by Carl E. Olson | CWR blog
On Jesuit hunters, scandals, Hans Küng, Francis and abortion, "conservatives", Islam, the poor, gossip, the problem with news, and more
• This edition of “Carl's Cuts” was almost ready to post last Friday, and then we lost access to the CWR site for the weekend, and so it languished until now. Or perhaps it aged like fine wine. Or a not-so-fine whine. Here goes!
• The first cut is about cuts, by the great Chesterton: “Catholicism is used to proposals to cut down the creed to a few clauses; but different people have wanted quite different clauses left and quite different clauses cut out. … After nearly two thousand years of this sort of thing, Catholics have come to regard Catholicism as one thing, all the parts of which are in one sense equally assailed and in another sense equally unassailable.” — G. K. Chesterton (The Catholic Church and Conversion)
• I just saw this article about Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, my former professor and spiritual director. Did you know that Fr. Pacwa, best known to many folks for his work at EWTN, was once a community organizer? Or that he is an avid hunter? I really do hope that Fr. Pacwa and my father, who is a gun maker, are able to meet someday. I can see the headline already: “Jesuit Preacher and Protestant Gun Maker Share Favorite Hunting Stories.” I'll buy the beer.
• There are a number of oft-repeated myths about sex abuse by priests in the Catholic Church. One of them is that Pope Benedict did nothing to address it. There are many responses to that, but one of them is this news from BBC: “Close to 400 priests were defrocked in only two years by the former Pope Benedict XVI over claims of child abuse, the Vatican has confirmed.” The piece further notes, referring to an AP report, that “the Vatican also sent another 400 cases to either be tried by a Church tribunal or to be dealt with administratively...” And that's not all that Benedict did. Another myth about the abuse scandals was addressed quite well, in a short space, by Denver Post columnist Electa Draper in this 2010 post:
A steady stream of revelations and civil lawsuits over child sexual abuse by priests seem to signal the Catholic Church has the biggest problem with clerical scandals, but experts deny it is a hot zone of exploitation.
Insurance companies, child advocacy groups and religion scholars say there is no evidence that Catholic clergy are more likely to be involved in sexual misconduct than other clergy or professionals. Yet ongoing civil litigation of decades-old cases against a church with deep pockets keeps the Catholic Church in the headlines.
Back in 2007, the Associated Press published a detailed series on sex abuse and related misconduct and perversions taking place in public schools. It noted: “One report mandated by Congress estimated that as many as 4.5 million students, out of roughly 50 million in American schools, are subject to sexual misconduct by an employee of a school sometime between kindergarten and 12th grade.” Read more here.
• A friend who follows the news in Europe very closely sent me a note after Pope Francis named sixteen new cardinals: