Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Politics of Sexual Abuse -- Are they Attempting to Silence Survivors?

Don't forget this stunt pulled by Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of DC and Cardinal William H. Keeler of the Baltimore.

WASHINGTON POST: Catholic Church calls on prominant Baltimore rabbi to help efforts to block legislation to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse

O'Malley to refocus on Catholic-Jewish ties - Urges increase in links, dialogue
By Charles A. Radin, Globe Staff |
May 10, 2006
Boston Globe
May 10, 2006

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and leaders of the Jewish community are attempting to reinvigorate efforts to build Catholic-Jewish relations, following a period of moral and financial troubles in the church.

In a widely anticipated first address to the Jewish community tonight, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley intends to emphasize the commitment of the church to the revolutionary 1965 document Nostra Aetate that repudiated centuries of teaching and tradition that held the Jewish people eternally responsible for the death of Jesus.

Such traditions, Catholics now acknowledge, played a major role in creating the environment for the Nazi Holocaust, or Shoah, against the Jews of Europe.

Cardinal Richard J. Cushing, who led the archdiocese in the aftermath of World War II, and Cardinal Bernard F. Law, O'Malley's predecessor, both put strong emphasis on good Catholic-Jewish relations, but until now O'Malley has rarely spoken on the subject.

''We need to have more connection and dialogue" with the Jewish community, O'Malley said in a recent interview. ''In the time I have been here, the demands on my attention have been such that I haven't had as much time as I would like for this."

''Relations with other religions are also important," O'Malley said, but understanding the historic relationship between Judaism and Catholicism and building good relations is essential.

''The Catholic Church comes out of the Jewish religion; the church is the daughter of the synagogue," he said. ''The Mass, which is the center of our spiritual life, is basically a synagogue service and a Seder meal brought together. . . . Christianity and Catholicism can be understood only in light of our Hebrew roots."

O'Malley said that he draws inspiration for his effort from Pope John Paul II, who by personal acts -- praying at Jerusalem's Western Wall, visiting Rome's central synagogue and the death camp at Auschwitz, recognizing the state of Israel -- improved Catholic-Jewish relations dramatically.

The late pope ''saw the 20th century as the century of the Shoah," O'Malley said. ''He encouraged Catholics to come to grips with the meaning of the Holocaust."

Boston has been the scene of both lows and highs in relations between the two religions.

In the 1930s and 1940s, anti-Semitic priests like the Rev. Charles E. Coughlin and the Rev. Leonard J. Feeney were wildly popular here and tolerated by the church. But that changed radically under Cushing, whose censure of Feeney led to the priest's excommunication in the 1950s.

Cushing, whose sister was married to a Jew, began building bridges between the religions even before Nostra Aetate, and in the 1990s an alliance between Law and Leonard P. Zakim, the late, beloved director of the Anti-Defamation League in New England, made the archdiocese a national leader in interfaith relations. In this archdiocese, completion of a curriculum on Catholic teachings about Jews and Jesus is required for a Catholic to become a certified teacher of Christian doctrine.

But with the death of Zakim in 1999, the beginnings of the clergy sexual-abuse scandal and Law's resignation in 2002, and financial woes that continue to trouble the archdiocese, the interfaith effort faded from public prominence.

''There was no conscious movement away from it," said Andrew Tarsy, who became executive director of the ADL last August, ''but there had been a period in which a drift away from our common purpose seemed possible."

Tarsy approached O'Malley last November at the archdiocese's 40th anniversary commemoration of Nostra Aetate, at St. Julia Parish in Weston, and the cardinal agreed to speak publicly on the subject of Catholic-Jewish relations. The address, at 7 tonight at the Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center in Newton, is free and open to the public.

Charles A. Radin can be reached at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In brief

‘Sister Rose’s Passion’ shown at St. Mary’s
Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, IN
May 13, 2006

“Sister Rose’s Passion,” a documentary about an 84-year-old Dominican nun’s successful effort to change the Catholic Church’s institutionalized views of Judaism, will be shown locally. The movie’s showing, sponsored by the Temple and St. Mary’s Catholic-Jewish Dialogue, will be at 7 p.m. May 24 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1101 S. Lafayette St. The program is open to the public.

Author to discuss ‘Da Vinci Code’

Catholic author Amy Welborn will discuss “The Da Vinci Code” at 7 p.m. May 23 at the Archbishop Noll Center, 915 S. Clinton St. The event is free and open to the public. Welborn will examine the book’s perspective on the history of the Christian church.

She will answer questions from the audience after her presentation. She will also sign copies of her book, “De-coding Da Vinci: The Facts Behind the Fiction.”

TCT Network planning conference at Don Hall’s

The TCT Network’s Partnership Conference will be 7 to 9 p.m. May 24 and 26 at Don Hall’s Guesthouse Hotel & Conference Center, 1313 W. Washington Center Road. Services from both nights will be televised.

Guests will include Myles and Valerie Holmes, Dean and Mary Brown, the Rev. Sam Rijfkogel, Bishop George Brooks and more. Call 419-298-3703 for more information and to register.

Vatican approves revisions in bishops’ policy on abuse

Vatican officials have approved revisions to the U.S. bishops’ discipline plan for clergy who molest children, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Tuesday.

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops had finalized the changes in June of last year, leaving intact the main points of the plan they had adopted in 2002 at the height of the abuse crisis.

Interfaith activity up since 9/11, study finds

Interfaith worship and community service has increased in the years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a new survey. About 22 percent of congregations reported participating in interfaith worship in the past year, compared with 7 percent in a Faith Communities Today 2000 Survey.

And nearly 38 percent of congregations reported participating in interfaith community service work, compared with 8 percent in the 2000 poll.

May 13, 2006 7:28 AM  

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