Sightings Articles

Grace

Catholic Church | sexual abuse | Catholicism

By the Grace of ... God?

How a recent film raises important questions about Catholic sacramental theology in light of the Church's sex abuse scandal

February 6, 2020

Protestants | gender | sexual abuse | sexuality

Summer Storm Watch

It’s summertime, the season when many Protestant denominations hold annual conferences and assemblies that draw hundreds or even thousands of participants from across the nation and the world. Like an enormous extended family during an unruly dinnert...

July 18, 2019

sexual abuse | same-sex marriage | Kamasutra | Methodism | Roman Catholicism

Raw Religion

This Sightings column is about "religion in the raw," and even the rawest—and most damaging—forms of religion. That is because Sightings is keen to catch a glimpse of religion wherever and whenever it appears in public life, and we can’t ignore "raw ...

February 25, 2019

Catholic Church | sexual abuse | confession

A Firm Purpose of Amendment

A dimension of our public life that is in one respect readily sighted yet in another perhaps too easily slighted is the repetitive nature of certain specific forms of violence and violation that disrupt civic life. Shootings in schools and various pu...

November 19, 2018

clergy | Pope Francis | Roman Catholicism | sexual abuse | sin

Really Big Sins

“This sounds like a flip answer,” said Lutheran Pastor Jan Erickson-Pearson, “but why does [clerical sexual abuse] still happen? Sin.” That was in 2002, but headlines still on occasion use the same three-letter theological word to explain the phenome...

October 8, 2018

Catholics | Islamophobia | Muslim ban | Muslims | Roman Catholicism | sexual abuse | terrorism

Catholic versus Muslim "Terrorism" in the U.S.: A Double Standard

I am a practicing, albeit far from exemplary, Roman Catholic. Like so many of my fellow Catholics, it’s impossible to overstate my sense of outrage, shame, and frustration with the leadership of the church over its unconscionable decades-long cons...

September 13, 2018

infallibility | Pope Francis | sexual abuse

Pope Francis Fallible?

Between or after sessions at Vatican II, a circle of us “guests” were conversing with—which meant “listening to”—the Pope. (How’s that for name-dropping on a wintry day?) In one exchange, as my late colleague Robert M. Grant recalled it, the Pope mis...

January 22, 2018

#MeToo | John Howard Yoder | Mennonites | sexual abuse | Stanley Hauerwas

Historical Justice in an Era of #MeToo: Legacies of John Howard Yoder

Editor's Note: On October 18, Stanley Hauerwas published a theologically framed column responding to historian Rachel Waltner Goossen's 2015 Mennonite Quarterly Review article "'Defanging the Beast'" (see Resources below). Professor Goossen's scholar...

December 7, 2017

Ireland | priests | Roman Catholicism | sexual abuse | suicide

Suicide among Priests?

“Suicide is on the rise among Irish priests” is the kind of report which causes or should cause concern and a sense of crisis among Irish and non-Irish, priests and non-priests, Catholics and non-Catholics—anyone with humane instincts, empathic conce...

December 19, 2016

Baylor University | Kenneth Starr | Baptist Christianity | football | sexual abuse | rape

Two Religions Make News

It is not stretching things to conclude, as Sightings does here today, that two religions jarred each other in national big-news and comment-sources last Friday. We are referring to the front-page coverage of the eruption of scandal at Baylor Univers...

May 30, 2016