Returning from a week-long trip to the Vatican, Cardinal Bernard Law of the Roman Catholic Boston Archdiocese announced yesterday that he has no plans to resign after knowingly allowing alleged pedophiles to remain in their posts as priests for decades. Of his refusal to resign, Law said, “I think that it would not serve the cause of protecting children if I were, at this point, to submit my resignation to the Holy Father.”
Law admitted that he knew that now defrocked priest John J. Geoghan, convicted of indecent assault on a minor and charged with child rape and molestation, had been accused of child abuse in at least three parishes, but instead of revoking his duties, Law merely reassigned Geoghan to new parishes. This decision helped Geoghan allegedly victimize more than 130 children since the 1980s according to the Boston Globe. Of his decision, Law claimed, “I didn’t have the knowledge, the experience with this issue, the wisdom of time that I have now.”
Since the publicity spurned by the Geoghan trial, the Boston Archdiocese has released 85 names of priests who are suspected of allegedly sexually abusing children to district attorneys in at least five counties. Law now plans to focus on protecting children, but many are skeptical. Critics have charged that if Law had been in any other profession, he would have been forced to step down. In response, Law said, “It’s important to remember that a bishop is not a corporate executive, is not a politician…the role of a bishop in relationship to the church he serves is something different. It’s the role of pastor, the role of teacher, the role of a father.”
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .