Saturday, December 7

Bishop D'Arcy on his Boston letters.

From the NYTimes (LRR): No charges against prominent NY priest

The Bronx district attorney has found no cause for a criminal proceeding against Msgr. Charles M. Kavanagh, the most prominent New York priest caught up in the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal. Now, according to the New York Archdiocese's policy, a special review board is expected to take up his case next week to determine whether the monsignor can return to ministry.The Bronx district attorney, Robert T. Johnson, found the Kavanagh case and a number of others to be beyond the statute of limitations, his spokesman said this week.Church officials are struggling to find the truth in the case, which they say is the most difficult facing Cardinal Edward M. Egan. Until now, it has generated little but frustration for Monsignor Kavanagh's accuser, Daniel Donohue, and the popular clergyman's many supporters. It is just one example of how the abuse cases involving priests around the country remain unsettled despite intense efforts by American bishops and the Vatican to deal with them and the resulting public outrage.

John Paul II to Catholic journalists on their vocation:

"It means striving for the highest ideals of professional excellence, being a man or woman of prayer who seeks to give the best that they have to offer," the Holy Father explained. "It means having the courage to seek and report the truth, even when the truth is inconvenient or is not considered politically correct," he continued. "It means being sensitive to the moral, religious and spiritual; aspects of human life, aspects which are often misunderstood or deliberately ignored." "It means reporting not only the misdeeds and tragedies that take place, but also the positive and uplifting actions performed on behalf of those in need: the poor, the sick, the handicapped, the weak, those who are otherwise forgotten by society," he stressed. "It means offering examples of hope and heroism to a world that is in desperate need of both," the Pope added. ...At the audience, John Paul II concluded by saying a Catholic journalist must not only seek a high professional level, but also moral heroism. "We have the obligation to be saints, to cast rays of light and, like Jesus, give sight to the blind," he said.

Unless said journalist works for a diocesan publication, we can assume.

An acquaintance of mine was once editor of the DC archdiocesan paper back in the 1980's. One day, he was sent a memo, out of the blue, from the Archbishop, directing him not to publish any stories about pedophilia. My acquaintance barely knew what pedophilia was, and he couldn't imagine the reason for the directive.You can probably guess.

Soon after the order came down, Ed had the chance to publish a column by Monsignor Owen Campion, then president of the Catholic Press Assocation, now with Our Sunday Visitor defending the revelations of clerical sexual abuse by the press.

He ran it, was immediately called into Archbishop Hickey's office and given an hour to clean out his office and get out.

Of course, the reason for the directive became clear the next day when an Archdiocesan priest was arrested and charged with molesting two boys.

I heard it from Ed Miller himself at lunch one summer afternoon, when I was complaining about the restrictions of The Florida Catholic for which I was then writing a column - he had gone from the Standard to UPI to the establishment of the East Tennessee Catholic. The story is also on pp. 208-209 of Jason Berry's Lead Us Not Into Temptation cast rays of light...give sight to the blind...

Even better than St. Nicholas:

(for some of us, at least...)

Today is the feast of St. Ambrose, Poster Boy for the cause of Flexibility in Church Administration.

CDF to electronically catalogue its files

As a result, the signed agreement "will allow for the completion, in four years, of an ambitious project of computerizing the catalogue and inventory of the above-mentioned records," Father Benedettini explained Thursday. "A team of young archivists has already begun this work and, up to now, they have catalogued 2,500 pieces, including antique file folders and files, registers, parchments, designs, engravings and various documents, which date from the middle of the 16th century to the early years of the 20th century," he explained.

From MInneapolis: A story about local reaction to recently-mandated liturgical changes.

RIP, Philip Berrigan

Why would a church raise money for itself by auctioning off car used in committing crimes?

I dunno, but that's what the Word of Jesus Christ Church in Pueblo, Colorado tried to do

The mother of a slain police officer believes a Colorado church should not auction a getaway car driven by the seven prison escapees who killed her son during a robbery. Jayne Hawkins, whose son Aubrey Hawkins was killed on Christmas Eve 2000, said the attempt by the 60-member Word of Jesus Christ Church in Pueblo to profit off the car was disgusting, the Associated Press (AP) reported....The auction described the car as a "historical collectors item" and said the church obtained it on Jan. 11, 2001, after finding an envelope in the church mailbox containing the keys, directions to the motel where the car was parked and a note that said: "May God bless you the way He has blessed us."

My apologies to any of you who visited recently and happened upon a blank screen. Apparently some glitch required me to republish the thing in order for it to appear. Seems all right now.


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