Vatican has refused to reveal all, royal commission head declares

Justice Peter McClellan says the Vatican maintains that requests for all information regarding every case are not appropriate

AP, July 4

The Vatican has told the child sex abuse royal commission that it will not hand over all information about members of its clergy who abused children in Australia.

The commission chairman, Justice Peter McClellan, [...]

I escaped Venezuela for North America. Here’s how.

Washington Post, By Rafael Osío Cabrices, July 2

At the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas, my wife, 8-month-old daughter and I stopped to take photos of our feet. We were standing over a colorful, geometric mosaic made by the famous artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, a symbol of the modern and cosmopolitan Venezuela we loved and [...]

Vatican Reverses Anti-Liberation Policies in Mexico

Religion Dispatches, By Ruth Chojnacki & Jennifer Scheper Hughes, June 24

Late last month Mexican Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel announced that after a 14 year church-ordered suspension of the rite, indigenous deacons would again be ordained in the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas—where the local church serves a largely Maya population.

A [...]

Weekend Flashback: Touched By The Tremendum

The Edge, By Terence McKenna, March 27, 1990

[Speculative, but what the heck...]

First of all, I am delighted to be here. The great thing about being here in New York is you don’t have to worry if you’re the smartest person in the room. What impels me to talk to groups like this is [...]

I may be excommunicated from my church for asking for equal rights

Women aren’t allowed to be ordained as priests in the Mormon faith. Because I created a movement to advocate for ordination and equality, I’ve been ordered not to pray aloud.

The Guardian, By Kate Kelly, June 16

On Sunday, I will be tried in absentia for apostasy by the leaders of my former congregation in [...]

Meriam Ibrahim: Sudan ‘to free’ death row woman

BBC, May 31

Sudanese authorities are to free a woman who was sentenced to death for having abandoned the Islamic faith, a foreign ministry official has said.

Meriam Ibrahim, who gave birth to a daughter in custody, will be freed in a few days, the official told the BBC.

Abdullahi Alzareg, an under-secretary at the [...]

It’s simple. If we can’t change our economic system, our number’s up

It’s the great taboo of our age – and the inability to discuss the pursuit of perpetual growth will prove humanity’s undoing.

The Guardian, By George Monbiot, May 27

Let us imagine that in 3030BC the total possessions of the people of Egypt filled one cubic metre. Let us propose that these possessions grew by [...]

U.N. panel criticizes Vatican over priest sex-abuse scandal

Vatican calls findings ‘fundamentally flawed’ and insists it does not exercise direct control over priests worldwide.

Al Jazeera, May 23

The Vatican exercises effective worldwide control over its bishops and priests and must comply with the United Nations’ anti-torture treaty globally, a U.N. committee said Friday in a report that could expose the Roman Catholic [...]

Pedophilia or not, the business of saint-making must go on.

God makes saints but Rev. Marc Lindeijer of the Netherlands, the Vatican’s vice postulator of Jesuit sainthood causes, provides the proof. Lindeijer is currently in the process of providing evidence for two popes – John XXIII, who modernized the church through the Second Vatican Council in 1962, and John Paul II, who helped end communism [...]

In Healthcare Suit Against Catholic Bishops, the Specter of an Early Defeat

The ACLU’s case against the U.S. Bishops Conference – heralded by some as a bold legal stroke – could be thwarted on procedural grounds.

ProPublica, By Nina Martin, March 20

The story of Tamesha Means and her miscarriage three years ago, if it happened the way her lawyers claim it did, is truly awful: Means [...]

Pope Francis names first members of child sex abuse commission

Archbishop of Boston Sean O’Malley and Irish campaigner Marie Collins in group of eight to set out tasks of commission.

AP, March 22

Pope Francis has named the initial members of a commission to advise him on sex abuse policy, including lay and religious experts, and an Irish woman assaulted as a child by a [...]

Federal judge rules Tennessee must recognize same-sex marriage

Al Jazzera, March 14

The preliminary injunction bars the state from enforcing state laws that prohibit recognition of three marriages.

A federal judge ruled Friday that Tennessee must recognize the marriages of three same-sex couples while their lawsuit against the state works its way through the court system. There are currently 28 states facing legal [...]

What if the moon were one pixel?

Then space would be filled with Burma Shave signs, apparently: What if the moon were one pixel?

Vatican ‘must immediately remove’ child abusers – UN

BBC, February 5

The UN has said that the Vatican should “immediately remove” all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers.

The UN watchdog for children’s rights denounced the Holy See for adopting policies which allowed priests to sexually abuse thousands of children.

In a report, it also criticised Vatican attitudes towards homosexuality, contraception [...]

Nice try Republicans, but marriage isn’t the solution to poverty

If conservatives want to help the poor they should improve education, cut inequality, and ensure access to contraception.

The Guardian (Comment is free), By Jill Filipovic, January 30

It’s time for marriage promotion programs to die.

The first problem is that they don’t actually convince people to get married; nor do they get fathers to [...]

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