Les anglonautes

About | Search | Vocapedia | Learning | Podcasts | Videos | History | Arts | Science | Translate

 Previous Home Up Next


History > 2013 > USA > Faith, Sects (I)



George Beverly Shea,

Billy Graham’s Singer,

Dies at 104


April 17, 2013
The New York Times


George Beverly Shea, who escaped a life of toil in an insurance office to become a Grammy-winning gospel singer and a longtime associate of the Rev. Billy Graham, appearing before an estimated 200 million people at Graham revival meetings worldwide, died on Tuesday in Asheville, N.C. He was 104.

His death was announced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, in Charlotte, N.C., of which Mr. Shea was the official singing voice for more than half a century. Canadian-born, he lived in Montreat, N.C. — for decades just a mile from the home of Mr. Graham, a close friend.

Through the Billy Graham crusades, as the stadium-size revival meetings begun by Mr. Graham are known, Mr. Shea was perhaps the most widely heard gospel artist in the world, singing before tens of millions of worshipers throughout the United States and around the globe.

He also appeared regularly on “The Hour of Decision,” Mr. Graham’s weekly radio broadcast, which began in 1950 and continues to this day.

On a more intimate scale he sang at the prayer breakfasts of a series of United States presidents, including Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and the first George Bush.

Mr. Shea, who was still singing as he embarked on his second century, was fond of saying that Mr. Graham would not let him retire, since nowhere in Scripture is the concept of retirement overtly addressed.

“I’ve been listening to Bev Shea sing for more than 50 years,” Mr. Graham told The Charlotte Observer in 1997, “and I would still rather hear him sing than anyone else I know.”

When interviewers asked why Mr. Graham did not simply lead his flock in song himself as many preachers do, Mr. Shea did venture to suggest that the status quo was better for all concerned: Mr. Graham, as Mr. Shea put it with true Christian charity, suffered from “the malady of no melody.”

Mr. Shea’s vocal style, by contrast, was characterized by a resonant bass-baritone, impeccable diction, sensitive musical phrasing and an unshowmanlike delivery that nonetheless conveyed his own ardent religious conviction.

He recorded more than 70 albums, including “In Times Like These” (1962), “Every Time I Feel the Spirit” (1972) and “The Old Rugged Cross” (1978). In 1966 he won the Grammy Award for best gospel or other religious recording for his album “Southland Favorites,” recorded with the Anita Kerr Singers.

Mr. Shea received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy, which administers the Grammys, in 2011.

Of the hundreds of songs he sang, Mr. Shea was most closely identified with “How Great Thou Art,” a hymn that became the de facto anthem of Mr. Graham’s ministry. In 1957, at a crusade in New York City, Mr. Shea, by popular demand, sang it on 108 consecutive nights.

Other songs for which he was known include “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” for which he composed the music, and “The Wonder of It All,” for which he wrote words and music.George Beverly Shea, known as Bev, was born on Feb. 1, 1909, in Winchester, Ontario. His father, the Rev. Adam J. Shea, was a Wesleyan Methodist minister; his mother, the former Maude Whitney, was the organist in her husband’s church.

Growing up, Bev dreamed the dream of every red-blooded Canadian boy — to be a Mountie — but he also studied piano, organ and violin. One of eight children, he did his first formal singing in his father’s church choir and his first informal singing long before, around the family table.

As a young man Mr. Shea attended Houghton College in Houghton, N.Y., but left before graduating to help support his family in the Depression. He found work in Manhattan as a clerk with the Mutual Life Insurance Company, a post he would hold for nearly a decade. Meanwhile he studied voice with private teachers.

During this period Mr. Shea entered an amateur talent contest on Fred Allen’s radio show, singing “Go Down, Moses.” He came in second — he was beaten by a yodeler — but the exposure led to offers to sing on commercial radio. He declined, ill at ease with the idea of a life in secular music. His career in sacred music, however, was now assured.

In the late 1930s Mr. Shea moved to Chicago to join WMBI, the radio station of the Moody Bible Institute, as a staff announcer and singer. One day in 1943 a young man knocked on the studio door. The visitor was a Wheaton College student named William Franklin Graham Jr., who had stopped by to tell Mr. Shea how much he loved his singing.

Before long Mr. Graham, who had become a preacher in Western Springs, Ill., had recruited Mr. Shea to sing on his own religious radio show, “Songs in the Night.” From the mid-1940s to the early ’50s, Mr. Shea was also the host of “Club Time,” a gospel show broadcast on ABC Radio.

In 1947 Mr. Shea joined Mr. Graham and Cliff Barrows, who would serve as Mr. Graham’s longtime music director, in the first Billy Graham Crusade, in Charlotte.

Mr. Shea was the author of several books, including the memoir “How Sweet the Sound” (Tyndale House, 2004), written with Betty Free Swanberg and Jeffery McKenzie.Mr. Shea’s first wife, the former Erma Scharfe, whom he married in 1934, died in 1976. His survivors include his second wife, the former Karlene Aceto, whom he married in 1985, and two children from his first marriage, Ronald and Elaine. Information on other survivors was not immediately available.

Though Mr. Shea was long a vital part of Mr. Graham’s work — Mr. Graham routinely insisted that without him he would have had no ministry — he retained a wry modesty about his role.

“The people didn’t come to hear me,” Mr. Shea told The Charlotte Observer in 2009. “They came to hear Billy. To get to hear him, they first had to listen to me.”

It was not always so. When they joined forces in the 1940s, Mr. Shea was already a nationally known voice in Christian music, Mr. Graham a fledgling minister. Their early revival meetings were often advertised this way:


Billy Graham will preach.

    George Beverly Shea, Billy Graham’s Singer, Dies at 104, NYT, 17.4.2013,






Using Billboards to Stake Claim Over ‘Jihad’


March 6, 2013
The New York Times


CHICAGO — There is an advertising war being fought here — not over soda or car brands but over the true meaning of the word “jihad.”

Backing a continuing effort that has featured billboards on the sides of Chicago buses, the local chapter of a national Muslim advocacy group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has been promoting a nonviolent meaning of the word — “to struggle” — that applies to everyday life.

Supporters say jihad is a spiritual concept that has been misused by extremists and inaccurately linked to terrorism, and they are determined to reclaim that definition with the ad campaign, called My Jihad.

“My jihad is to stay fit despite my busy schedule,” says a woman in a head scarf lifting weights in an ad that started running on buses in December. “What’s yours?”

But last month another set of ads, with a far different message, started appearing on buses here.

Mimicking the My Jihad ads, they feature photos and quotations from figures like Osama bin Laden and Faisal Shahzad, who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square in 2010. “Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to Allah,” says one ad, attributing the quotation to a Hamas television station. They end with the statement: “That’s his jihad. What’s yours?”

The leader of the second ad campaign, Pamela Geller, executive director of the pro-Israel group American Freedom Defense Initiative, has criticized the original My Jihad ads as a “whitewashed version” of an idea that has been used to justify violent attacks around the world.

“The fact that some Muslims don’t associate jihad with violence does not cancel out that so many do,” Ms. Geller said. “I will go toe to toe in this matter because it’s an attempt to disarm the American people.”

The debate started last year when Ms. Geller’s organization submitted a pro-Israel advertisement for the New York subway system that used the word “savage” to describe opponents of the Jewish state, stirring outrage in Muslim communities.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority rejected the ads, citing its policy against “demeaning” language, but a federal judge overruled the agency, saying it had violated the group’s First Amendment rights.

The signs went up in September and read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Chicago office, said he was surprised that the New York case focused only on the word “savage,” not jihad — an indication, he said, that the Muslim community needed to be more active about promoting a more peaceful interpretation of its beliefs.

“Unfortunately we have witnessed in front of our very eyes a central tenet of our faith essentially become tarnished,” Mr. Rehab said of the controversy, adding, “I was tired of hearing fathers tell their children, you know, ‘Don’t say jihad over the phone. Don’t say jihad in public.’ ”

He took to Facebook, posting a childhood story about his bedridden grandmother, who had once described coping with her ailing health as “my jihad.” He started raising money, held meetings in living rooms and started the campaign in December with ads that ran on 25 buses in Chicago. The ads have since spread to buses and subway billboards in San Francisco and Washington.

“Loving a challenge, loving a jihad if you will, I wanted to take this on,” Mr. Rehab said.

David Cook, professor of Islamic studies at Rice University, said that the term jihad had for centuries been associated with “God-sanctioned violence,” but that progressive Muslim groups have been talking about peaceful interpretations since the late 1800s. While he was unaware of other public relations campaigns focusing on the word jihad before Mr. Rehab’s, Professor Cook said the push fit into a larger concerted effort by Muslim groups to explain aspects of their religion to the broader American public since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The word has shown up regularly in anti-Muslim posts on Ms. Geller’s blog, Atlas Shrugs. An outspoken activist, she is perhaps best known for opposing the building of a mosque and Islamic cultural center near ground zero in New York. At the time, Ms. Geller accused leaders of the project of being “stealth jihadists,” a favorite phrase.

When Mr. Rehab’s campaign began with a Web site, Myjihad.org, Ms. Geller bought the domain name Myjihad.us. After Mr. Rehab sent a cease-and-desist letter claiming copyright infringement, Ms. Geller altered her ad designs slightly, changing the color and a few words. Her ads went up on 10 Chicago buses in late February.

