– in Philadelphia –
A horrible story is beginning all over again, like a déjà vu nightmare. What happened in Boston 10 years ago is beginning in Pennsylvania today.
Ten years ago next week, The Boston Globe broke the story about sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston. The story of priestly criminality and episcopal negligence exploded, running on the front page of the Globe and its parent company, The New York Times, every day for weeks on end. A decade later, the scandals and their aftermath are still a searing experience. Continue reading
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn — Luke 2:7.
So the Christian world will hear this night and tomorrow morning, as pilgrims listen again to those ordinary words steeped in biblical significance. There is nothing inherently Christian about “swaddling clothes,” for all babies are wrapped in something, but to hear of swaddling clothes brings the mind immediately to Bethlehem. Years ago, a misguided Catholic liturgist opted for “bands of cloth” instead of “swaddling clothes,” so for a while Canadian parishioners at Midnight Mass had the image of Mary dressing a wound rather than cuddling a baby. Continue reading
The Prime Minister of Canada released today a “message for the Christmas season” which is both comically inept and offensive. A PMO famous for its exacting message control ought to be able to cobble together a decent Christmas statement, but apparently not. And no blaming this embarrassment on the junior assistant speechwriter in the office of the deputy associate director of communications. No, the PM himself took time to videotape this greeting to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Christmas message, so he was fully aware of what was not in it. Continue reading