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Trump gives the Pentagon six months to kick transgender people out of the military

A month after he announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military via Twitter, Donald Trump has issued a memo on how the decision is to be implemented. The two-and-a-half-page note says Defense Secretary Jim Mattis must consider a service member’s ‘deployability’ when deciding whether to eject them from the military. That means that if …

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Card Parolin meets with Russian President Putin

(Vatican Radio) Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin yesterday met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the presidential residence in Sochi.

According to a statement from the Holy See Press Office the meeting lasted for about an hour and was held in a positive, friendly, and respectful atmosphere with an open exchange of views on various themes including international and bilateral relations.

At the end of the talks, the Secretary of State gave President Putin a bronze representation of an olive branch, a symbol of peace.

The Russian President returned the gesture with the gift of a collection of coins dedicated to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Cardinal Parolin was expected to celebrate a private Mass this morning at the Nunciature in Moscow before returning to Rome. 

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Catholic Priest’s Child Sex Scandal across the U.S.

In May 2003, Thomas O’Brien, then bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, admitted to sheltering at least 50 priests accused of sexual abuse, often shuffling them around to parishes across the state. O’Brien’s admission, released under an agreement with the county attorney acknowledged he “allowed Roman Catholic priests under my supervision to work with minors after becoming aware of allegations of sexual misconduct.” He also waived his own immunity should sexual misconduct allegations against him surface.

And now O’Brian himself is the defendant in a lawsuit alleging that he himself sexually abused a grade-school boy. The lawsuit accuses O’Brien, now 81, of sexual abuse from 1977 through 1982. The suit names 60 other Roman Catholic priests or church employees, dating back to the 1950s and alleges a cover-up. The diocese itself eventually exposed some priests as part of an agreement with Arizona prosecutors in the early 2000s. At least two of the priests fled the U.S. and remain at large, and a substantial number are now dead.

In recent months, allegations involving 14 Catholic priests on Guam also surfaced, including one alleging that Archbishop Anthony Apuron sexually abused a boy in the 1970s. And this has prompted other revelations.

Abuse cases also have roiled Catholic parishes elsewhere the nation, sometimes decades after evidence of the crimes first emerged. Accusations of sex crimes involving at least 15 Catholic priests and children in Louisiana may date back seven decades, court records reveal. The accused served in myriad church positions across the Lafayette diocese. One of them, a Gilbert Gauthe admitted to raping or sodomizing 37 children dating back to 1972, and served 10 years of a 20 year sentence. But as many as 100 people may have been abused by Gauthe.

By 2011, the Diocese of Wilmington and several religious orders throughout the diocese distributed more than $110 million to 152 adult survivors who were sexually abused by area Catholic priests. Tens of millions more were paid in confidential settlements with dozens of other childhood rape survivors who had been abused in Delaware. Dozens of living and deceased priests were exposed as abusers. The Wilmington diocese filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2009.

Minnesota lifted its statute of limitations in order for victims to file civil actions. By the time the three-year window ended in May 2016, more than 800 claims against churches, schools, the Boy Scouts and a children’s theater had been filed. The heightened scrutiny led to the downfall of two bishops, and two Catholic dioceses — including the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis — filed for bankruptcy in 2015. Archbishop John Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piché resigned in 2015, days after the archdiocese was criminally charged with child endangerment over its handling of an abusive priest who ultimately went to prison.

The Duluth diocese filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after a jury found it responsible for $4.8 million of an $8.1 million jury award to just one accuser. The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minnesota disclosed a list of 71 priests with substantiated claims of sexual abuse of minors mostly from the mid-50s to the mid-1980s. The archdiocese says all them men have been permanently removed from ministry.

The Diocese of St. Cloud, which covers a large part of rural Minnesota, is still working to resolve 74 claims, including 31 against clergy members.

“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:4, 5


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Card Parolin meets with Russian President Putin

(Vatican Radio) Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin yesterday met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the presidential residence in Sochi.

According to a statement from the Holy See Press Office the meeting lasted for about an hour and was held in a positive, friendly, and respectful atmosphere with an open exchange of views on various themes including international and bilateral relations.

At the end of the talks, the Secretary of State gave President Putin a bronze representation of an olive branch, a symbol of peace.

The Russian President returned the gesture with the gift of a collection of coins dedicated to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Cardinal Parolin was expected to celebrate a private Mass this morning at the Nunciature in Moscow before returning to Rome. 

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