Ms. Geller has called her campaign an attempt to show “the reality of jihad and the root causes of terrorism from the words of jihadists themselves.” She is also not shy about her suspicions of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, known as CAIR, which has been a target of scrutiny from Congressional Republicans in the past.

While CAIR’s Chicago chapter has helped support the project, Mr. Rehab said My Jihad was established as its own nonprofit, with fund-raising and volunteers that are independent from the national Muslim organization.

Beyond the legal maneuverings, it is the tenor of Ms. Geller’s advertisements that has drawn the sharpest criticism.

“It’s a further message of intolerance, furthering the flames that are currently out there between all different communities,” said Lonnie Nasatir, Midwest regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.

Heidi Beirich, who tracks hate groups at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has listed Ms. Geller’s blog since 2009, said her ads subscribe “bad motives to all Muslims.”

“It’s rejecting the idea that American Muslims can have different interpretations of their religion,” she said.

At a photo shoot last month, on the 15th floor of a skyscraper in downtown Chicago, volunteers posing for My Jihad advertisements spoke briefly about their individual struggles. For some children, it was bullies at school. One man said he wanted to lose weight. An Iraqi refugee had started a new life as a single mother in America. Those ads are expected to be released in the next couple of months, though no dates or locations have been set.

Ms. Geller, whose ads went up in Washington this week and are scheduled to appear on buses in San Francisco on Monday, said that she was willing to buy more around the country if she felt it was necessary, and that she had no intention of backing down any time soon.

“I’ll be honest with you,” she said. “If CAIR is running them longer, I will run them longer.”

    Using Billboards to Stake Claim Over ‘Jihad’, NYT, 6.3.2013,






Racist Incidents Stun Campus

and Halt Classes at Oberlin


March 4, 2013
The New York Times


OBERLIN, Ohio — Oberlin College, known as much for ardent liberalism as for academic excellence, canceled classes on Monday and convened a “day of solidarity” after the latest in a monthlong string of what it called hate-related incidents and vandalism.

At an emotional gathering in the packed 1,200-seat campus chapel, the college president, Marvin Krislov, apologized on behalf of the college to students who felt threatened by the incidents and said classes were canceled for “a different type of educational exercise,” one intended to hold “an honest discussion, even a difficult discussion.”

In the last month, racist, anti-Semitic and antigay messages have been left around campus, a jarring incongruity in a place with the liberal political leanings and traditions of Oberlin, a school of 2,800 students in Ohio, about 30 miles southwest of Cleveland. Guides to colleges routinely list it as among the most progressive, activist and gay-friendly schools in the country.

The incidents included slurs written on Black History Month posters, drawings of swastikas and the message “Whites Only” scrawled above a water fountain. After midnight on Sunday, someone reported seeing a person dressed in a white robe and hood near the Afrikan Heritage House. Mr. Krislov and three deans announced the sighting in a community-wide e-mail early Monday morning.

“From what we have seen we believe these actions are the work of a very small number of cowardly people,” Mr. Krislov told students, declining to give further details because the campus security department and the Oberlin city police are investigating.

A college spokesman, Scott Wargo, said investigators had not determined whether the suspect or suspects were students or from off-campus.

Several students who spoke out at the campuswide meeting criticized the administration, saying it was not doing enough to create a “safe and inclusive” environment and was taking action only when prodded by student activists. But beyond the chapel, many students praised the administration for a decisive response.

“I was pretty shocked it would happen here,” said Sarah Kahl, a 19-year-old freshman from Boston. “It’s a little scary.” She said there was an implied threat behind the incidents. “That’s why this day is so important, so urgent.”

Meredith Gadsby, the chairwoman of the Afrikana Studies department, which hosted a teach-in at midday attended by about 300 students, said, “Many of our students feel very frightened, very insecure.”

One purpose of the teach-in was to make students aware of groups that have formed, some in the past 24 hours in dorms, to respond.

“They’ll be addressing ways to publicly respond to the bias incidents with what I call positive propaganda, and let people know, whoever the culprits are, that they’re being watched, and people are taking care of themselves and each other,” Dr. Gadsby said.

The opinion of many students was that the incidents did not reflect a prevailing bigotry on campus, and may well be the work of someone just trying to stir trouble. “It seems to bark worse than it bites,” said Cooper McDonald, a 19-year-old sophomore from Newton, Mass.

“I can’t see many of my classmates — any of my classmates — doing things like this,” he said. “It doesn’t reflect the town, either.”

He added: “The way the school handled it was awesome. It’s not an angry response, it’s all very positive.”

The report of a person in a costume meant to evoke the Ku Klux Klan added a more threatening element than earlier incidents. The convocation with the president and deans, originally scheduled for Wednesday, was moved overnight, to Monday. “When it was just graffiti people were alarmed and disturbed. But this is much more threatening,” said Mim Halpern, 18, a freshman from Toronto.

There were few details of the sighting, which occurred at 1:30 a.m. on Monday, Mr. Wargo said. The person who reported it was in a car “and came back around and didn’t see the individual again,” he added.

Anne Trubek, an associate professor in the English department, said that in her 15 years at Oberlin there had been earlier bias incidents but none so provocative. “They were relatively minor events that would not be a large hullabaloo elsewhere, but because Oberlin is so attuned to these issues they get addressed very quickly,” she said.

Founded in 1833, Oberlin was one of the first colleges in the nation to educate women and men together, and one of the first to admit black students. Before the Civil War, it was an abolitionist hotbed and an important stop on the Underground Railroad.


Richard Pérez-Peña reported from Oberlin,

and Trip Gabriel from New York.

    Racist Incidents Stun Campus and Halt Classes at Oberlin, NYT, 4.3.2013,






Catholics Gather in California,

Haunted by Cardinal’s Scandal


February 22, 2013
The New York Times


ANAHEIM, Calif. — For decades, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony was the convener and the star of the nation’s largest annual gathering of Roman Catholics, which opened here on Thursday.

This year, though, Cardinal Mahony was nowhere to be seen at the gathering, the Religious Education Congress. His workshop on immigration was canceled. The cardinal was relieved of his public duties last month by his successor after the release of 12,000 pages of internal church files revealing how Cardinal Mahony protected priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

In a rare breach of the deference American bishops usually grant one another, the current archbishop of Los Angeles, José H. Gomez, said he found the documents “brutal and painful” reading. Cardinal Mahony soon shot back, posting a bitter open letter to Archbishop Gomez on his blog.

With Cardinal Mahony set to fly to Rome next week to elect a new pope, the prelates’ duel in the country’s largest archdiocese has set off shock waves in the church. Catholics in Los Angeles are re-evaluating the cardinal’s legacy, and newspapers in Italy are running articles asking whether the disgraced cardinal should attend the papal conclave.

At the same time, this is a defining moment for Archbishop Gomez, who took over from Cardinal Mahony two years ago and is universally described as low-key and quiet, particularly compared with his predecessor. His public rebuke of Cardinal Mahony stunned observers not only for its content, but because the normally mild-mannered archbishop would react so swiftly and dramatically. Now, many here are waiting anxiously to see how he will try to lead the archdiocese past the scandal.

The documents show that Cardinal Mahony helped shield priests accused of sexual abuse from the police, in some cases encouraging them to stay out of the state or country to avoid potential criminal investigations.

Cardinal Mahony’s shadow looms large. Attendees at the congress, largely educators who teach teenagers and adults across the country, said they have been stung by recent events and are grappling with ways to make sense of what happened and how to move forward.

Even here, among people who were once some of the cardinal’s staunchest supporters, there is a quiet debate over whether he should vote in the conclave. While those here stopped short of saying publicly that Cardinal Mahony should not participate in the conclave, there is a palpable sense of anger, betrayal and confusion over his role in protecting priests accused of sexual abuse.

“He is a man — he has made mistakes,” said Carmen Vargas, a master catechist from Covina, Calif., who trains other adult educators. She said the turmoil in recent weeks has prompted dozens of difficult conversations among her peers. “But he has admitted to the problems and apologized for them,” she said. “We cannot just shut him down. He needs his voice heard to decide the next pope. He has earned that right.”

In most ways, the practical impact of Archbishop Gomez’s rebuke is minimal — while Cardinal Mahony has canceled presiding at confirmations this year, he is still a priest in good standing with the church. He can still celebrate Mass and is still eligible to vote for a pope.

But the symbolism is significant, said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow of the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.

“This is the institutional church publicly acknowledging hierarchical failure,” he said, adding that Archbishop Gomez has “exercised his authority as far as it will go.”

Now, many see this as a first turn in the spotlight for Archbishop Gomez. Cardinal Mahony was known for marching in public rallies, cultivating allies in politics and Hollywood and an almost larger-than-life public persona. By contrast, Archbishop Gomez has only rarely appeared in the press over the last two years. He declined to be interviewed for this article and his staff declined to allow a reporter into the Religious Education Congress without an escort.

Before Cardinal Mahony’s retirement, he wrote that he asked Pope Benedict XVI to appoint an archbishop coadjutor who would work alongside him for a year. When the appointment turned out to be his “friend and brother” Archbishop Gomez, Cardinal Mahony said he was delighted. He was particularly happy, he wrote, that a Mexican priest would take over the diocese, where more than two-thirds of the parishioners are Latino.

