Articles on Catholic church

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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.
A Halloween ghost. Werner Reischel/Flickr.com

Why believing in ghosts can make you a better person

Ghost stories are often about the departed seeking justice for an earthly wrong. Their sightings are a reminder that ethics and morality transcend our lives.
Women hold signs as they take part in a demonstration against government plans to ban or limit the practice of abortion in Turkey on 22 June 2012, in Istanbul. Reuters

Debate: When abortion is ‘haram’, women find strategies to claim their rights

Abortion appears to be illegal and clandestine in large parts of the Muslim world. Yet, women continue to challenge the status quo and archaic laws through their daily practices and activism.
The conflict between the rules of the church on the confidentiality of confessions and mandatory reporting laws is not a new issue. Shutterstock

Should priests be made to report child abuse revealed in confession?

One of the most controversial recommendations from the Royal Commission is that child abuse disclosed in confession should be mandatorily reported. But the matter is more complex than it might appear.
Walter V. Robinson, the US investigative journalist who was portrayed by Michael Keaton in the film Spotlight, talks to Media Files about his team’s investigation into child abuse in the Catholic Church. EPA/ETTORE FERRARI/AAP

Media Files: Spotlight’s Walter V. Robinson and the Newcastle Herald’s Chad Watson on covering clergy abuse - and the threats that followed

Spotlight’s Walter V. Robinson and the Newcastle Herald’s Chad Watson on covering clergy abuse - and the threats that followed. The Conversation74.5 MB (download)
In this episode, we hear from Walter V. Robinson on how the Boston Globe Spotlight investigation into clergy abuse began, and from the Newcastle Herald's Chad Watson on how his paper covered abuse.
New priests being ordained during a ceremony led by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, when they take vows, including to remain celibate. AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

How views on priestly celibacy changed in Christian history

Early Christians were open to marriage for priests. It wasn't until the 12th century that celibacy became mandatory in the Catholic Church.
Members of Chile’s bishops conference, in May 2018, who say they are open to whatever Pope Francis proposes to overhaul the Chilean church devastated by a clergy sex abuse and cover-up scandal. AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Why the Catholic Church is so slow to act in sex abuse cases: 4 essential reads

Pope Francis has been accused of a cover-up in the sex abuse scandal involving Theodore McCarrick, a former archbishop. Experts explain why it's hard for the Catholic Church to hold clergy accountable.
Pennsylvania grand jury accused Cardinal Wuerl of helping to protect abusive priests when he was Pittsburgh’s bishop. AP Photo/Kevin Wolf

For some Catholics, it is demons that taunt priests with sexual desire

While many American Catholics believe demons and exorcism to be part of a distant past, an expert explains how beliefs that sexual desires could be part of demonic temptation still persist.
Victims or their family members react to a Pennsylvania grand jury investigation that identified more than 1,000 child victims of clergy sexual abuse. AP/Matt Rourke

Civil lawsuits are the only way to hold bishops accountable for abuse cover-ups

In the wake of new revelations about clergy sex abuse and cover-up in Pennsylvania, civil lawsuits brought by abuse victims may be the only effective way to hold Catholic church officials accountable.

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