as well, and to my eyes today it looks like the perfect parish for Paul Drake, Perry Mason’s detective associate. I can see him taking the pulpit, putting out his Pall Mall, shooting a finger at the choir, and giving a sermon, the title of which would be “Is God a Square?”
Prognosis for reattached hand? Very good.
From the USC student paper a student takes a walk through the LA Cathedral
Where is the cathedral? Downtown, roughly proximate to nothing and a drive from anywhere. Because of to the "competitive parking market" unless you attend Mass (which doesn't even occur on Saturdays), expect to dish out $2.50 for every 20 minutes spent trying to determine which end of the church is the front. But cross that bridge when you get to it, because freeways radiating out from the church's near vicinity include the 110, 101, 10 and 5 freeways. So, depending on which direction you are coming from, you can expect traffic to be either miserable, immobile, or a parking lot by the time the peach-colored wall surrounding the church comes into view. Try to make it to the 8 a.m. Spanish Mass and you'll find the pope could walk faster than you'll be moving.
And then catch his observation of why the crypt area of the church is so much more traditionally designed than the main body:
Here you'll find nothing challenging or cutting edge in the design. As ecclesiastically traditional as incense, the beauty demands the question: how can they make a monstrosity out of one part of the church, but stick to a beautiful tradition on the another? The answer is simple: no one is going to dish out the Gross National Product of a small African country to have his corpse or ashes spend the rest of eternity in a crypt that looks like a work by the artist Wassily Kandinsky.
They've identified 360 people accused.
The investigators have identified 360 people accused of sex abuse, about 100 of whom are priests, Mason said. The rest are nuns, lay teachers and administrators, custodians and even school-age students and parents.
"I don't think there's another prosecutor's office in the country that has taken a proactive step to go out and find this many victims," said Richard Bell, who headed the prosecutor's diocesan sex-abuse team. Bell and Mason said it will be a few weeks before they know how many cases pass the evidentiary hurdles and statute of limitations restrictions required for presentation to a grand jury. Mason said the time restraints for bringing charges against alleged abusers have been exceeded in almost all the cases, but he expects some indictments will be issued.
"Accused" is one thing and "charged" is another, and "found guilty" is still another. And note the wide sweep - including students and parents accused as well. (One would wonder what a sustained investigation of sexual abuse within the Baptist Church of Atlanta would turn up, especially if you included custodians, parents and students...)
A hundred priests (over fifty years), though...
You can have Hildegard of Bingen,visionary, writer, composer, artist, leader, advisor to bishops and sometimes combatant with them...or you can have Robert Bellarmine, cardinal, theologian, counter-reformer....
Or you can have both the artist-mystic and the Jesuit cardinal, and just embrace your happy Catholic both-and self, as is, of course, best.
Other Hildegard links: here and here is a good article by Charlotte Allen reclaiming Hildegard from the New Agers.
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