The two lived together with three other priests for more than a year, watching football games and traveling through much of the region as a pair.

After the documents were released last month, Archbishop Gomez said in his statement that he was shocked at the content and placed blame on his predecessor. But an official familiar with church affairs in Los Angeles, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid offending the church hierarchy, said that Archbishop Gomez was familiar with the contents of the documents well before they were released, and was a hands-on administrator who wanted to be kept apprised of the developments regarding the documents.

The recent documents are not the first time Archbishop Gomez has dealt with scandal here. Last year, Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala stepped down after admitting he fathered two teenage children, who lived with their mother in another state.

Many here questioned whether Archbishop Gomez, a theological conservative shaped by his membership in the movement Opus Dei, would move quickly to undo Cardinal Mahony’s more liberal policies, like appointing women and lay people to powerful positions and supporting a robust AIDS ministry. But two years after taking the reins, he is often praised for not acting along ideological lines and has made changes only slowly. Last year, for example, he changed the name of the Office of Justice and Peace to the Office of Life, Justice and Peace.

It will be another four years before Archbishop Gomez is eligible to be made a cardinal — when Cardinal Mahony turns 80 and can no longer vote in the conclave. According to church rules, a diocese cannot have two voting cardinals.

For many, Cardinal Mahony has long been a lightning rod in the church. He has deep wells of respect among Latinos, largely because of his role as a champion for immigrants. But traditionalists resent him for his liberal stances. And he has come under considerable attack for the way he handled priests accused of sexual abuse, particularly since 2007, when the archdiocese reached a record $660 million settlement with more than 500 victims.

In recent weeks, Cardinal Mahony responded with his own vigorous defense, saying that he had never been prepared to deal with the problem and that he later worked to put protections for children into place. And he has written regularly on his blog about being confronted, “scapegoated” and “humiliated, disgraced and rebuffed by many.”

On Saturday, Cardinal Mahony is scheduled to be questioned under oath about several cases of sexual abuse in the documents.

Some Catholics have tried to create a steady drumbeat calling on him to stay home from the papal conclave. Protesters from Catholics United, an advocacy group, plan to deliver petitions to his home in North Hollywood this weekend demanding that he stay put. The Italian news media have seized on the story. In an interview with La Repubblica, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, a Vatican official, said that Cardinal Mahony’s participation was a “troubling situation.”

But Cardinal Mahony has written effusively about attending the conclave. Archbishop Gomez sent a letter to his priests last week urging them to “extend your prayers and warm wishes for Cardinal Roger Mahony as he prepares to travel to Rome to exercise his sacred duty as Cardinal Elector of our next Pope.”


Jennifer Medina reported from Anaheim,

and Laurie Goodstein from New York.

    Catholics Gather in California, Haunted by Cardinal’s Scandal, NYT, 22.2.2013,






Zen Groups Distressed

by Accusations Against Teacher


February 11, 2013
The New York Times


Since arriving in Los Angeles from Japan in 1962, the Buddhist teacher Joshu Sasaki, who is 105 years old, has taught thousands of Americans at his two Zen centers in the area and one in New Mexico. He has influenced thousands more enlightenment seekers through a chain of some 30 affiliated Zen centers from the Puget Sound to Princeton to Berlin. And he is known as a Buddhist teacher of Leonard Cohen, the poet and songwriter.

Mr. Sasaki has also, according to an investigation by an independent council of Buddhist leaders, released in January, groped and sexually harassed female students for decades, taking advantage of their loyalty to a famously charismatic roshi, or master.

The allegations against Mr. Sasaki have upset and obsessed Zen Buddhists across the country, who are part of a close-knit world in which many participants seem to know, or at least know of, the principal teachers.

Mr. Sasaki did not respond to requests for interviews made through Paul Karsten, a member of the board of Rinzai-ji, his main center in Los Angeles. Mr. Karsten said that Mr. Sasaki’s senior priests are conducting their own inquiry. And he cautioned that the independent council took the accounts it heard from dozens of students at face value and did not investigate any “for veracity.”

Because Mr. Sasaki has founded or sponsored so many Zen centers, and because he has the prestige of having trained in Japan, the charges that he behaved unethically — and that his supporters looked the other way — have implications for an entire way of life.

Such charges have become more frequent in Zen Buddhism. Several other teachers have been accused of misconduct recently, notably Eido Shimano, who in 2010 was asked to resign from the Zen Studies Society in Manhattan over allegations that he had sex with students. Critics and victims have pointed to a Zen culture of secrecy, patriarchy and sexism, and to the quasi-religious worship of the Zen master, who can easily abuse his status.

Disaffected students wrote letters to the board of one of Mr. Sasaki’s Zen centers as early as 1991. Yet it was only last November, when Eshu Martin, a Zen priest who studied under Mr. Sasaki from 1997 to 2008, posted a letter to SweepingZen.com, a popular Web site, that the wider Zen world noticed.

Mr. Martin, now a Zen abbot in Victoria, British Columbia, accused Mr. Sasaki of a “career of misconduct,” from “frequent and repeated non-consensual groping of female students” to “sexually coercive after-hours ‘tea’ meetings, to affairs,” as well as interfering in his students’ marriages. Soon thereafter, the independent “witnessing council” of noted Zen teachers began interviewing 25 current or former students of Mr. Sasaki.

Some former students are now speaking out, including seven interviewed for this article, and their stories provide insight into the culture of Rinzai-ji and the other places where Mr. Sasaki taught. Women say they were encouraged to believe that being touched by Mr. Sasaki was part of their Zen training.

The Zen group, or sangha, can become one’s close family, and that aspect of Zen may account for why women and men have been reluctant to speak out for so long.

Many women whom Mr. Sasaki touched were resident monks at his centers. One woman who confronted Mr. Sasaki in the 1980s found herself an outcast afterward. The woman, who asked that her name not be used to protect her privacy, said that afterward “hardly anyone in the sangha, whom I had grown up with for 20 years, would have anything to do with us.”

In the council’s report on Jan. 11, the three members wrote of “Sasaki asking women to show him their breasts, as part of ‘answering’ a koan” — a Zen riddle — “or to demonstrate ‘non-attachment.’ ”

When the report was posted to SweepingZen, Mr. Sasaki’s senior priests wrote in a post that their group “has struggled with our teacher Joshu Sasaki Roshi’s sexual misconduct for a significant portion of his career in the United States” — their first such admission.

Among those who spoke to the council and for this article was Nikki Stubbs, who now lives in Vancouver, and who studied and worked at Mount Baldy, Mr. Sasaki’s Zen center 50 miles east of Los Angeles, from 2003 to 2006. During that time, she said, Mr. Sasaki would fondle her breasts during sanzen, or private meeting; he also asked her to massage his penis. She would wonder, she said, “Was this teaching?”

One monk, whom Ms. Stubbs said she told about the touching, was unsympathetic. “He believed in Roshi’s style, that sexualizing was teaching for particular women,” Ms. Stubbs said. The monk’s theory, common in Mr. Sasaki’s circle, was that such physicality could check a woman’s overly strong ego.

A former student of Mr. Sasaki’s now living in the San Francisco area, who asked that her name be withheld to protect her privacy, said that at Mount Baldy in the late 1990s, “the monks confronted Roshi and said, ‘This behavior is unacceptable and has to stop.’ ” However, she said, “nothing changed.” After a time, Mr. Sasaki used Zen teaching to justify touching her, too.

“He would say something like, ‘True love is giving yourself to everything,’ ” she explained. At Mount Baldy, the isolation could hamper one’s judgment. “It can sound trite, but you’re in this extreme state of consciousness,” she said — living at a monastery in the mountains, sitting in silence for many hours a day — “where boundaries fall away.”

Joe Marinello is a Zen teacher in Seattle who served on the board of the Zen Studies Society in New York. He has been openly critical of Mr. Shimano, the former abbot who was asked to resign from the society. Asked about teachers who say that sexual touch is an appropriate teaching technique, he was dismissive.

“In my opinion,” Mr. Marinello said in an e-mail, “it’s just their cultural and personal distortion to justify their predations.”

But in Zen Buddhism, students often overlook their teachers’ failings, participants say. Some Buddhists define their philosophy in contrast to Western religion: Buddhism, they believe, does not have Christian-style preoccupations about things like sex. And Zen exalts the relationship between a student and a teacher, who can come to seem irreplaceable.

“Outside the sexual things that happened,” the woman now in San Francisco said, “my relationship with him was one of the most important I have had with anyone.”

Several women said that Zen can foster an atmosphere of overt sexism. Jessica Kramer, a doula in Los Angeles, was Mr. Sasaki’s personal attendant in 2002. She said that he would reach into her robe and that she always resisted his advances. Surrounded almost entirely by men, she said she got very little sympathy. “I’d talk about it with people who’d say, ‘Why not just let him touch your breasts if he wants to touch your breasts?’ ”

Susanna Stewart began studying with Mr. Sasaki about 40 years ago. Within six months, she said, Mr. Sasaki began to touch her during sanzen. This sexualizing of their relationship “led to years of confusion and pain,” Ms. Stewart said, “eventually resulting in my becoming unable to practice Zen.” And when she married one of his priests, Mr. Sasaki tried to break them up, she said, even encouraging her husband to have an affair.

