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A few quick questions while we're waiting

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Nov 05, 2012

Yes, I realize that the attention of most readers is riveted on the US presidential race. Mine too. But while we’re waiting, a few passing comments on news stories that raised questions in my mind:

First is the story of the late Jimmy Saville, identified in the CWN news story as “an English disk jockey and media personality.” I confess that I had never heard of the man until a furor arose over the revelations that he has been accused of molesting dozes of young girls, and that he held a papal knighthood. Calls for the revocation of that knighthood are to no avail because, as the papal spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, explained, “the honor expires with the death of the individual.” In other words he might have been a papal knight while he was living, but he isn’t any more.

So there’s nothing to be done? Father Lombardi suggests: “The most important thing, therefore, is to reaffirm the Church condemnation of all forms of sexual abuse, and particularly abuse of minors, as extremely grave crimes.” Yes, certainly. But let me suggest another action item: Take a careful look at the system by which men are named as papal knights, and ask why a “disk jockey and media personality” would ever be given that honor?

Next is today’s story about a nun charged with stealing $100,000 from two New York parishes. To be sure, a vow of poverty does not make one immune to the temptations of avarice. But shouldn’t it become obvious if a women religious is leading the sort of lifestyle that requires $100,000 more than her order provides?

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Nov. 05, 2012 9:43 PM ET USA

    Excellent points; particularly the first. A hallmark of the confusion these days is that so much that really ought to be obvious is really not obvious at all. Those who don't see the obvious are often as incredulous that there is any problem at all as those who are incredulous that the problem ever "got off the ground" yet enjoyed endorsement by authorities. This is the reality, and it is a real problem. Mr. Lawler points out that these days simplicity can prove maddeningly elusive.

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