Symbolically and spiritually, the Jordan river is of mighty significance to many as tourists and pilgrims come from near and far to connect with biblical events. Physically, the Lower Jordan River of today is a lot more meager than mighty. By the time it reaches the baptismal site of Jesus, its dwindling water looks sluggish, a dull brownish green shade.
Its decline, due to a confluence of factors, is intertwined with the entanglements of the decades-old Arab-Israeli conflict and rivalry over precious water in a valley where so much is contested. Championing the transboundary Jordan's revival without wading into the thicket of the disputes that have fueled its deterioration can be a challenge.
"It's a victim of the conflict, definitely. It's a victim of people, because it's what we did as people to the river, basically, and now adding to all this it's a victim of climate change," said Yana Abu Taleb, the Jordanian director of EcoPeace Middle East, which brings together Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists and lobbies for regional collaboration on saving the river. "So it's a victim in every way."
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the long-term leader of the Vatican's influential Dicastery for Bishops, was revealed in August to be part of a list of alleged abusers named in a class-action lawsuit in Canada.
According to court documents, the Vatican acknowledged the specific allegation against the cardinal — "nonconsensual touching of a sexual nature" against an adult laywoman in Quebec in 2008 — as early as February 2021.
The Vatican's mishandling of the allegations of sexual misconduct "is simply hard to fathom," we write in our editorial. "Twenty years after the explosion of abuse cases in the Boston Archdiocese shined a harsh light on the Catholic Church's disgusting propensity to doubt sexual abuse victims and protect their abusers, have church leaders learned nothing at all?"
A preliminary Vatican investigation into allegations against Cardinal Marc Ouellet concluded there was not sufficient evidence to warrant opening up formal proceedings against the cardinal for sexual assault.
A center that began with a grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development has become the go-to place in New Bedford, Massachusetts, for essential workers during the pandemic and to speak about sexual harassment.
At Global Sisters Report, read a Q&A with St. Joseph of Saint-Marc Sr. Ligi Payyappilly, a native of India who is now a Ukraine citizen, who has been using her network as a renowned retreat preacher to support her rescue operations and refugee services.
ICYMI: Retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who was the ninth archbishop of Milwaukee from 1977 until his retirement in 2002, died overnight at Clement Manor in Greenfield after a long illness. The prelate, who lived at the residence, was 95.
ICYMI: Pope Francis has taken another step to rehabilitate Cardinal Angelo Becciu, inviting the once-powerful Vatican prelate to participate in an upcoming meeting of cardinals two years after Francis forced his resignation based on purported financial improprieties.
ICYMI: 2021 "was the most disastrous in the country's history" in terms of violence and rights violations against Indigenous peoples, according to a report from the Brazilian bishops' Indigenous Missionary Council.