Thursday, January 16

I'm astonished at the volume of comments on the Baltimore post below. I'm astonished that so many find this shocking or surprising. Welcome to the Church. If you'd ever lived in a rural area, particularly in the South, you'd have long been accustomed to parishes with lay leaders, either paid or volunteer. Glenmary, for example, involves laity - many married couples, by the way - as missioners who, among other things, function as pastoral administrators. When I was all of twenty-two years old, I applied for such a job myself in the Tennessee parish to which I was moving - didn't get the job, obviously, but the weird thing is that on a tour of the Victory Noll Sisters convent and retirement home over in Huntington, Indiana about twenty years later - I saw the tombstone of the nun who did get the position.

Anyway. There aren't enough priests to lead every parish. There really never have been, depending on where you looked, if you bothered to look beyond your own comfortable existence in urban and suburban USA.

Boston College's College of Law will be co-sponsoring a pro-life symposium:

Among the speakers will be Dr. Elizabeth Shadigian, of the University of Michigan School of Medicine, co-author of a University of North Carolina study published in the January 2003 issue of the Obstetric & Gynecological Survey that reports long-term physical and psychological health consequences associated with abortion.

Other keynoters include Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard and a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, and historian Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Eleonor Professor of the Humanities at Emory.

Panelists include Dr. E. Joanne Angelo, professor of psychiatry at Tufts medical school, attorney Paige
Comstock Cunningham of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, and Elizabeth Schiltz, associate professor at University of St.Thomas School of Law. Sponsors are the Women's Fund of Americans United for Life, Feminists for Life, Women Affirming Life, and
Boston College Law School.

A press release about Dr. Shadigian's study

An abstract of the study. (Scroll down to access it - it's page 67)

Thanks to Mark Sullivan for the heads-up.

Franciscan pleads innocent

Archdiocese of Baltimore appoints first married lay woman to head a parish

In this case, parish staffing has been exacerbated by the clergy sexual abuse scandal. Two of the personnel moves announced this week were made to fill vacancies created by priests who were removed from their posts because of accusations of sexual indiscretions. At St. Clement I, where Buening will take over, the pastor was removed in March after allegations surfaced in March that he used crack cocaine and solicited a male prostitute.

Buening, who is married with two children - one of whom will be ordained a priest for Baltimore in May - had been a clinical social worker in a hospice. She then entered the health-care management field and climbed the corporate ladder before having a religious awakening about four years ago.

Woman protests Norwich, CT diocese for ignoring her plea for an exorcism

Vatican issues guidelines for Catholic politicians

US enlists Michael Novak to try to convince Vatican that war w/Iraq is OK.

Concerned that Vatican officials have too hastily rejected the idea of "preventive war" against Iraq, U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Jim Nicholson has enlisted a prominent American Catholic "just war" theorist to defend the concept in Rome. In a Jan. 13 interview, Nicholson said Michael Novak, a theologian and political philosopher, would address the issue at an early February symposium sponsored by the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican.

Capuchin under investigation in Turkey for baptizing a Muslim who insisted he wanted the sacrament, then denounced the friar to authorities.

Philadelphia review panel releases report, faults archdiocese

Commissioned in April by Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, the 38-page report cites a lack of professionalism in the archdiocese's response to complaints of clergy abuse of minors and in how it screens candidates for priesthood.

The archdiocese needs to display "greater sensitivity to the trauma of victims," than it has in years past, and should "work more with the kinds of experts who know how to respond rightly," Helen Alvare, chairwoman of the Commission on the Protection of Children and Clerical Conduct, said in an interview yesterday afternoon.

"We saw an absence of the proper medical, scientific and social-work components necessary to handle this in a competent manner," said Alvare, a law professor at the Catholic University of America in Washington.

She formally presented the report to the cardinal at a news conference yesterday morning at archdiocesan headquarters. It urged the archdiocese to rely more on laity and trained professionals for victim response, abuse investigation and seminary screening, and less on diocesan staff and clergy.

Cardinal Bevilacqua said he would accept all of the panel's recommendations but would implement them in a "prioritized" manner.

On Mel Gibson's dad:

Most of us are aware he's a Catholic traditionalist. If you google "Hutton Gibson" you find more. You find that he's written books with titles like, The Enemy is Here! and Is the Pope Catholic? and writes (or used to) a newsletter called The War is Now!

He's hardcore - a sedevacanist who believes that Lefebvre was a heretic.

I have no doubt that in the reams of material he's published, the media can easily find opinions of the father's that they hope will reflect badly on the son.

BTW, you may now that Hutton Gibson moved his family from NY to Austrailia in 1968 - did you know he used $25,000 he won on Jeopardy to do it? I didn't.


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