As a rabbi, I am deeply conscious of the transcendent value of religious freedom. I believe that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is indeed one of God's best creations. So I listen with great care to claims it is being violated.
Amid all the more notable intrigue and scandal, a jury in the little city of Appleton, Wis., recently demolished a defense that has shielded the church from hundreds, if not thousands, of claims related to sexual crimes committed by priests against minors.
It has been a rough spring for American nuns. They've been thinking unapproved thoughts and talking out of turn, and the male hierarchy of the church is not happy. And they are doing something about it.
What is happening at the Vatican is an illustration of the problem of balancing maintenance and attention to substance. But those who are involved at the levels of decision making in Vatican City are not evil people.
If Timothy Dolan is to be believed, he's ready to sacrifice the poor -- many of whom are elderly, juvenile, disabled and infirm -- in Christ's name, for the greater good of wining the war against contraception.
Would Joan of Arc have fought for the current Catholic crowd in Rome? How would they have "contained" her -- just as they seek to "contain" the good nuns? Would she have died for the Vatican Boys Club? Or would she have raised the banner of the Sisters?
For years there have been many people in authority above him who were repeatedly made aware of the struggles and difficulties surrounding the abusive behavior of the founder and other dysfunctions in the Legionaries
At the end of this month, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious will meet to formulate a response to a Vatican trap whose cunning is best appreciated within the long tradition of religious authorities who craft impossible dilemmas for those they perceive as threats.
Does the Pope really want to force American Catholics to choose between standing with our nuns or with a male hierarchy interrogating them for nebulous infractions, with a stated agenda of keeping their findings secret?
The great crime in the Vatican's sex abuse scandal is not the existence of pedophiles within its ranks of priests, although that is bad enough, but the fact that the Church as a matter of policy transferred known pedophiles to unsuspecting parishes.