In 1992, Ms. Stewart’s husband disaffiliated himself and his North Carolina Zen Center from Mr. Sasaki. Years later, his wife said, he received hate mail from members of his old Zen group.

The witnessing council, which wrote the report, has no official authority. Its members belong to the American Zen Teachers Association but collected stories on their own initiative, although with a statement of support from 45 other teachers and priests. One of its authors, Grace Schireson, said that Zen Buddhists in the United States have misinterpreted a Japanese philosophy.

“Because of their long history with Zen practice, people in Japan have some skepticism about priests,” Ms. Schireson said. But in the United States many proponents have a “devotion to the guru or the teacher in a way that could repress our common sense and emotional intelligence.”

Last Thursday morning, at Rinzai-ji on Cimarron Street in Los Angeles, Bob Mammoser, a resident monk, said that Mr. Sasaki’s “health is quite frail” and that he has “basically withdrawn from any active teaching.” Mr. Mammoser said there is talk of a meeting at the center to discuss what, if any, action to take.

Mr. Mammoser said he first became aware of allegations against Mr. Sasaki in the 1980s. “There have been efforts in the past to address this with him,” Mr. Mammoser said. “Basically, they haven’t been able to go anywhere.”

He added: “What’s important and is overlooked is that, besides this aspect, Roshi was a commanding and inspiring figure using Buddhist practice to help thousands find more peace, clarity and happiness in their own lives. It seems to be the kind of thing that, you get the person as a whole, good and bad, just like you marry somebody and you get their strengths and wonderful qualities as well as their weaknesses.”

    Zen Groups Distressed by Accusations Against Teacher, NYT, 11.2.2013,






The Conscience of a Corporation


February 10, 2013
The New York Times


DAVID GREEN, who built a family picture-framing business into a 42-state chain of arts and crafts stores, prides himself on being the model of a conscientious Christian capitalist. His 525 Hobby Lobby stores forsake Sunday profits to give employees their biblical day of rest. The company donates to Christian counseling services and buys holiday ads that promote the faith in all its markets. Hobby Lobby has been known to stick decals over Botticelli’s naked Venus in art books it sells.

And the company’s in-house health insurance does not cover morning-after contraceptives, which Green, like many of his fellow evangelical Christians, regards as chemical abortions.

“We’re Christians,” he says, “and we run our business on Christian principles.”

This has put Hobby Lobby at the leading edge of a legal battle that poses the intriguing question: Can a corporation have a conscience? And if so, is it protected by the First Amendment.

The Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare, requires that companies with more than 50 full-time employees offer health insurance, including coverage for birth control. Churches and other purely religious organizations are exempt. The Obama administration, in an unrequited search for compromise, has also proposed to excuse nonprofit organizations such as hospitals and universities if they are affiliated with religions that preach the evil of contraception. You might ask why a clerk at Notre Dame or an orderly at a Catholic hospital should be denied the same birth control coverage provided to employees of secular institutions. You might ask why institutions that insist they are like everyone else when it comes to applying for federal grants get away with being special when it comes to federal health law. Good questions. You will find the unsatisfying answers in the Obama handbook of political expediency.

But these concessions are not enough to satisfy the religious lobbies. Evangelicals and Catholics, cheered on by anti-abortion groups and conservative Obamacare-haters, now want the First Amendment freedom of religion to be stretched to cover an array of for-profit commercial ventures, Hobby Lobby being the largest litigant. They are suing to be exempted on the grounds that corporations sometimes embody the faith of the individuals who own them.

“The legal case” for the religious freedom of corporations “does not start with, ‘Does the corporation pray?’ or ‘Does the corporation go to heaven?’ ” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Hobby Lobby. “It starts with the owner.” For owners who have woven religious practice into their operations, he told me, “an exercise of religion in the context of a business” is still an exercise of religion, and thus constitutionally protected.

The issue is almost certain to end up in the Supreme Court, where the betting is made a little more interesting by a couple of factors: six of the nine justices are Catholic, and this court has already ruled, in the Citizens United case, that corporations are protected by the First Amendment, at least when it comes to freedom of speech. Also, we know that at least four members of the court don’t think much of Obamacare.

In lower courts, advocates of the corporate religious exemption have won a few and lost a few. (Hobby Lobby has lost so far, and could eventually face fines of more than $1 million a day for defying the law. The company’s case is now before the Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.)

You can feel some sympathy for David Green’s moral dilemma, and even admire him for practicing what he preaches, without buying the idea that la corporation, c’est moi. Despite the Supreme Court’s expansive view of the First Amendment, Hobby Lobby has a high bar to get over — as it should.

For one thing, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act — which was enacted at the behest of religious groups — companies cannot impose religious tests on their employees. They can’t hire only Catholics, or refuse to hire Catholics. They cannot oblige you to practice the same faith their owners do. Companies are, by legal design, zones of theological diversity and tolerance. So Green, whose company is privately held, can spend his own money to promote his faith, but it would be an act of legal overreach to say that he can impose his faith on his employees by denying them benefits the government has widely required.

“If an employer can craft a benefits system around his religious beliefs, that’s a slippery slope,” said Marci Hamilton, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a critic of religious exemptions. “Can you deny treatment of AIDS victims because your religion disapproves of homosexuals? What if your for-profit employer is a Jehovah’s Witness, who doesn’t believe in blood transfusions?”

Also, courts tend to distinguish between laws that make you do something and laws that merely require a financial payment. In the days of the draft, conscientious objectors were exempted from conscription. A sincere pacifist could not be obliged to kill. But a pacifist is not excused from paying taxes just because he or she objects to the money being spent on war. Doctors who find abortions morally abhorrent are not obliged to perform them. But you cannot withhold taxes because some of the money goes to Medicaid-financed abortion.

“Anybody who pays taxes can find something deeply offensive in what the government does,” said Robert Post, a First Amendment expert at Yale Law School. “ ‘I’m not paying my taxes because of torture at Guantánamo.’ ‘I’m not paying my taxes because of drones.’

“People can’t pick and choose their taxes, because you couldn’t have a functioning tax system.”

I don’t know what the courts will say, but common sense says the contraception dispute is more like taxation than conscription. Nothing in the Obamacare mandate obliges anyone to use contraception if, for example, she is in the tiny minority of American Catholics who take the church’s doctrine on birth control seriously. And Hobby Lobby’s policy doesn’t prevent the use of morning-after pills: it just assures that if an employee does use emergency contraception, she pays for it out of her Hobby Lobby paycheck rather than her Hobby Lobby insurance.

Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia who often sides with proponents of broader religious liberty, has taken to warning his friends that their aggressive positions on abortion, gay rights and now contraception are undermining the longstanding American respect for free exercise of religion.

“The religious community cannot take religious liberty for granted,” he said in a speech before the contraceptive issue blew up. “It needs to expend a lot more energy defending the right to religious liberty, and it would help to spend a lot less energy attacking the liberty of others.”

Cases like Hobby Lobby, he told me, have compounded his worry.

“Interfering with someone else’s sex life is a pretty unpopular thing to do,” he said. “These disputes are putting the conservative churches on the losing side of the sexual revolution. I think they are taking a risk of turning large chunks of the population against the idea of religious exemptions altogether.”

But Laycock’s is a lonely voice among advocates of religious exemptions. More typical is Rick Warren, the evangelical megachurch pastor, who says the battle to preserve religious liberty “in all areas of life” may be “the civil rights movement of this decade.” Warren goes on to say — I am not making this up — that “Hobby Lobby’s courageous stand, in the face of enormous pressure and fines,” is the equivalent of the Birmingham bus boycott.

When I read that kind of rhetoric from our country’s loftier pulpits, I understand why the fastest-growing religious affiliation in America is “none.”

    The Conscience of a Corporation, NYT, 10.2.2013,






With a Super Bowl Ad, Scientology Gets a Crowd


February 5, 2013
The New York Times


After several months of mounting accusations over the treatment of its members, the Church of Scientology on Sunday tried to spread a softer, gentler message using the biggest advertising event in the country: the Super Bowl.

For the first time, the church bought commercial time in local markets during the Super Bowl in order to feature an ad that called on “the curious, the inquisitive, the seekers of knowledge.” The ad, which ran in cities including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas, was in stark contrast to the more traditional Super Bowl fare from brands like Budweiser, Mercedes-Benz and Coca-Cola.

“Some will doubt you,” said the narrator in the ad over soft-focus images of mostly young, ethnically diverse strivers. “Let them. Dare to think for yourself, to look for yourself, to make up your own mind.”

Robert Passikoff, the president of Brand Keys in New York, a brand and customer-loyalty consulting company, said he was surprised to see the ad during the game. “Clearly the organization was looking for as broad an audience as it could,” he said.

Called “Knowledge,” the ad was produced by Golden Era Productions, the Church of Scientology International’s own studio, which creates training films and other video content for the church, Karin Pouw, a spokeswoman for the organization said in an e-mail.

