October 10, 2003
The Sin Against the Holy Ghost

The Vatican Palace makes even the mild-mannered, charitable, and reasonable Mark A.R. Kleiman wish that there were a Last Judgment and a Hell:     a virologist's views on the Real Presence?" href="http://www.markarkleiman.com/archives/000988.html">Mark A. R. Kleiman: Seems that someone in Rome has been reading Mark Twain: "Tell the truth, or trump. But take the trick." The Vatican, apparently despairing of its ability to spread what it regards as the divinely approved sexual morality using truthful arguments, has decided to just make up its own version of biology in order to scare people in Africa out of using the condoms that might save their lives. Makes you want to believe in Hell, doesn't it? Vatican: condoms don't stop Aids | Steve Bradshaw | Thursday October 9, 2003 | The Guardian The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by Aids not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which the HIV virus can pass - potentially exposing thousands of people to risk. The church is making the claims across four continents despite a widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to the HIV virus. A senior Vatican spokesman backs the claims about permeable condoms, despite assurances by the...

Posted by DeLong at 08:44 AM

July 31, 2003
Vexilla Regis Prodeunt Inferni

Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Matthew Yglesias pause to watch the Pope and his entourage go by in the great carnival that is the human parade, and their jaws drop in disbelief, and they are moved to fits of rage--or, in Matthew Yglesias's case, to accusations of "shoddy thinking" (which is as close to rage as he gets to rage): Electrolite: Rag:: Rag: I'm not actually back home yet, but some things leave one too agog not to blog. In this morning's New York Times, here's the Vatican fulminating over the idea of granting gay people the same legal rights as anyone else: The Vatican document, "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons,'' sets out a plan for politicians when confronted with proposed legislation granting homosexual couples the same rights as married heterosexuals. It also comes out strongly against allowing gay couples to adopt, saying children raised by same-sex parents face developmental "obstacles'' because they are deprived of having either a mother or a father. "Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children,'' it said. Yes, you read that right--letting children be raised by gay...

Posted by DeLong at 11:38 AM

May 30, 2003
Bearing False Witness

I had missed this: Welcome to GoErie.com: When will they ever learn? Boston's Roman Catholic archdiocese has once again shot itself in the foot. As we noted previously, its lawyers sought the records of the counselors who treated the victims of pedophile priests. The lawyers say now that the records of alleged victim Gregory Ford indicate he may have been abused by his father, Rodney, not the Rev. Paul Shanley. Rodney Ford denied the accusation and called the tactic "a disgrace," which it is. But the lawyers have a different opinion: "You have to make a distinction between victim assistance and litigation. It's trial by combat." We agree with the lawyers about the law -- we only point out, their client is supposed to favor victims, supposed to minister to them, serve them, but never exploit them or (as in this case) call one of them an abusive father as a legal ploy. Does the archdiocese want to win a lawsuit or win back public opinion?... I suppose that nothing coming out of the Chancery of the Archdiocese of Boston should surprise me any more, but things keep doing so. The only thing that makes any sense is that Boston...

Posted by DeLong at 11:33 AM

June 17, 2002
Repentance Is For Other People: Getting Depressed at the Morals of the Catholic Bishops

The Economist weighs the American Catholic bishops in the balance and finds them wanting: the bishops "went no further towards holding their colleagues, or themselves, responsible for failing to remove such priests before." I find myself agreeing with it: with the exception of Wilton Gregory, the dominant point of view adopted by the bishops seemed to be one that "repentance is for other people." As the Economist writes, "if the victims of clerical sexual abuse--four of whom addressed the conference as it opened--had hoped for showy resignations, they did not get them."

Posted by DeLong at 11:09 AM

May 09, 2002
The Silence of the Priests

Perhaps the most stunning thing about the current roman catholic clergy child abuse scandal is the silence of the priests...

Posted by DeLong at 03:06 PM