News Story of the Day

Pope: sex abuse 'scourge' for all society

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI insisted on Saturday that all of society's institutions and not just the Catholic church must be held to "exacting" standards in their response to sex abuse of children, and defended the church's efforts to confront the problem.

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Gunn instructs church officials to keep quiet about sex abuse, claims “priest privilege”

Lost in many of the news articles hailing Philip Gunn’s triumphal entry as Speaker of the House are the sex abuse allegations leveled at Gunn’s former minister, John Langworthy.  In the months following the arrest of the former Morrison Heights Baptist Church music minister, Gunn has served as the church’s attorney, spokesperson, and elder.  This would seem enough hats for a man who is also mounting a speaker’s campaign but last week, Gunn added another, clergyman. 

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Stalled child sex abuse bills important for justice

I realize many of you newspaper readers don't see myblog at themorningcall.com, so I'll just tell you here that in addition to writing about Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno, I've been writing about the state House committee chairman who has been smothering bills that would make it easier for child sex abuse victims to name and confront their abusers.

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Questions surface in Joliet Diocese's handling of priest now imprisoned for child abuse

Reported missing the morning he was to meet with authorities investigating allegations that he molested a boy, the Rev. Alejandro Flores was found sprawled amid toppled pews at St. Mary's Carmelite Church in Joliet.

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Apodaca: Penn State provides chance to change

Most of us would rather take a bullet than stand by and watch a child be hurt. It's difficult for us to fathom a mindset that places a higher priority on the sheltering of a suspected pedophile than on the harm done to alleged victims.

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Penn State case: Feds consider launching criminal inquiry

The Penn State sex abuse scandal may soon become a federal case.

A senior law enforcement source tells NBC News that federal prosecutors and FBI agents in Pennsylvania are now “looking hard” at whether to open up their own investigation because of allegations that former football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky crossed state lines to commit child abuse. 

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Former teacher says he was punished for protecting kids

FORT MYERS -- A Southwest Florida catholic high school teacher is speaking out tonight. He says he was fired for accusing a priest of asking teenage girls explicit questions during confession. Chris Wilson has dedicated the past 20 years of his life to the Catholic Church and its teachings.

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Slap on the hand for Bishop Finn

Robert Finn has been a bad bishop, Clay County authorities said Tuesday, and apparently Finn agrees. Unfortunately, the county isn’t willing to go the extra mile to actually punish Finn for being a bad bishop.

As The Star reported today, Finn won’t be charged with anything in Clay County related to how he handled child pornography issue involving one of his priests.

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The Devil and Joe Paterno

WHEN I think about the sins of Joe Paterno, and the ignominious ending of his long and famous career, I think about Darío Castrillón Hoyos.

Castrillón is a Colombian, born in Medellín, who became a Catholic priest and then a bishop during the agony of his country’s drug-fueled civil wars. In Colombia, he was a remarkable figure: a “rustic man with the profile of an eagle,” as Gabriel García Márquez described him, who left his episcopal residence at night to feed slum children, mediated between guerrillas and death squads and reputedly made his way to Pablo Escobar’s house disguised as a milkman to demand that the drug kingpin confess his sins.

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The Penn State Scandal: Contrasting the School’s Approach With the Catholic Church’s Approach to Its Own Child Sex Abuse Scandal

How does one explain the stark difference between how Penn State has handled its child sex abuse cover-up scandal, and how the Catholic bishops handled theirs?  I am going to take a page out of the book of the Framers of our Constitution, and suggest that the difference is all about organizational structure.

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