Author Archives: Jim Bowman

Jim Bowman covered religion 1968-78 for the Chicago Daily News, since then has written books, articles, etc., mostly on corporate history but also on religion (Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968), and more recently on politics (Illinois Blues: How the Ruling Party Talks to Voters, —, Kindle). Longtime Oak Park, Illinois, resident, he lives now on Chicago’s North Side, where four of his and Winnie’s six children live close by.

Cardinal Cupich Cites ‘Dramatic Drop’ in U.S. Clergy Abuse Cases as Vatican Summit Begins – The Tablet

Well if that is so, and I believe it is so, then why have the big summit about children with Americans in attendance, who were not allowed in November to work out their own solution to the main current problem, abuse by bishops et al. of non-children?

Or have the Americans hold a seminar for the rest of the world.

In any case, why is Cupich bragging on this dramatic drop when he’s one of two American bishops on the Vatican cabinet post who arranged the last-minute kibosh, blindsiding, of the November meeting?

Intriguing, this Vatican intrigue, especially with a one-time Peronista in charge.

Andersonville Cafe Wins $10K Brand Makeover In National Competition – Edgeville Buzz

Couldn’t happen to better people, in my happy experience at this place.

Keep in mind, U.S. Catholics: Letters from the Vatican: #2 | Xavier Rynne II | First Things

It’s catch-up time for most of the world’s bishops on the designated issue of the current synod.

Amidst their justifiable frustration and anger, and without for a moment backing off from their demands for a deeper reform of the priesthood and episcopate, U.S. Catholics should understand the Church in the United States (as well as the Church in Australia and other parts of the Anglosphere) is far ahead of most of the rest of the world Church in addressing the sin, crime, and scandal of clerical sexual abuse.

The U.S. Church is far ahead of the Vatican, too. That is one reason why there is a significant perception-gap between the United States and the rest of the world Church about the Vatican abuse summit of 2019.

Vatican officials, and Pope Francis himself, have said that the basic goal of the summit is to make the presidents of bishops’ conferences aware of the nature and extent of the clerical sexual abuse of minors. The Church in the United States turned that page more than fifteen years ago.

In the U.S. context, the issues of the moment are episcopal responsibility and accountability, further reform of seminary recruitment and priestly formation, and the sexual misconduct of either heterosexual or homosexual clergy that does not involve minors or coercion.

American Catholics (and Australian Catholics, and other Catholics) can and should welcome the rest of the world Church getting itself up to speed by confronting the denial and the institutional lethargy that helps facilitate sexual abuse. But it would be imprudent to expect that a great global plan of reform is going to be announced at the end of the Vatican meeting on February 24. [Indeed!]

What that suggests is that, once everyone returns home, the leadership of the U.S. bishops conference should proceed, and quickly, with its own reform plans—hopefully, with the support of the Roman authorities, including Pope Francis.

Even better, and with many of the Church’s leaders in Rome this week, perhaps the reforms that have been undertaken in the United States and that continue to be refined there (and elsewhere) could become better known (and even appreciated) in those parts of the world Church just beginning to face the hard facts of clerical sexual abuse. [Italics added throughout]

On the mark, bingo, bull’s eye. Go XR II.

Xavier Rynne II | Authors | First Things

This is quite something that I missed the first (and 2nd, 3rd and many another) time around. A second Xavier Rynne come to report on and analyze pseudonymouslyinner workings of a major gathering of bishops.

The first XR, later revealed as an American theologian, did Vatican 2 beautifully, giving session-by-session detailed, just slightly gossipy, accounts run in The New Yorker, and I assure you, avidly consumed by Jesuit seminarians.

They came as each a Letter from Vatican City, the last of them a few years after council close, in 1968 about birth control. Now we have another, not so new “letter” writer, who began with coverage of the 2015 synod.

Dozens such letters followed. Today’s is Letters from the Vatican: #2, the second offering Reports and Commentary, from Rome and Elsewhere, on the “Meeting for the Protection of Minors.”

Will Democrats here have the guts to charge Jussie Smollett with a felony? | The Barbershop: Dennis Byrne, Proprietor

Do not, repeat not, bet the house on it.

Meghan Markle Backs Campaign to ‘Decolonize’ UK Curriculum from ‘Male, Pale, and Stale’ Professors

Duchess of Sussex, eh? I say go back to Sussex where you belong.

“Bool sheet” ideal comment . . .

Short items of little import . . .

. . . when encountering viewpoint or assertion opposed to your own.

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A zero carbon future for the Catholic Church? | Jesuits in Britain

I hear the sound of one hand clapping when I read about this.

Stephen Colbert, much beloved of anti-Trumpers, hosted a virulent true believer in the cause with all-in support for Smollett for which neither will ever apologize . . .

Sample of what’s hot on the young-liberal circuit, where there’s apparently a yuck a minute and definitely lots of eager live audience approval:

Consider, for example, what Stephen Colbert did on The Late Show. Two days after Smollett claimed he was attacked, Colbert invited lesbian actress Ellen Page onto the CBS program to blame the Trump administration, and particularly Vice President Mike Pence, for “what happened the other day to Jussie.” 

After describing Pence’s conservative policies as having “hurt LGBTQ people so badly,” Page said: “Connect the dots. This is what happens if you are in a position of power and you hate people and you want to cause suffering to them — you go through the trouble, you spend your career trying to cause suffering, what do you think is going to happen?”

This was either deliberate slander, or evidence of insuperable stupidity, but neither Colbert nor Page have acknowledged any error, because they don’t have to. Presumably, the advertisers and executives at CBS have no problem paying Colbert to falsely blame Republicans for a “hate crime” that turns out to be a hoax, and Page knows that every liberal in Hollywood will applaud her “courage” for insulting the vice president.

She knows her audience.

Second thought: Her performance was not comedic —  Let’s be clear, she prefaced her remarks — but bathetic.

Or: To adapt Oscar Wilde’s reaction after reading Dickens’ description of the death of a lead character in The Old Curiosity Shop, “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.”

Trump Adds Senior Campaign Staff for 2020 Race – WSJ

Trump’s got the hang of it, does he not?

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