It isn't often that a pope apologizes. But in an unusual personal letter addressed to "every woman" in the world this week, John Paul II does just that. Acknowledging that women "have often been relegated to the margins of society and even reduced to servitude," the pope offers a brief, somewhat stilted mea culpa for the church's complicity in their oppression. "If objective blame, especially in particular historical contexts, has belonged to not just a few members of the Church," the pope...
There are more than 50,000 human genes, and scientists are working as rapidly as they can to identify the functions of each one. Right behind them are the biotechnology companies, and they are working as fast they can to patent those genetic processes that show commercial promise.
When the apostles who govern the Mormon Church appointed their 15th ""president, prophet, seer and revelator'' last week, their choice was no surprise. By tradition, the prophet's mantle falls automatically on the apostle who has served longest as a member of the church's Council of the Twelve -- in this case, 84-year-old Gordon B.
In a culture of victimization and blame, it is rare to witness a public act of forgiveness. That's what happened last week when Chicago's Cardinal Joseph Bernardin revealed his tearful reconciliation with Steven Cook, the man who in 1993 accused the cardinal of sexually abusing him in the 1970s.
He's hot as hell under his white Roman collar. When he mentions the subject, which he does almost daily, the veins stick out on his neck. Nothing -- not Polish communism or dissident Catholic theologians -- has upset Pope John Paul II like the United Nations Conference on Population and Development, which opens in Cairo this week.
HE HAS BEEN A PRIEST FOR MORE than 40 years, a bishop for nearly 30 and a cardinal since 1983. But nothing in the life of Chicago's Cardinal Joseph Bernardin compares to the public humiliation that began three months ago when he was accused of sexually molesting an adolescent boy 17 years earlier.
IN A MINNESOTA COURT, A woman is suing her father for alleged sexual abuse as a child. This is hardly news. What makes this lawsuit special is age: the plaintiff is 60, her father is 91 and the alleged abuse occurred 57 years ago--something the daughter claims to have remembered only recently, with the help of a therapist. "This may be as extreme an example of repressed memory as you are likely to find," says the defendant's attorney, Michael Stern, who will divulge neither of the parties'...
SOCIOLOGISTS HAVE LONG PUZZLED over surveys that show that the United States is the most religious nation in the advanced industrialized West. When asked, more than 90 percent of Americans profess a belief in God, More than half say they pray at least once a day and, in any given week, more than 40 percent claim to have attended worship services.
John Paul II comes to America, where he'll be welcomed by a pro-choice president and celebrate with a church divided over sexual issues Pope John Paul II arrives in Denver this week "to celebrate life--the value of life, the beauty and joy of life." The occasion is World Youth Day, an international Roman Catholic jamboree that this pope has previously celebrated in Poland, Spain and Brazil--but never in the United States.