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Catholic Tag

As a Catholic, I have been following the response of the Catholic Church to the detailed testimony of former Vatican diplomat Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò that the Vatican knew about the sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by an American cardinal and covered it up. So far, American Catholics are giving the pontiff low marks for his handling of the scandal.
Just 3 out of 10 American Catholics say the pope has done an “excellent” or “good” job handling the church’s sex abuse crisis. The approval percentage is the lowest that Catholics in the U.S. have given the pope since the Pew Research Center began tracking views of his performance more than four years ago.

Pope Francis has just concluded an emergency summit with U.S. bishops over the growing sex abuse crisis and cover-up scandal that has impacted the Roman Catholic Church in the wake of the revelations in by a Pennsylvania grand jury and the details offered in a letter recently published by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who served a a Vatican diplomat in Washington D.C. from 2011 to 2016.

A shocking 11-page letter by a former apostolic nuncio (a papal diplomat) to the United States has rocked the Catholic world after it was widely released last week. The testimony offered by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 77, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington D.C. from 2011 to 2016, accuses several senior church officials of complicity in covering up allegations of sexual abuse of minors and young men by former Archbishop of Washington D.C., Theodore McCarrick. Viganò also claims that Pope Francis knew about sanctions imposed on then-Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI, chose to ignore those sanctions, and allowed McCaarrick to become a power-player in determining church appointments in this country.

About six days after a report dropped that detailed the child sexual abuse by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania, Pope Francis has released a statement tearing apart those involved in the abuse and cover-up. From The Washington Examiner:
"'If one member suffers, all suffer together with it' (1 Cor 12:26)," the pope wrote in his statement. "These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons."

I noted that after Meryl Steep hectored the audience at the Golden Globes, her last name became a verb to describe a prominent person using a non-political platform to make a political statement demeaning a portion of their audience in a quest for social justice credentials. Entertainers aren't the only ones who can "streep", either. At a recent conference in Modesto, CA comprised of nearly 700 community organizers and social justice activists, the Bishop of San Diego, Robert McElroy, recently encouraged "disruption" in response to President Trump's immigration and economic policies.

Summit Crosses have adorned hill tops and mountain peaks in the Alps since the dawn of Christianity in the West. Roman legionaries are said of have brought Christianity to the Alpine region as early as second century of Christian era. In recent months, these religious and historic symbols are targets of vandalism in this mountainous region that runs between Germany and Austria. Since August, five such crosses have been severely vandalised or destroyed, Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung reports. Islamist have recently carried out several acts of vandalism against Christian statues and symbols across Germany. In 2014, police in Cologne apprehended a gang of Islamists responsible for desecrating number of churches, stealing Christian artefacts and sending the proceeds to Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

In an explosive new email chain released within a new cache by WikiLeaks, Podesta explains their attempts to subvert the Catholic church with progressive organizations created for the purpose of prompting a "Catholic Spring." The "seeds of this revolution" take the form of progressive groups like Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United. From WikiLeaks:

Ahead of this week’s EU summit in Slovenia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, already suffering from low popularity at home, looks more isolated then ever at the European stage. Having backed Chancellor Merkel at the beginning of the Migrant Crisis last year, Government of Austria has long distanced itself from Berlin’s liberal stance on migrant influx into Europe. However, what worries Berlin today is the emerging alliance between Austria and the Central European countries of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic -- also referred to as the Visegrad group. Prominent German newspaper Die Welt viewed the new development with concern. “Should the five [countries] were to act in concert, this would create a new political power centre in Europe,” Die Welt noted. This new rival block could pose a serious challenge to German-French dominated “European Project”. Most Visegrad member states have been against Merkel’s liberal Migrant Policy right from its onset. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban remains the most vocal opponent of Merkel’s Brussels-backed pro-migrant stance. “Europe's biggest problem at the moment is naivety.” Prime Minster Orban said while talking to reporters earlier this week. “[EU’s] migration policy is based on naivety and that's why we are in huge trouble today.”

Last week, Republican Presidential hopeful, Marco Rubio, opened up about his faith, what it means to doubt one's faith, and where he turns in times of tumult and challenge. His candid response caught the attention of many Republican Christians. That was until this video surfaced. At an event organized by American Renewal Project in Iowa, Sen. Rubio shared the gospel with a large audience of pastors. Like his previous answers on the matter, Rubio spoke at length of peace. Not "hippy peace" as he called it, but the "peace that we are ordered to." For five minutes forget about politics, forget about your personal candidate preferences and just... listen.

Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio was asked if he goes to God for counsel when encountering difficult decisions. Rubio took the opportunity to elaborate on his relationship with faith and peace. "You know, I'd love to tell you absolutely all the time. I should and I often do. I think none of us do that enough," said Rubio. "About two months ago, somebody asked me, "do you ever doubt your faith?" I think people think doubting faith means you wake up in the morning and you say I wonder if there's really a God. I think we all doubt our faith. Let me tell you when you doubt your faith," he continued. "You doubt your faith when you're confronted with a challenge or a problem and you start to have deep anxiety."

As the United States is preparing for the visit of Pope Francis, security efforts are focused on a potential terror plot:
On the eve of Pope Francis' historic first visit to the United States, law enforcement officials are concerned terrorists could disguise themselves as police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians to carry out attacks, according to a report from NBC News Monday. A memo titled "First Responder Impersonators: The New Terrorist Threat," from the Pennsylvania State Police's Criminal Intelligence Center and sent to law enforcement, warned that terrorists could falsely identify themselves as first responders to enter secure areas and carry out attacks. "The impersonators' main goals are to further their attack plan and do harm to unsuspecting citizens as well as members of the emergency services community," the memo read, according to NBC News.
This contrasts to a security incident that occurred in 2013, during the papal visit to Brazil:

Out of the sea of rainbow-frocked Facebook profile photos, corporate logos, and colorfully lit buildings emerged a seemingly innocuous black and white video. With a mission to, "educate and inspire Americans of all faiths to prioritize the issues of life, faith, and family," Catholic Vote is the brains behind the video that has publications like Ad Week up in arms. Billed with the hashtag #SpeakTruthWithLove and filmed as a coming out video of sorts, 'Not Alone' illuminates the flip-side side of the gay marriage coin -- those who believe in traditional marriage. "I am a little nervous about people hearing that I am this way and people thinking, well, you know, she's not welcome here," says one woman. "Most people probably already think I'm weird anyway, so I don't think society's impression of me is going to change drastically based on one or two discoveries that come to light after this video," expresses another. "It's pretty scary, you know? You wonder how many people can I really, truly, honestly be open with?" The big confession? "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman." Take a look:
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