The ad itself was not new; a longer version ran on the organization’s Web site in November. Ms. Pouw said the ad “would appear on prominent Web sites and air during prime time TV programs over the next several months,” and was shown 16 times an hour on a digital billboard in Times Square in December.

“We are thrilled with the response to this advertisement and that so many millions of people were able to see our message,” Ms. Pouw said.

The campaign came after several well-publicized attacks on the church’s credibility. In October, Vanity Fair published an article detailing the actress Katie Holmes’s life in Scientology during her marriage to the church’s most visible member, Tom Cruise. In January, Lawrence Wright published his investigative book, “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood & the Prison of Belief,” which takes direct aim at the church’s practices and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

Ms. Pouw said the ads were not a direct response to Mr. Wright’s book.

“There has always been a demand for information about Scientology, and the ads are part of a longer term effort to meet that demand,” she said in the e-mail. “We have been running it online for some time and are expanding onto television.”

Jeff Sharlet, an assistant professor of English at Dartmouth College who has written about religion and the news media, said the ads were an attempt to position the church as nonconformist and appealing.

“It’s what marginal religions are doing more than evangelizing,” Mr. Sharlet said. “They are trying to say ‘You can trust us.’ ” Calling the ad “sort of mushy and vague,” he compared it to a sentimental commercial from the Chrysler Group extolling the virtues of farmers that also ran during the Super Bowl. Ad agency executives estimated the cost of this year’s Super Bowl commercials at $3.7 million to $3.8 million for 30 seconds.

Rohit Deshpande, a professor of marketing at Harvard Business School, said that the ad was trying to be inspirational while saying very little about the organization itself. “The motivation is maybe to get some positive association and to build some curiosity so people will follow up and learn more about what the organization is about,” he said.

Scientology has never shied away from promotions. Subway posters and sidewalk invitations to personality testing have long been familiar to those living in New York and other cities around the country. One of the church’s highly visible buildings in Hollywood is approached by a public street named for its founder.

In December, the church used the Universal Studios back lot for its annual antidrug footrace and pancake breakfast. About 3,000 athletes participated, it said.

The church has often been accused of being relentless in its treatment of critics, but its leaders seem to have taken a more measured approach recently. When the Weinstein Company last year released “The Master,” a film about the founding of a fictional cult that had clear parallels to Scientology, the church largely ignored it. The movie made little impression at the box office, despite critical acclaim and Oscar nominations for three of its actors.

But the church has recently released another ad, this one about Mr. Hubbard himself, which begins by calling him “the nation’s youngest Eagle Scout” and ends by calling him “the most published and translated author of all time” and the founder of Scientology. The ad will run in “major metropolitan markets across the country,” including New York, Ms. Pouw said.


Laurie Goodstein contributed reporting.

    With a Super Bowl Ad, Scientology Gets a Crowd, NYT, 5.2.2013,






Diocese Papers in Los Angeles

Detail Decades of Abuse


February 1, 2013
The New York Times


LOS ANGELES — The church files are filled with outrage, pain and confusion. There are handwritten notes from distraught mothers, accounts of furious phone calls from brothers and perplexed inquiries from the police following up on allegations of priests sexually abusing children.

Over four decades, particularly under Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, parishioners in the nation’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese repeatedly tried to alert church authorities about abusive priests in their midst, trusting that the church would respond appropriately.

But the internal personnel files on 124 priests released by the archdiocese under court order on Thursday reveal a very different response: how church officials initially disbelieved them and grew increasingly alarmed over the years, only as multiple victims of the same priest came forward and reported similar experiences.

Even then, in some cases, priests were shuttled out of state or out of the country to avoid criminal investigations.

A sampling of the 12,000 pages suggests that Cardinal Mahony and other top church officials dealt with the accusations of abuse regularly and intimately throughout the last several decades. It often took years to even reach the realization that a priest could no longer simply be sent to a rehabilitation center and instead must be removed from ministry or even defrocked.

In one case, the Rev. José I. Ugarte was accused by a doctor of having drugged and raped a young boy in a hotel in Ensenada and of taking boys every weekend to a cabin in Big Bear. But rather than turn Father Ugarte over to the authorities, Cardinal Mahony decided to send him back to Spain, made him sign a document promising not to return to the United States without permission for seven years, not to celebrate Mass in public and to seek employment in “a secular occupation in order to become self-supporting.”

The current archbishop, José H. Gomez, who succeeded Cardinal Mahony when he retired two years ago, took the unusual if not unprecedented step on Thursday night of censuring his predecessor, calling the documents he released late Thursday “brutal and painful reading” and announcing that he was removing him from administrative and public duties. He also accepted the resignation of one of his auxiliary bishops, Thomas Curry.

But in an extraordinary public confrontation between bishops, Cardinal Mahony adamantly defended himself on Friday, posting on his blog a letter he had sent to Archbishop Gomez. The cardinal insisted that his approach to sexual abuse evolved as he learned more over the years, and that his archdiocese had been in the forefront of reforms to prevent abuse and respond to victims.

Cardinal Mahony implied that his successor’s censure of him was unexpected and unwarranted: “Not once over these past years did you ever raise any questions about our policies, practices or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors.”

Church experts agreed that it was the first time that a bishop had publicly condemned another bishop’s failures in the abuse scandal, which has occupied the American bishops for nearly three decades. They also said that Archbishop Gomez had gone as far as he could under the church’s canon laws to discipline Cardinal Mahony. He could not, they said, take away his authority to celebrate Mass, but he did order him not to preside at confirmations, a ceremonial role that often keeps retired archbishops in the public eye.

The Los Angeles church files are not unlike other documents unearthed in the church’s long-running abuse scandal in the United States, but it appears to be the largest cache.

In 1977, the mother of a 10-year-old boy wrote to Msgr. John Rawden saying that George Miller, then a priest at parish in Pacoima, had taken her son on a fishing trip and molested him. The accusation was noted in Mr. Miller’s files, but he denied the charges and was presumed to be innocent. Then in 1989 another pastor complained that Mr. Miller violated church policy by repeatedly having young boys in his room in the rectory and traveling with them.

Mr. Miller was sent to a treatment center run by Catholic therapists in St. Louis in 1996. When he was scheduled to be released a year later, Msgr. Richard Loomis — who would eventually face his own allegations of sexual abuse — wrote Father Miller a letter saying that the “recent changes in the child abuse reporting law and the statute of limitations in California have changed the way we have to look at many things in our personnel policies.” Monsignor Loomis went on to say that he could not return to the ministry in Los Angeles.

But two months later, in May 1997, Monsignor Loomis then wrote to Cardinal Mahony suggesting that Mr. Miller could seek to serve as a priest in Mexico through a “benevolent bishop” or return to California and “begin a secular life,” and live “somewhere that would minimize potential contact with those involved in his situation.”

After leaving St. Louis, Mr. Miller returned to California and by 2004 was under investigation by the police.

In a letter in 2004 to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Mahony wrote: “The story of Father Miller is a very sad one. Clearly he never should have been ordained. Had the kinds of screenings we used now been employed in the 1950s, he would have never been admitted to the seminary.”

The documents also hint at the disillusionment on the part of church officials as they eventually realized that priests who had denied any accusations of abuse were eventually revealed as repeat violators.

In the case of Carlos Rodriguez, then a priest downtown, Los Angeles Police Department investigators called church officials to ask about a report that the priest took two teenage boys to the Grand Canyon and groped one boy’s groin. According to the files, Mr. Curry had already written to Cardinal Mahony about the allegation. The police said that when they called the church to speak with Mr. Rodriguez, the person who answered the phone responded by saying, “Oh no, they reported it, ” referring to the boy’s family.

In 2004, Mr. Rodriguez was sentenced to eight years in prison for molesting two brothers in the early 1990s, years after he was transferred because of the earlier allegations.

Another file chronicles the struggle by Cardinal Mahony and his advisers to discern the truth about accusations against Monsignor Loomis, a priest who himself helped advise the cardinal on abuse cases against priests in his role as vicar for clergy in the archdiocesan chancery. The archdiocese went to great lengths and expense to investigate the case, the files reveal.

They interviewed former colleagues of his, one who said, the notes show, “Loomis would be the last person he could think of who would be the subject of child molestation charges.”

Eventually in 2004, after several alleged victims stepped forward and a lawsuit was filed, Cardinal Mahony agreed to place Monsignor Loomis on administrative leave, writing on the document, “Although sad, we must follow our policies and the charter — regardless of where that leads,” a reference to the American bishops’ policies, or “charter” to protect young people.

Many victims said the release of the files felt like a vindication because they showed repeated abuse by the priests that church officials had often denied. “I wasn’t lying, I wasn’t embellishing, I wasn’t making it up,” said Esther Miller, 54, a mother of two who said she was abused by Michael Nocita, a priest, when she was in high school. “It shows the pattern of complicity. It shows the cover-up.”

Cardinal Mahony, who served from 1985 until 2011, when he reached mandatory retirement, has faced calls for his defrocking over his handling of the abuse cases for years. But the cardinal, a vocal champion of immigrant rights, remained hugely popular with Latinos here, who make up 40 percent of the four million parishioners in the archdiocese.

The church had fought for years to keep the documents secret, and until this week it argued that the names of top church officials should be kept private. But on Thursday, Judge Emilie Elias rejected the church’s requests to redact the names of officials before releasing the files. The diocese released the files, with the names of victims and many other church officials removed, less than an hour later.

