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Friday, Aug 22nd

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‘Dirty War’ Questions for Pope Francis

Pope Francis and the Dirty WarIf one wonders if the U.S. press corps has learned anything in the decade since the Iraq War – i.e. the need to ask tough question and show honest skepticism – it would appear from the early coverage of the election of Pope Francis I that U.S. journalists haven’t changed at all, even at “liberal” outlets like MSNBC.

The first question that a real reporter should ask about an Argentine cleric who lived through the years of grotesque repression, known as the “dirty war,” is what did this person do, did he stand up to the murderers and torturers or did he go with the flow. If the likes of Chris Matthews and other commentators on MSNBC had done a simple Google search, they would have found out enough about Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to slow their bubbling enthusiasm.

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Child abuse cases covered up by papal elector are settled in $10m deal

LA church child abuse casesRoger Mahony, who is at Rome conclave choosing next pope, protected Los Angeles priest who admitted molesting children Two child abuse cases involving a cover-up by one of the cardinals electing the next pope have been settled as part of a $10m (£6.6m) out-of-court deal in Los Angeles.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will make the payouts to victims of a now-defrocked priest who told Cardinal Roger Mahony nearly 30 years ago that he had molested children. The cases involving ex-priest Michael Baker span 26 years, from 1974 to 2000. Two were set for trial next month. The cases were settled this week.

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Bishops Oppose Violence Against Women Act Because Of LGBT Provisions

Bishop CordileoneFive key Catholic bishops are opposing the newly authorized Violence Against Women Act for fear it will subvert traditional views of marriage and gender, and compromise the religious freedom of groups that aid victims of human trafficking.

The act, to be signed into law by President Obama on Thursday (March 7), is intended to protect women from domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking, and allows the federal government to spend money to treat victims and prosecute offenders.

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Mother Teresa: anything but a saint...

Mother TeresaThe myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa is dispelled in a paper by Serge Larivée and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal's Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Education. The paper will be published in the March issue of the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses and is an analysis of the published writings about Mother Teresa.

Like the journalist and author Christopher Hitchens, who is amply quoted in their analysis, the researchers conclude that her hallowed image—which does not stand up to analysis of the facts—was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media relations campaign.

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Cardinal Keith O'Brien admits and apologizes for sexual misconduct

Cardinal O'BrienCardinal Keith O'Brien, forced to resign by the pope last week, has admitted to sexual misconduct and issued a sweeping apology to individuals he has "offended" as well as the Catholic church and Scottish people.

In a short but dramatic statement issued soon after 5pm on Sunday, O'Brien admitted "there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal".

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Auto safety concerns often stay secret

Auto safetyHerman Ray Evans was killed when the tread separated on his 2001 Ford Explorer's tire, the vehicle rolled over into the median and he was ejected, according to the Daphne, Ala,. police crash report.

Evans was in one of at least 15 fatal tire-related crashes last year in Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers, according to news reports. In Evans' crash, the police department did not find fault with the tiremaker or Ford Motor.

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Vatican dismisses reports linking pope's resignation to gay conclave discovery

VaticanThe Vatican has attacked reports in the Italian media linking Pope Benedict XVI's resignation to the alleged discovery of a network of gay prelates as attempts to influence the cardinals in their choice of a new pontiff.

The Vatican secretariat of state said in a statement: "It is deplorable that as we draw closer to the time of the beginning of the conclave … that there be a widespread distribution of often unverified, unverifiable or completely false news stories that cause serious damage to persons and institutions."

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