Accused priest’s name removed from street

The signs marking Monsignor Thompson Circle are coming down as an acknowledgement by the Diocese of San Bernardino that “credible allegations” of sexual abuse were made against Thompson.

Feds probe cardinal’s handling of abuse cases

The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles has launched a federal grand jury investigation into Cardinal Roger M. Mahony in connection with his response to the molestation of children by priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the case.

Feds probe cardinal’s handling of abuse cases

The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles has launched a federal grand jury investigation into Cardinal Roger M. Mahony in connection with his response to the molestation of children by priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the case.

Feds investigation Cardinal Mahony, sources say

The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles has launched a federal grand jury investigation into Cardinal Roger M. Mahony in connection with his response to the molestation of children by priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the case.

Joshing

The scoop, according to NYT’s Laurie Goodstein, is that President Obama will name Joshua DuBois to head COFANP, the Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships that inherits President Bush’s faith-based initiative. The 26-year-old DuBois headed religious outreach for the Obama campaign, and while he wasn’t in the inner circle of chieftains, he is by all reports close to Obama himself. Goodstein elicited words of praise for DuBois from John DiIulio, the bigfoot professor who first ran Bush’s effort, but there’s no hiding the fact that he’s not a social service pro, from either the academic or the practitioner side. He’s about the care and feeding of the community of the faith-based, as is underscored by the fact that Goodstein got her information from “religious leaders” whom the White House had informed about the appointment. No question, the hiring issue–whether Obama will, as promised, forbid those who receive government grants to discriminate on the basis of religion–is a biggie.

Falsani debuts on NPR

Our very own Cathleen Falsani (who we reluctantly have to share with the Chicago Sun-Times) makes her commentary debut on NPR: “The Vatican has begun its own YouTube channel. Viewers can now see the Pope performing a variety of duties such as blessing lambs, preaching sermons and meeting world leaders. But commentator and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Cathleen Falsani says if the Pope is trying to speak to young people, this particular medium might not be best.”

Under a Bushel

Dan Gilgoff calls attention to the absence of faith or any reference to social conservatism on the website of Sarah Palin’s new political action committee, and indeed it’s striking. Even Mike Huckabee’s HUCK PAC lists “the family” among the things it cares about. But movement evangelicals like Huckabee and Palin don’t need to advertise who they are to the movement. They do feel the need to veil it from everybody else. That’s why no one could manage to lay hands on the sermons Huck gave when he was a Baptist minister.

Polish priest gets prison for groping girl during flight

NEWARK, N.J. (RNS) A Roman Catholic priest from Poland was sentenced Tuesday (Jan. 27) to one year in federal prison for groping a 16-year-old girl in the dimmed cabin of a trans-Atlantic jet. The Rev. Tomasz Adam Zielinski, 33, admitted fondling the teenager from Belarus as she sat beside him on a flight from Poland to Newark last July. She was traveling alone to receive medical care in Pennsylvania and screamed when the priest reached under a blanket and tried to unzip her pants. U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares called the crime “disturbing” and ordered Zielinski to immediately begin serving the maximum term recommended by federal guidelines.

Someone stop the bleeding

Two separate closures to tell you about, one old and one new: Ignite Your Faith, a quarterly magazine for Christian teens, will end its 60-year publishing run this Spring. The magazine, published by Christianity Today International, reached readers aged 13-17 and had a circulation of 100,000. (via DMNews.com) And, according to a Facebook status update at least, Culture11.com, a fledgling commentary site that aimed to be the less strident voice of (political, economic and social) conservatives, is folding after just a few months in operation. One of the organizers was former White House official David Kuo, who left the faith-based office disillusioned when politics was judged to be more important than charity. From their masthead: “From pop culture to politics, from faith to philanthropy, you’ll find original content that provides a thoughtful point of view, entertains and explains how current events affect our lives and our culture.

Drinan and the FBI

Michael Paulson up at The Boston Globe used a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain copies of the late Rev. Robert Drinan’s FBI file. The fact that the FBI even kept a file on Drinan (the first and only Jesuit priest to serve in Congress) was the subject of controversy. Pope John Paul II made Drinan resign from Congress in 1981, saying it wasn’t proper for men of the cloth to be serving in government. Money quote: “The file indicates that the FBI had run its first check on Drinan in 1960, a decade before his election to Congress; upon his election, a note indicates that the bureau’s files “reflect that the Reverend Drinan has been active in civil rights matters.” In 1971, a suspicious nun wrote FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, saying, “I had doubted Father Drinan’s authenticity as a Catholic priest because I had read of certain views he expressed that seemed to be un-American, as well as unorthodox, from a religious standpoint.

More Updike

Frank has already posted on the passing of John Updike, but I couldn’t resist posting a link to this story, called “Varieties of Religious Experience,” after the great work by William James.

Demonizing Obama

The Atlantic sits down with Hisham Melhem, the Arab journalist who interviewed Obama on Monday. Moneyquote: “Look, in the long run, he is telling the Muslim world that it’s going to have a difficult time demonizing him. He’s saying, `I’m willing to disagree with the people of the Muslim world respectfully.’ He was miffed and angry by Zawahiri and Bin Laden, the way they speak of him. And he jumped on it and dealt with it.”

Debunking FOCA

Catholic News Service, the news service of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has a story about the false FOCA rumors flying around the Internets. Moneyquote: “Internet rumors to the contrary, no Catholic hospital in the United States is in danger of closing because of the Freedom of Choice Act. As a matter of fact, the Freedom of Choice Act died with the 110th Congress and, a week after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, has not been reintroduced. But that hasn’t kept misleading e-mails from flying around the Internet, warning of the dire consequences if Obama signs FOCA into law and promoting a “FOCA novena” in the days leading up to Inauguration Day. The Catholic Health Association “is strongly committed to opposing FOCA and (the board) is unanimous that we would do all we could to oppose it,” said Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St.