The trove of documents suggests that church officials routinely sent priests accused of abuse out of state and in some cases out of the country to avoid the potential investigations from law enforcement.


Jennifer Medina reported from Los Angeles, and Laurie Goodstein from New York.

Ian Lovett contributed reporting from Los Angeles.

    Diocese Papers in Los Angeles Detail Decades of Abuse, NYT, 1.2.2013,






A New Beginning for a Church

Where Demolition Once Started


January 27, 2013
The New York Times


For more than 160 years, St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church has borne witness as transformation after transformation has cascaded through the Lower East Side.

Yet conflict, drama and wrenching change occurred within its walls, too: In the church founded by Irish immigrants who fled the famine of the 1840s, the pews were in turn occupied by Poles, Ukrainians and Puerto Ricans. The church played a role in the clashes in nearby Tompkins Square Park in the late 1980s and in this century was nearly demolished itself before a mystery donor stepped forward with millions of dollars to rescue it.

On Sunday, worshipers, including descendants of some of the original Irish parishioners, gathered as Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan consecrated and dedicated the newly renovated building. After 12 years and nearly $15 million, the church, on Avenue B and Eighth Street, was once again a parish church.

“You don’t believe in miracles, and then something like that happens,” said Peter Quinn, an author whose grandparents were married at St. Brigid’s in 1899. “It seemed so hopeless.”

From the altar, Cardinal Dolan praised his predecessor, Cardinal Edward M. Egan, who also took part in the Mass, for making the decision to restore the church.

“It was your dream, your trust, your daring at a time when so many dioceses were cutting back and closing,” he said. “You wanted something brand-spanking new.”

But in 2001, the parishioners and the Archdiocese of New York were on opposite sides when the archdiocese announced that it would close the church because of structural defects.

“The back wall was literally pulling away from the rest of the building,” said Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the archdiocese. “The back wall was six inches from the floor and walls. We had engineers in there who said: ‘Literally, the roof can fall at any moment. You cannot have people in this church.’ ”

Masses were moved to the church school. Parishioners formed a committee to restore the building, which was built in 1848, and raised about $100,000 of what they believed was the $300,000 cost.

“A ridiculous number, which I think was made up,” Mr. Zwilling said of that estimate, adding that the archdiocese’s estimate was closer to $8 million.

Then one day in 2006, demolition crews arrived. A painted glass window was smashed, pews were removed and an eight-foot-by-eight-foot hole was punched through a wall.

“We had to change the Committee to Restore St. Brigid to the Committee to Save St. Brigid,” said Edwin Torres, the committee’s leader.

Mr. Torres said parishioners felt that the archdiocese had strung the congregation along, letting it raise money knowing all along that a wrecking crew was coming: “I kept thinking: If we lived on Park Avenue or Madison Avenue, they would not be treating us like this.”

Mr. Zwilling insists that the archdiocese had no choice but to close the church, because the price tag to keep it open was too steep. With 375 parishes, he added, the archdiocese simply could not pour so much of its resources into one.

Undaunted, the committee hired lawyers and went to court, where it lost.

Then in 2008, the anonymous donor appeared and offered $20 million to restore St. Brigid and start a fund to help the parish school.

“We had lost at every step of the way, and now we’re going to the 5 p.m. Mass,” said Marisa Marinelli, a lawyer who handled the case on a pro bono basis. “Usually when you lose, you lose. We lost, but in the process kept the church standing.”

The archdiocese hired Michael F. Doyle of the Acheson Doyle Partners architecture firm to supervise the renovations. He said he found daunting structural problems.

He explained that St. Brigid’s, like much the rest of the neighborhood, was built on marshland, and with each flood over the years, the wood pilings it stood on had deteriorated.

“We had to underpin the entire church,” he said.

“The architecture and engineering that went into it is mind-boggling. People say: ‘How could you spend $15 million?’ We had to do all that work, otherwise it would have come down.”

The pews were replaced and the exterior restored to resemble the original brownstone. Stained glass windows were brought from St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Harlem, which closed in 2003.

Mr. Doyle also restored an elaborate inscription along the top of the east wall that had been painted over in the 1960s, although there was not enough money to put the original bell back in the tower.

The parish has been merged with St. Emeric’s nearby, and the parish and the church are now known as St. Brigid and St. Emeric.

“It’s so gorgeous, I hardly recognize it,” said Sister Theresa Gravino, who taught at St. Brigid’s school from 1955 to 1959 and had not seen the church in half a century. “It was Puerto Rican and Polish children who were very poor, whose parents sacrificed a lot to send them here. There was something special here, something they felt willing to donate money to fix.”

    A New Beginning for a Church Where Demolition Once Started, NYT, 27.1.2013,






A Flood of Suits Fights Coverage of Birth Control


January 26, 2013
The New York Times


In a flood of lawsuits, Roman Catholics, evangelicals and Mennonites are challenging a provision in the new health care law that requires employers to cover birth control in employee health plans — a high-stakes clash between religious freedom and health care access that appears headed to the Supreme Court.

In recent months, federal courts have seen dozens of lawsuits brought not only by religious institutions like Catholic dioceses but also by private employers ranging from a pizza mogul to produce transporters who say the government is forcing them to violate core tenets of their faith. Some have been turned away by judges convinced that access to contraception is a vital health need and a compelling state interest. Others have been told that their beliefs appear to outweigh any state interest and that they may hold off complying with the law until their cases have been judged. New suits are filed nearly weekly.

“This is highly likely to end up at the Supreme Court,” said Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia and one of the country’s top scholars on church-state conflicts. “There are so many cases, and we are already getting strong disagreements among the circuit courts.”

President Obama’s health care law, known as the Affordable Care Act, was the most fought-over piece of legislation in his first term and was the focus of a highly contentious Supreme Court decision last year that found it to be constitutional.

But a provision requiring the full coverage of contraception remains a matter of fierce controversy. The law says that companies must fully cover all “contraceptive methods and sterilization procedures” approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including “morning-after pills” and intrauterine devices whose effects some contend are akin to abortion.

As applied by the Health and Human Services Department, the law offers an exemption for “religious employers,” meaning those who meet a four-part test: that their purpose is to inculcate religious values, that they primarily employ and serve people who share their religious tenets, and that they are nonprofit groups under federal tax law.

But many institutions, including religious schools and colleges, do not meet those criteria because they employ and teach members of other religions and have a broader purpose than inculcating religious values.

“We represent a Catholic college founded by Benedictine monks,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which has brought a number of the cases to court. “They don’t qualify as a house of worship and don’t turn away people in hiring or as students because they are not Catholic.”

In that case, involving Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, a federal appeals court panel in Washington told the college last month that it could hold off on complying with the law while the federal government works on a promised exemption for religiously-affiliated institutions. The court told the government that it wanted an update by mid-February.

Defenders of the provision say employers may not be permitted to impose their views on employees, especially when something so central as health care is concerned.

“Ninety-nine percent of women use contraceptives at some time in their lives,” said Judy Waxman, a vice president of the National Women’s Law Center, which filed a brief supporting the government in one of the cases. “There is a strong and legitimate government interest because it affects the health of women and babies.”

She added, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Contraception was declared by the C.D.C. to be one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.”

Officials at the Justice Department and the Health and Human Services Department declined to comment, saying the cases were pending.

A compromise for religious institutions may be worked out. The government hopes that by placing the burden on insurance companies rather than on the organizations, the objections will be overcome. Even more challenging cases involve private companies run by people who reject all or many forms of contraception.

The Alliance Defending Freedom — like Becket, a conservative group — has brought a case on behalf of Hercules Industries, a company in Denver that makes sheet metal products. It was granted an injunction by a judge in Colorado who said the religious values of the family owners were infringed by the law.

“Two-thirds of the cases have had injunctions against Obamacare, and most are headed to courts of appeals,” said Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for the alliance. “It is clear that a substantial number of these cases will vindicate religious freedom over Obamacare. But it seems likely that the Supreme Court will ultimately resolve the dispute.”

The timing of these cases remains in flux. Half a dozen will probably be argued by this summer, perhaps in time for inclusion on the Supreme Court’s docket next term. So far, two- and three-judge panels on four federal appeals courts have weighed in, granting some injunctions while denying others.

One of the biggest cases involves Hobby Lobby, which started as a picture framing shop in an Oklahoma City garage with $600 and is now one of the country’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 stores in 41 states.

David Green, the company’s founder, is an evangelical Christian who says he runs his company on biblical principles, including closing on Sunday so employees can be with their families, paying nearly double the minimum wage and providing employees with comprehensive health insurance.

Mr. Green does not object to covering contraception but considers morning-after pills to be abortion-inducing and therefore wrong.

“Our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of our employees and their families,” Mr. Green said in a statement. “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.”

The United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit last month turned down his family’s request for a preliminary injunction, but the company has found a legal way to delay compliance for some months.

These cases pit the First Amendment and a religious liberty law against the central domestic policy of the Obama administration, likely affecting many tens of thousands of employees. The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and much attention has been focused in the past two decades on the issue of “free exercise,” meaning preventing governmental interference with religious practices.

