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No ‘slow news day’ today: hints of paranoia, real causes for alarm, and two cardinals’ deaths

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Sep 04, 2019

August is traditionally a slow month for news, and then things heat up quickly in September. That’s certainly been the case this year. In today’s Catholic World News headlines you’ll find:

Hints of paranoia:

  • Former cardinal McCarrick denies wrongdoing, says his “enemies” were out to get him, and dismisses Archbishop Vigano as “a representative of the far right.”
  • Pope Francis accepts a book that posits a right-wing American conspiracy against his pontificate, and comments “it’s an honor that Americans attack me.”

New causes for alarm

  • The Wall Street Journal reveals that the Holy See faces a soaring budget deficit—roughly one-fourth of the total budget now shows in red ink—and the Pope has called an emergency meeting to discuss the problem.
  • Buffalo’s Bishop Malone, already facing loud calls for his resignation after mishandling abuse complaints, faces another crisis after the airing of a taped conversation in which he discusses ways to avoid publicity on a new scandal. “I feel strong,” the bishop tells hand-picked reporters, refusing to resign and admitting only that the situation is “convoluted.”

The deaths of two elderly cardinals

  • Colombian Cardinal José de Jesus Pimiento Rodriguez, the oldest living cardinal, died on Tuesday at the age of 100, and then…
  • French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who became the oldest living cardinal, died the next day at 96.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Cory - Sep. 10, 2019 6:45 AM ET USA

    I think it would be good for the Vatican to be bankrupt. There's be no more money to fuel drug orgies, pay off gay prostitutes. Maybe finally it will be a Church that is poor. At the moment, Francis and his cohorts is nothing more than talk.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Sep. 07, 2019 6:03 PM ET USA

    I suppose it wouldn’t be surprising if there was a supplemental Peter’s Pence collection to address this shortfall. The latter will be characterized as unavoidable and regrettable, but no one will lose his job over it. And after all, reaching out to accompany people on the margins is **so** expensive.