Religion
The 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America grants freedom of worship, speech & press; the right to petition the government & to assemble peaceably. Specifically with regard to "religion" it states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Many on the left have tried for at least 50 years to re-write history with regard to "separation of church and state" and to downgrade the religious beliefs of the founding fathers. This quote should satisfy both questions: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports ... and let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." George Washington, Farewell Speech, 9/17/1796 (from "Being George Washington"). The Liberty Institute lists the many & varied current activities to attempt to eliminate Religious Freedom in America. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at the London School of Economics and Erasmus University Medical Center found that the secret to sustained happiness lies in participating in religion. “The church appears to play a very important social role in keeping depression at bay and also as a coping mechanism during periods of illness in later life,” an author of the study said.

Intense Debate Over Handling of Abuse Scandal Ensues at USCCB Meeting

11/14/18
from National Catholic Register,
11/14/18:

More than 20 bishops and cardinals offered passionate speeches during an open-floor discussion in Baltimore Tuesday afternoon.

More than 20 bishops and cardinals offered passionate speeches during an open-floor discussion on the sex-abuse crisis at the U.S. bishops’ meeting in Baltimore on Tuesday afternoon. More bishops wanted to speak, but due to time constraints, their comments were reserved for the next morning. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), opened the discussions with the announcement that he had created a “deliberately small” task force, comprised of himself and the former presidents of the USCCB. The task force, which includes Cardinal DiNardo and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Archbishop Wilton Gregory, will work closely with the committees of the conference to examine instances of abuse and mishandling of abuse cases, and their work will culminate in a report presented at the next bishops’ meeting in June, Cardinal DiNardo said. Afterward, Cardinal DiNardo opened the floor to any comments on the task force or the issue of the sex-abuse crisis at large.

Archbishop Cordileone said he has found that Catholics tend to fall in one of two camps regarding the abuse crisis: The first camp believes that the Church is not talking about the real problem, which is the prevalence of homosexuality among the clergy and its correlation with abuse, he said. The second camp believes that the real problem is an all-male hierarchy, “because women would never have allowed this to happen,” and therefore women must be invited in to all levels of the clergy. Archbishop Cordileone, who clarified that he was merely reporting what he found among his people, said that both conclusions are overly simplistic, but neither are without some merit.

When considering the first camp, Archbishop Cordileone cautioned against the “overly simplistic” conclusion that homosexuality causes sexual abuse. That “obviously cannot be true” he said, as some priests with homosexual tendencies faithfully serve the Church, while some heterosexual priests serve the Church poorly. Still, the concern “has some validity,” he said, pointing to a recently published study by Father D. Paul Sullins, a Catholic priest and retired Catholic University of America sociology professor. Father Sullins’ analysis found a rising trend in abuse and argued that the evidence strongly suggests links between sexual abuse of minors and two factors: a disproportionate number of homosexual clergy and the manifestation of a “homosexual subculture” in seminaries. “The worst thing we could do is discredit this study so we can ignore or deny this reality,” Archbishop Cordileone said. “We have to lean into it. ... To ignore it would be fleeing from the truth.”

Bishop Robert Daniel Conlon of Joliet, Illinois, said he agreed with an earlier suggestion of Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, that the remedy for the abuse crisis and accusations against bishops may already be found in the bishops’ charters and laws. “People say the Church is hung up on sex; this is evidence of that,” he said regarding the debate about the sex-abuse crisis. “We are capable of malfeasance in many other areas, as well,” he said, and he urged the bishops to consider more broadly the ways bishops may have gone wrong. “I promised celibacy during (ordinations),” he added, “and I have to say I’m a little chagrined to be asked to sign something that says I will be accountable to certain standards.”

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, a “small rural area” with a minority-Catholic population, gave a notably strong speech, in which he asked the bishops to consider how McCarrick got to be in the positions that he was “if we really believed that what was going on was wrong?” “It’s part of our deposit of faith that we believe homosexual activity is immoral,” he said. “How did he get promoted if we are all of one mind that this is wrong? Do we believe the doctrine of the Church or not?” Bishop Strickland said that while homosexual people are “children of God who deserve great care” and not personal condemnation, the Church should teach clearly that homosexual actions are sinful and help people move from sin to virtue. “There’s a priest that travels around saying that he doesn’t (believe this teaching), and he’s well promoted in various places,” Bishop Strickland said. “Can that be presented in our dioceses? That same-sex ‘marriage’ is just fine and that the Church may one day grow to understand that? That’s not what we teach.” Bishop Strickland’s speech was also followed by applause from numerous bishops.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas,... the media “has been very negative” about the Church following the crisis and has perpetuated a “myth” that nothing has changed since the 2002 Dallas Charter, and that the bishops must do a better job speaking out about what has already changed.

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