Free-exercise cases in recent years have been about the practices of small groups — the use of a hallucinogen by a religious group, for example — rather than something as central as the Affordable Care Act.

The cases also test the contours of a 1993 law known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The law prohibits the federal government from imposing a “substantial burden” on any religious practice without a “compelling state interest.” The burden must also be the least restrictive possible.

Professor Laycock of the University of Virginia said: “The burden is clear especially for religious organizations, which ought to be able to run themselves in accordance with their religious teachings. They are being asked to pay for medications they view as evil.” He added that because the health care law had many exceptions, including for very small companies, the government might find it hard to convince the courts that contraception coverage is, in fact, a compelling interest.

But William Marshall, a First Amendment scholar at the University of North Carolina Law School, said the Supreme Court asserted in a 1990 opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia that religious groups had a big burden in overcoming “a valid and neutral law of general applicability.”

“You could have an objection of conscience to anything the government wants you to do — pay taxes because they will go to war or to capital punishment, or having your picture on your driver’s license,” Mr. Marshall said. “The court has made clear that religious groups have no broad right for such exceptions.”

Mr. Laycock said that while judges are supposed to be neutral, they too can get caught up in the culture wars. Judges sympathetic to women’s sexual autonomy would probably come down on one side of the dispute, and those more concerned with religious liberty on the other, he said.

“There is a lot of political freight on this issue,” he said.

    A Flood of Suits Fights Coverage of Birth Control, NYT, 26.1.2013,






Los Angeles Cardinal Hid Abuse, Files Show


January 21, 2013
The New York Times


LOS ANGELES — The retired archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, and other high-ranking clergymen in the archdiocese worked quietly to keep evidence of child molesting away from law enforcement officials and shield abusive priests from criminal prosecution more than a decade before the scandal became public, according to confidential church records.

The documents, filed in court as part of lawsuit against the archdiocese and posted online by The Los Angeles Times on Monday, offer the clearest glimpse yet of how the archdiocese dealt with abusive priests in the decades before the scandal broke, including Cardinal Mahony’s personal involvement in covering up their crimes.

Rather than defrocking priests and contacting the police, the archdiocese sent priests who had molested children to out-of-state treatment facilities, in large part because therapists in California were legally obligated to report any evidence of child abuse to the police, the files make clear.

In 1986, Cardinal Mahony wrote to a New Mexico treatment center where one abusive priest, Msgr. Peter Garcia, had been sent.

“I believe that if Monsignor Garcia were to reappear here within the archdiocese we might very well have some type of legal action filed in both the criminal and civil sectors,” Cardinal Mahony wrote.

Monsignor Garcia admitted to abusing more than a dozen young boys, most of them from families of illegal immigrants, since he was ordained in 1966, and in at least one case he threatened to have a boy he had molested deported if he talked about it, according to documents filed in court.

He was never criminally prosecuted, and has since died.

In a 1987 letter regarding the Rev. Michael Baker, who had also been sent for treatment in New Mexico after admitting that he had abused young boys, Msgr. Thomas J. Curry wrote to Cardinal Mahony that “he is very aware that what he did comes within the scope of the criminal law in California.”

“It is surprising the counselor he attended in California did not report him, and we agreed it would be better if Mike did not return to him,” the letter continued. It would be decades before Father Baker was convicted of sexually abusing children.

In a written statement released on Monday, Cardinal Mahony, who took over the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1985 and retired in 2011, apologized to the victims of the sexual abuse.

“Various steps toward safeguarding all children in the church began here in 1987 and progressed year by year as we learned more about those who abused and the ineffectiveness of so-called ‘treatments’ at the time,” the statement said. “Nonetheless, even as we began to confront the problem, I remained naïve myself about the full and lasting impact these horrible acts would have on the lives of those who were abused by men who were supposed to be their spiritual guides.”

Cardinal Mahony said he came to understand that impact only two decades later, when he met with almost 100 victims of sexual abuse by priests under his charge. He now keeps an index card for each one of those victims, praying for each one every day, he said in the statement.

In a phone interview, J. Michael Hennigan, a lawyer for the archdiocese, said that the documents represented the “beginnings of the awakening of the archdiocese of these kinds of problems,” and that the lessons learned in the intervening decades helped shape the current policy, under which all accusations of abuse are reported to the police and all adults who supervise children are fingerprinted and subjected to background checks.

Lawyers for some of the priests accused of abuse fought in court to keep the documents and many others confidential. But over the coming weeks, many more church records will also be released as part of a settlement between some of the victims and the archdiocese.

Ray Boucher, a lawyer representing some of the plaintiffs in those cases, said the files released on Monday were “particularly damning,” because they showed the “wanton disregard for the health and safety of children, and a decision by the highest members of the church to put its self-interest and the interest of abusive priests ahead of those of children.”

Mr. Boucher added, “I think when the full light is shown, the public will begin to understand just how deep a problem this is.”

    Los Angeles Cardinal Hid Abuse, Files Show, NYT, 21.1.2013,






Private Pain, Played Out on Public Stage


January 13, 2013
The New York Times


BOSTON — When he was a boy in North Carolina in the 1960s, Michael Mack wanted to be a priest, until his priest sexually molested him. He prayed he would forget the experience, but, he said, “the memory tingled like a phantom limb.”

As he grew up, he revisited the moment over and over in his mind. He told no one about it, this secret that was obsessing him, “binding me to someone I never talked to, never saw, but who lived and breathed in my memory.”

In 2002, The Boston Globe began documenting the widespread sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests. The articles, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, prompted Mr. Mack, who was by then living in Cambridge, to consider finding the priest who had abused him.

In 2005, he plugged the name into Google and discovered that the priest was living less than an hour away. Eventually, he arrived on the priest’s doorstep.

The result is “Conversations With My Molester: A Journey of Faith,” which had its debut last year at the Boston Playwrights’ Theater at Boston University to mark the 10th anniversary of the Globe series. Now, Mr. Mack, 56, is reviving the nonfiction drama at the Paulist Center, a Catholic community center in downtown Boston that is dedicated to social justice.

On Friday night, about 50 people attended the opening, which was followed by a question-and-answer session with Mr. Mack and the Rev. Rick Walsh of the Paulist Center. The play and subsequent discussion showed how the priest scandal, stemming from events that took place decades ago, continues to haunt the lives of the victims and reverberate throughout the church.

The opening happened to coincide with an announcement by the Archdiocese of Boston, the epicenter of the pedophile priest scandal, that it was further consolidating its parishes in the face of continued low attendance at Mass, a priest shortage and lackluster fund-raising. The announcement was just the latest sign of the toll that the scandal, along with various demographic changes, has taken on the archdiocese. It has been forced to sell valuable property and close parishes and has paid out tens of millions of dollars in settlements to victims of sexual abuse.

Then there is the toll on the victims. And that is the focus of Mr. Mack’s lyrical drama, in which he is the sole performer on a relatively spare stage for 90 minutes.

One of the most unsettling moments of the performance was when Mr. Mack revealed that as a camp counselor when he was in high school, he had come close to seducing a vulnerable, 8-year-old in whom he recognized himself.

“You lean closer, his hair a drift of baby shampoo,” Mr. Mack said as he acted out the scene. “Your face so close to the heat of his cheek you smell his breath, like apples.” At that point, the images of his own molesting came rushing back, and he stopped himself before anything happened.

That admission — that he had almost re-enacted the very crime perpetrated against him — drew particular praise from the audience. And it led to a general discussion of one of the little-acknowledged effects of molesting, that some victims become perpetrators.

Another effect of sexual abuse shown in the play was the simultaneous feelings of attraction and revulsion that persist in memory. When Mr. Mack was 11 and abused by his priest, he felt half giddy and half terrified. He also felt special, but the complexity of feelings was too much to make sense of.

He found himself “powerfully attracted, and powerfully repelled, finding self-loathing its own dismal ecstasy,” as he said in the play. This only added to his sense of guilt. Just remembering the scene so often, he said, proved that he was responsible for the crime, that he had “wanted it to happen, invited it to happen, made it happen, deserved it.”

After the performance, Mr. Mack was asked why he had not been vengeful toward the priest who had abused him.

“It was not true to my experience,” Mr. Mack replied, in part because victims blame themselves. Besides, he said, the play was his revenge.

“By telling my story, I am making this my truth,” he said. “I’m claiming it and getting it back.”

The play is Mr. Mack’s second theatrical work, the first having been a narrative about his mother’s schizophrenia, called “Hearing Voices, Speaking in Tongues.” He has performed it for numerous mental health groups and is preparing a third work on the broad theme of recovery.

Mr. Mack was a student at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1980s when he took an elective course in poetry. He loved it and transferred into M.I.T.’s writing program, where he studied with the poet Maxine Kumin.

After he graduated in 1988, he supported himself by doing technical writing for M.I.T. as he developed as a poet, and now his art is supporting him. He no longer wants to be a priest. But he has returned to the church and hopes his “journey of faith” as described in the play will help other victims heal and find reconciliation.

“I do feel like this is a kind of calling,” he said. “This is where I feel like I’m serving the most and growing the most. This is a very healing thing for me to do.”

Father Walsh, on stage with Mr. Mack for the post-play discussion, told him that he nonetheless was doing something “very priestly.”

