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A Failed Bishopric: Farewell, John Neinstedt

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  • Perhaps the archbishop’s Edina “apology” is best interpreted as just a preliminary to his resignation. Boil it down and you get: “I dropped the ball on the church’s most persistent and damaging problem in order to pursue a deliberate political agenda aimed at crushing dissent in my church and exerting influence in the political affairs of the state. I am no longer worthy to lead this archdiocese. I quit.”
  • Pope Francis, The Vatican: Stop Sexual Abuse For Good

Nick Coleman, The State I'm In

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archbishop-john-nienstedtI am shocked — SHOCKED! — to find pederasty in here. 

Dec 16, 2013 | That derisive laughter you heard Sunday was the response of many Twin Cities Catholics to Archbishop John Nienstedt’s pre-Christmas “apology” for letting down his flock — again. As reported by local media with a straight face, Nienstedt’s humbug homily was supposed to be taken as an effort to come clean by a guy who seems to have missed the past 30-year history of efforts to rein in sexual abuse in the Church. Nienstedt’s words weren’t an apology; they were just another cover up. This time, it was his own back end he was trying to cover.

This was an attempt to pass the buck for a lack of due diligence by a church leader who came to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 2007 with a very specific agenda in mind — an agenda that was not focused on protecting the most vulnerable members of the church but on destroying the liberal bent of an archdiocese that some in Rome — including former Pope Benedict XVI — wanted to quash. Nienstedt, appointed by Benedict to replace the liberal Archbishop Harry Flynn, was just the man for the job. He already had smashed the liberal legacy of the late bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minn., Raymond Lucker, who strongly supported women in the church and recommended that married men be eligible for ordination. In St. Paul, Nienstedt wasted no time cracking down on dissenters in the Twin Cities church, his actions largely focused against gays and homosexual support groups: He supported an outfit that claimed to be able to “cure” gay Catholocs, refused Communion to gay activists, ordered St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis to cease holding a “Rainbow Mass” during Twin Cities Pride week and even wrote a cranky letter to the University of Notre Dame opposing the school’s decision to invite “anti-Catholic” gay rights supporter Barack Obama to speak. At one point, the bully in the pulpit even told an anguished mom that she better be careful about supporting her gay child or she could end up in hell.

Nick Coleman is a Minnesota journalist, blogger (The State I'm In <http://www.nickcolemanmn.com>) and former  columnist for the Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN)

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Pope Francis, The Vatican: Stop Sexual Abuse For Good, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, Change.org

  • Australian Catholic Bishops Geoffrey Robinson, Bill Morris and Pat Power call on Pope Francis to seize the opportunity of his appointment to establish a Council of the whole Church, inclusive of the laity from around the globe, to confront the global sex abuse scandal and address the issues that contribute to the causes of systemic sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
  • Sign this petition Sign the petition

 

 

Child Sex Abuse Crisis of the Religious Right Grows

Sex & Relationships

  • Why should parents of high-school students feel any trust in sending their kids off to a university whose president writes a letter urging leniency for a man who molested teens?
  • Pope Francis, The Vatican: Stop Sexual Abuse For Good
  • Catholic Church ramps up opposition to Minnesota anti-bullying bill

Frederick Clarkson, Daily Kos

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013 | A few months ago I wrote about how the child sex abuse crisis in evangelical Christianity, although less reported, is at least as bad as it is in the Catholic Church. Taken together, this suggests that there is a crisis of a different kind looming for the leaders of the Religious Right, whose concern for the victims of abuse has been too muted, and too often belated when it is evident at all. There is also too often an obvious and alarming tendency to sympathize and side with the abuser over the victims. The proud defenders of what they call "family values" become bizarre self-parodies, at best, under such circumstances.  

There are signs that accountability is coming.

