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Prominent priest, Rev. Benedict Groeschel, blames sex victims, says first-time abusers shouldn't face jail

NEW YORK (RNS) The Rev. Benedict Groeschel, a prominent author and speaker who is especially popular with conservative Catholics and bishops, has sparked outrage by saying that priests who sexually abuse children "on their first offense" should not go to jail. He added that in “a lot of cases” the child is “the seducer.” By David Gibson and Daniel Burke.

Pope's butler charged with stealing private papers

(RNS) Pope Benedict XVI's butler will stand trial for stealing the pope's private papers and leaking them to the press. According to an indictment sentence by a Vatican judge, Paolo Gabriele said he acted feeling like an agent of the Holy Spirit. By Alessandro Speciale.

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Nuns reject Vatican takeover but seek dialogue on differences

ST. LOUIS (RNS) American nuns facing a Vatican takeover of their leadership organization on Friday (Aug. 10) rejected Rome’s plans to recast the group in a more conservative mold but declined – for now – to respond with an ultimatum that could have created an unprecedented schism between the sisters and the hierarchy. By David Gibson.

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Do the American nuns have a future?

ST. LOUIS (RNS) Catholic sisters gathered at their annual assembly intensified discussions on Thursday (Aug. 9) aimed at thwarting a Vatican takeover of their group, but hanging over the meeting was an even larger, existential question: Do the nuns have a future? By David Gibson.

Nuns gather to plan response to Vatican crackdown

ST. LOUIS (RNS) As hundreds of nuns met here on Wednesday to begin crafting an answer to Vatican demands that their leaders toe the line on orthodoxy, there was a pervasive sense that this week's discussions could lead to a fateful juncture in the history of Catholicism in America.

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Legacy of Vatican II at heart of dispute between Vatican, U.S. nuns

AMITYVILLE, N.Y. (RNS) Some critics say many Catholic sisters have been using the Second Vatican Council to justify positions and activities that are in conflict with official church teachings, but some nuns say they are living by Vatican II's call to get out of the convent and into the community. By Kim Lawton of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.