Paul Moses, a professor of journalism at Brooklyn College/CUNY, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009).
By this author
The events surrounding Pope Benedict's resignation and the election of his successor will likely be the subject of inquiry for a very, very long time. Today, the Holy See issued a statement that served to heighten the intrigue further:
This much is confirmed: Pope Benedict XVI received a secret report from a commission consisting of three cardinals he had appointed to investigate the leak of confidential Vatican documents. "The commission has done its work," a spokesman for the Vatican said. Did the contents of that report so dishearten Benedict that he decided to renounce the papacy? The Vatican spokesman, Rev.
The destructive sweep of Hurricane Sandy was such that it took some days for outside relief agencies and the news media to arrive in force in southern Brooklyn, where I live. During that time, relief efforts sprang up locally through houses of worship and neighborhood organizations, providing emergency food, shelter, clothing and supplies. It was a time when the community came together, aided by police, firefighters and ambulance workers - a moment to be proud of, really.
I don't suppose detectives from the LAPD will put up for the redactions that obscure important passages in the documents the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released concerning its handling of clergy sexual abuse.
The death of former New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch reminded me of the jovial relationship he had with the late Cardinal John O'Connor. Although they differed on such issues as abortion and gay rights, they were able to get along famously and even to co-author a book examining some of their areas of disagreement. As I wrote in Commonweal in 2004, Koch, who was Jewish, once told me of when he asked a Catholic law partner why OConnor would not let prochoice Catholics speak at St. Patrick's Cathedral but always invited him.
Bishop Robert W. Finn has used the occasion of the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists, to upbraid Kansas City-based National Catholic Reporter, which is located in his diocese.
This bishops' battle against President Barack Obama continues in the new administration - or at least it does in the Diocese of Brooklyn, where I live. That is one of the messages to be drawn from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio's strongly worded column, in which he writes, among other things, that "In my view, those who voted for President Obama bear the responsibility for a step deeper in the culture of death."Commenting on the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling, the bishop also writes:
Newly released documents detailing how far church leaders in Los Angeles went to conceal clergy sexual abuse in the late 1980s help fill in the story of the scandal and how it developed at the highest level of the nation's largest diocese. As reported in the Los Angeles Times:
Back in the days when I worked part-time or summer jobs such as hot dog vendor, library clerk and shoe salesman, I remember being outraged upon learning that McDonald's Corp. had showered President Richard Nixon with campaign donations to persuade him not to raise the minimum wage.