This week as the the world considers the life of Nelson Mandela, a leading advocate for victims of sex abuse in the Southern Baptist Convention offered a remarkable idea. Christa Brown of Stop Baptist Predators suggested a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, modeled on the one that helped South Africans put the horrors of apartheid behind them, might also help the Southern Baptist Convention come to grips with it's child sex abuse scandal.  She thinks that Baptist leaders have been long on reconciliation and short on truth, and that maybe a comprehensive effort at both might help.

Frederick Clarkson is Senior Fellow at Political Research Associates. He has written about politics and religion for thirty years. 

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Pope Francis, The Vatican: Stop Sexual Abuse For Good, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, Change.org 

  • Australian Catholic Bishops Geoffrey Robinson, Bill Morris and Pat Power call on Pope Francis to seize the opportunity of his appointment to establish a Council of the whole Church, inclusive of the laity from around the globe, to confront the global sex abuse scandal and address the issues that contribute to the causes of systemic sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
  • Sign the PetitionSign this petition
     

Catholic Church ramps up opposition to Minnesota anti-bullying bill, Beth Hawkins, MinnPost

  • “All we are asking folks to do is to make sure a school setting is safe and allows a child to learn,” Senator [Scott] Dibble" — a Minneapolis DFLer and the chief author of both the same-sex marriage bill and Safe Schools said. “Why should it be so hard to make sure kids are not singled out for harassment?
  • “The archdiocese has done nothing to sit down and problem-solve what would be best for kids,” Dibble concluded. “The truth is bullying is a problem we have to solve. It happens every day and it is a real problem.”

The pope vs. the bishops: Challenges to building a church for the poor

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  • Pope Francis has won over many with doctrine-based economic populism. Why is he so alone among Catholic leadership?
  • 5 reasons you should stay off the Pope Francis bandwagon

Vinnie Rotondaro, Salon 

 

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pope_francisPope Francis celebrates a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (Credit: Andrew Medichini) 

 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | In under a year, Pope Francis has managed to rouse and inspire Catholics across the world with his calls of a “church for the poor.” He has done this without making any changes to church doctrine.

 

Last week, Francis continued his populist charge, releasing a powerful papal exhortation titled “Evangelii Gaudium.” The document decries economic inequality as “the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation,” ideologies, like trickle down economics, that “reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control.”

 

Vinnie Rotondaro is a Salon writer living in Brooklyn, NY

 

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5 reasons you should stay off the Pope Francis bandwagon, Timothy McGrath, GlobalPost

  • He loves the sick and the poor. He lives a simple life that reflects his values. He has criticized the Catholic church for its alienating obsession with social issues. And he has called out global capitalism for the greed it has produced and the social devastation it has wrought.
  • Sounds good? Not so fast.
  • The shame of the Catholic workplace
  • Pope Francis, The Vatican: Stop Sexual Abuse For Good

From Rome, Five Basic Insights on Inequality

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  • In plain yet powerful language, Pope Francis is challenging the givens of our deeply unequal world - and helping inspire resistance to it.
  • Where the Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace with The Earnings of the 1%

Sam Pizzigati, Inequality.org

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pope-francisA new exhortation from Pope Francis offers a wide-ranging condemnation of the economic gaps that divide us.

Sunday, 01 December 2013 | Sometimes you don’t have to say anything “new” to make news. Consider, for instance, the “apostolic exhortation” the Vatican released last Tuesday.

This statement from Pope Francis, observers note, didn’t really break any bold new theological ground. But the Pope’s exhortation, the first all his own since he stepped onto the world stage last March, still made front pages the world over — and fully merited all that attention.

Veteran labor journalist and Institute for Policy Studies associate fellow Sam Pizzigati edits Too Much, a weekly newsletter on excess and inequality.

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minimumwagefeatureWhere the Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace with The Earnings of the 1%, by Alan Pyke, Think Progress 

December 1, 2013 | If the minimum wage had grown at the same rate since 1960 as the earnings of the top 1 percent of Americans, the federal wage floor would be more than triple the current hourly minimum of $7.25.

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