Articles on Pope Francis

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Pope Francis recently made it mandatory for clergy to report sexual abuse to church superiors. AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

The Catholic Church is tightening rules on reporting sexual abuse – but not swearing off its legal privilege to keep secrets

Pope Francis is trying to address gaps in the regulatory processes of the Catholic Church. But clergy can still decide whether, and to what degree, to share information.
Sri Lankan army soldiers secure the area around St. Anthony’s Shrine after a blast in Colombo. AP Photo/ Rohan Karunarathne

Who are Sri Lanka’s Christians?

Suicide bombers struck Sri Lanka's churches and hotels on Easter Sunday, killing and injuring hundreds of people. Seven percent of Sri Lanka's population is Christian – most of them Roman Catholics.
Margareta, head of the women’s community at Lippoldsberg (in modern-day Germany) clasps hands with an Augustinian monk as he hands her a book. Lippoldsberg Evangeliary. Kassel, Landesbibliothek, MS theol. 2o 59, f. 73v.

Nuns were secluded to avoid scandals in early Christian monastic communities

Pope Francis recently confirmed that clergy members abused nuns. Since the early days of monasticism, the presence of nuns led to restrictions that limited contact between men and women.
Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington D.C., prays during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2011. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

Theodore McCarrick will continue to be a Catholic priest

In the Catholic understanding, priesthood is not simply a job that a someone can be fired from. Ordination is a deeply spiritual ceremony that is believed to transfer the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sculpture of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, on the campus of Boston College. Jay Yuan/Shutterstock.com

What a 16th-century mystic can teach us about making good decisions

At times we just don't know what's the right thing to do. St. Ignatius, who founded the Society of Jesus, developed a method of discernment that can be useful even to those who are not religious.
A woman holds up a quilt with photos of people who say they were abused as children by priests, in San Diego, 2007. AP Photo/Denis Poroy

What Catholics can learn from protests of the past

There is rich Catholic heritage of resistance. Catholic protesters have used powerful religious symbols, including vials of their own blood, as an extension of Christ's blood, to demand change.
Clergy sex abuse was among the biggest religion stories of 2018. In this photo, a demonstrator holds up a protest sign at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma

Researching clergy sex abuse can take a heavy emotional toll: 3 essential reads

For scholars, researching the Catholic Church can mean a laborious process involving several years. And talking to survivors of clergy sex abuse can carry its own pain and personal toll.
Member of the Coalition of Catholics and Survivors hold a protesting outside the Boston archbishop’s residence in 2003. Jim Bourg/Reuters

The Catholic Church’s grim history of ignoring priestly pedophilia – and silencing would-be whistleblowers

While the problem of priestly abuse might be centuries old, its modern paper trail began after World War II, when 'treatment centers' appeared for rehabilitating priests. Many were send to New Mexico.

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