the Web Editors 8-20-2018

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis delivers a speech after a meeting with Patriarchs of the churches of the Middle East at the St. Nicholas Basilica in Bari, southern Italy July 7, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo

Pope Francis has responded today to recent reports of clerical sexual abuse and ecclesial cover-up through a letter titled “Letter to the People of God.” This letter comes on the heels of a 884-page reportdocumenting clerical abuse in Pennsylvania and ahead of the World Meeting of Families taking place Aug. 21-26 in Dublin, Ireland, where Pope Francis is scheduled to speak later in the week.

Parishioners arrive for Mass at Saint Patrick Catholic Church in York, Penn. Aug. 18, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Many churchgoers said they were sickened and saddened by a grand jury report detailing widespread sexual abuse by hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania but they would not let the Roman Catholic Church's cover-up dissuade them from their faith. 

FILE PHOTO: Cardinal Donald William Wuerl from U.S. waves as he arrives for a meeting at the Synod Hall in the Vatican March 7, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

The Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, withdrew on Saturday from next week's World Meeting of Families in Dublin, the second senior cleric to pull out of the Roman Catholic event amid clerical sexual abuse scandals in the United States.

Walking the Camino with my companions I’ve tried so far, as a spiritual practice, to stop thinking about American politics and Donald Trump. But then I’ve been given tomatoes, and orange juice, and coffee by total strangers, wishing me well on my pilgrimage. I’ve been a vulnerable one on a journey in a strange place.

Rabbi Salem Pearce 8-17-2018

Photo provided by Rabbi Salem Pearce

A few weeks ago, I saw evidence that our government treats animals better than it treats immigrants. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a watering trough for passing cattle. This trough destroys gallons of water intended for human beings.

When I saw this injustice, I had already been in the desert for several hours in 110 plus degree heat. I was sweating profusely but I was chilled to the bone.

The top of the St. Joseph Catholic Church is seen in Hanover, Penn., Aug. 16, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Both the Protestant and Roman Catholic worlds have been rocked in the past couple of weeks by news involving abuse and sexual misconduct. Willow Creek Community Church, one of the first churches to popularize the megachurch model, became the Protestant epicenter when more allegations of sexual harassment about its founder came to light. And six Catholic dioceses are now the Roman Catholic epicenter after an 884-page grand jury report revealed a massive cover-up in which priests abused at least 1,000, and likely many more, children over a period of 70 years.

the Web Editors 8-17-2018

1. What Can Change in the Wake of the Pennsylvania Sex Abuse Report?
“I don’t know that [the Catholic Church can] come back from this, and I don’t know if they should.”

2. Do Religious People Know More About Politics?
This quick study ranks political knowledge by religious affiliation. Lookin’ at you, Episcopalians.

Elizabeth Evans 8-16-2018

St. Joseph Catholic Church is seen in Hanover, Penn., Aug. 16, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Outraged Pennsylvania child welfare experts, parents, and advocates say that if the Catholic Church doesn’t change its self-protective stance and behaviors, the church remains guilty of privileging predators over victims, and imperils its own credibility as a religious institution.

FILE PHOTO - Aretha Franklin sings during the inauguration ceremony for President-elect Barack Obama in Washington, Jan. 20, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

Franklin started touring as part of her father's gospel show as a teenager and got a musical education from gospel greats of the time — the Staple Singers, the Soul Stirrers, James Cleveland and The Mighty Clouds of Joy.

Undocumented immigrant families walk from a bus depot to a respite center after being released from detention in McAllen, Texas, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Over the past four months, news from the border has chronicled the stories of families detained and separated — many of them seeking asylum from gang violence in Central America. Children as young as 8 months have been taken from their parents and sent across the country to children’s shelters, privately run detention centers, and, some, to foster families. Now, 20 days after a court-imposed deadline, more than 550 children still have not been returned to their parents, at least 300 of whom have been deported.

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