“You are offering a sense of forgiveness. You’re helping people to see,” Father Walsh said. “You can reach people through this medium that I can’t reach.”

That seemed evident after the discussion and after most people had left. It was close to midnight, and workers were setting up tables for the next day’s event. Mr. Mack found himself sitting in the back of the room with a 43-year-old man who said his parents had sexually abused him. They were discussing Mr. Mack’s admission of pleasure in the abuse.

“One of the things that’s difficult is to know how to forgive yourself for taking pleasure in an experience that’s an awful experience,” Mr. Mack told him.

“It’s pleasurable, and it’s repulsive,” said the man, who wanted to remain anonymous. “It just does something to the brain, and that’s why so many survivors re-enact it — people unconsciously recreate the dynamic of how they were abused.”

The man said he was grateful to have seen the play because of its complexity. “It’s an incredible gift,” he said, “to be able to watch another survivor walk through the arc of this and get to a safe place.”

    Private Pain, Played Out on Public Stage, NYT, 13.1.2013,






Catholic Education, in Need of Salvation


January 6, 2013
The New York Times


CATHOLIC parochial education is in crisis. More than a third of parochial schools in the United States closed between 1965 and 1990, and enrollment fell by more than half. After stabilizing in the 1990s, enrollment has plunged despite strong demand from students and families.

Closings of elementary and middle schools have become a yearly ritual in the Northeast and Midwest, home to two-thirds of the nation’s Catholic schools. Last year, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia closed one-fifth of its elementary schools. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the archbishop of New York, is expected to decide soon whether to shut 26 elementary schools and one high school, less than three years after the latest closings. Catholic high schools have held on, but their long-term future is in question.

This isn’t for want of students. Almost 30 percent of Catholic schools have waiting lists, even after sharp tuition increases over the past decade. The American Catholic population has grown by 45 percent since 1965. Hispanics, who are often underserved by public schools, account for about 45 percent of American Catholics and an even higher proportion of Catholic children, but many cannot afford rising fees.

Since the early 19th century, parochial schools have given free or affordable educations to needy and affluent students alike. Inner-city Catholic schools, which began by serving poor European immigrants, severed the connection between poverty and low academic performance for generations of low-income (and often non-Catholic) minority kids.

Until the 1960s, religious orders were united in responding to Christ’s mandate to “go teach.” But religious vocations have become less attractive, and parochial schools have faced increasing competition from charter schools. Without a turnaround, many dioceses will soon have only scatterings of elite Catholic academies for middle-class and affluent families and a token number of inner-city schools, propped up by wealthy donors.

As in other areas, the church has lost its way, by failing to prioritize parochial education. Despite the sex-abuse scandals and two recessions, church revenue — which flows from parishes via Sunday donations, bequests and so on — grew to $11.9 billion in 2010, an inflation-adjusted increase of $2.2 billion from a decade earlier. Yet educational subsidies have fallen; the church now pays at least 12.6 percent of parochial elementary school costs, down from 63 percent in 1965.

Much of the money has gone to paying for a growing staff: about 170,000 laypeople, priests and members of religious orders, including some unpaid volunteers, responsible for more than 17,000 parishes. Since 2000, there has been more than a 25 percent increase in lay ecclesial ministers, who serve alongside priests and deacons in ministering to colleges, hospitals and prisons and caring for bereaved or homebound parishioners.

The church should shift its spending and also hold ambitious fund-raising drives. Instead of approaching donors with the least effective pitch — filling deficits — educators, pastors and prelates should propose new initiatives (with help from Web sites like DonorsChoose.org and Kickstarter) and new schools.

Bishops preach social justice but fail to practice it within the church. Thirty percent of American parishes report operating deficits, but there is no systemic means for wealthier dioceses and parishes to help poorer ones — and to stave off self-defeating tuition increases.

After finances, personnel is the biggest challenge. Once upon a time, a pastor and two assistant priests took care of religious duties, while nuns ran the parish schools. Now, typically, there is just a beleaguered pastor (increasingly born and trained in Asia, Africa or Latin America) without any experience in running the business side of a parish and a school. Priests’ collars and nuns’ habits have become rare sights in parochial schools.

One solution is at hand. In the late 1960s, the Vatican allowed men to be ordained as deacons, who are clergy with many but not all the powers of a priest. Today there are almost 17,000 in the United States, about the same number as active diocesan priests. Over the next decade, the diaconate will continue to grow, while the number of ordained priests is projected to decline to 12,500 by 2035.

Many deacons have valuable professional, managerial and entrepreneurial expertise that could revitalize parochial education. If they were given additional powers to perform sacraments and run parishes, a married priesthood would become a fait accompli. Celibacy should be a sacrifice offered freely, not an excuse for institutional suicide.

Without an overhaul of money and personnel, the future of Catholic education is grim. Since 1990, the church has closed almost 1,500 parishes. Most were small, but just as big-city parochial schools are being closed, thriving urban parishes may be next on the chopping block.

“The school is more necessary than the church,” said John J. Hughes, the first archbishop of New York. Unless the Vatican and the American bishops heed those words, the decline in parochial education may forewarn the fate of the church itself.


Patrick J. McCloskey,

a project director at the Center for Catholic School Effectiveness

at Loyola University Chicago, is the author of “The Street Stops Here:

A Year at a Catholic High School in Harlem.”

Joseph Claude Harris is a financial analyst and the author of

“The Cost of Catholic Parishes and Schools.”

    Catholic Education, in Need of Salvation, NYT, 6.1.2013,






Arthur Caliandro,

Minister at Marble Collegiate,

Dies at 79


January 3, 2013
The New York Times


The Rev. Arthur Caliandro, who had the daunting task of following the popular Rev. Norman Vincent Peale to the venerable pulpit of Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan and then used it to reach out to people of other faiths, low-income children, women and gay congregants, died on Sunday at a rehabilitation center in the Bronx. He was 79.

Dr. Caliandro had undergone two heart operations in recent months and was receiving treatment for Parkinson’s disease, his wife, Sandra, said. He lived in Manhattan.

Dr. Caliandro was the 46th minister of the Collegiate Church, one of the oldest and most prominent Protestant congregations in North America. Part of the Reformed Church in America, it was founded by Dutch settlers in 1628. He took over the pulpit at Marble Collegiate from Dr. Peale, his mentor, in 1984 and served as senior minister until 2009.

Dr. Peale, the renowned author of the seminal self-help book “The Power of Positive Thinking,” had led the congregation for 52 years. He died in 1993 at age 95.

Dr. Caliandro “treasured and honored the legacy of Dr. Peale,” but shifted the congregation toward “a seven-day-a-week, program-oriented community” to address local needs, the Rev. Michael B. Brown, who is now senior minister, said Wednesday. “Before, it was a nationally known worship center, geared to the fame and incredible abilities of Dr. Peale.”

Among his many initiatives, Dr. Caliandro founded an interfaith discussion group with leading rabbis and imams. He created a program for sixth graders at a school in Harlem that eventually paid the college tuition for more than 100 of those students. He appointed women to the church board for the first time, and, in the mid-1990s, he provided a meeting space at the church for gay members — prompting about 150 congregants to resign in protest.

“The church is now strongly of the opinion that he did the right thing,” Dr. Brown said.

Dr. Caliandro also created a war memorial to those who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, hanging a gold ribbon on the church’s fence for each American soldier killed and blue ribbons for the hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties.

Until his retirement, Dr. Caliandro continued the Sunday sermons that Dr. Peale had given on the radio station WOR since 1962. And from 1999 to 2005, his sermons, under the title “Simple Faith With Dr. Caliandro,” were broadcast nationally on what initially was the Odyssey network and is now the Hallmark Channel.

Marble Collegiate, which since 1854 has been housed in a grand structure with soaring stained glass windows on Fifth Avenue at 29th Street (the church is named for the marble blocks used in its construction), has maintained a membership of more than 2,000 people since Dr. Caliandro took over from Dr. Peale. Dr. Caliandro was the sixth to serve it at its present location.

Born in Portland, Me., on Aug. 10, 1933, Dr. Caliandro was one of three sons of Thomaso and Francesca Caliandro, immigrants from Italy. His father was a Protestant minister, a calling all three of his sons followed.

After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University and Union Theological Seminary, Dr. Caliandro first preached in rural churches in Ohio and later at a church in Brooklyn, New York. In 1967, he came to the attention of Dr. Peale, who asked him to become associate minister at Marble Collegiate. At his death he was senior minister emeritus.

Dr. Caliandro’s first two marriages ended in divorce, something he spoke about to his congregants. Besides his third wife, the former Sandra Graham, whom he married in 2007, he is survived by a son from his first marriage, Paul, and five grandchildren. “He made a point of letting people know his weaknesses and mistakes, in order to let them know he was human,” his wife said. “He talked to his congregation, not down to the congregation.”

In his last sermon before retiring, Dr. Caliandro said: “Really, what it is all about is love. That which every human being, every one of us, needs and wants more than anything else is to be in a relationship, or in relationships, where we feel safe.” Relationships, he added, “where we are understood, accepted, affirmed and forgiven.”

Arthur Caliandro, Minister at Marble Collegiate, Dies at 79,




home Up