New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond started Sunday Mass (Nov. 4) at St. Louis Cathedral by offering a short prayer for the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy, pointing parishioners to his letter about past abuse and the archdiocese’s list of 57 priests it deemed credibly accused of abusing minors in the Clarion Herald, the archdiocese’s own newspaper. The list was released publicly just two days earlier.“I would ask you to join me in prayer for all of those who have been hurt by church leaders, that they will know God’s comfort and peace, that he will give them hope,” Aymond said.The prayer and mention of the Clarion Herald at the top of the mass lasted less than a minute. Then, the Mass moved on as it usually would have inside the French Quarter cathedral.The only other mention of the scandal came during the prayers of the faithful, a series of short call-and-response prayers recited in the middle of every Catholic Mass. The church … [Read more...] about Two days after list of accused priests goes public, St. Louis Cathedral Mass mostly business as usual
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COURTESY OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD Protesters try to engage passersby outside St. Louis' sole abortion clinic in teh Central West End. U.S. District Court Judge Audrey Fleissig has struck down a few key components of a St. Louis ordinance intended to prohibit discrimination based on reproductive health decisions or pregnancy. Fleissig's decision, which was issued over the weekend but went largely unnoticed til yesterday, says that the ordinance violates a state law enshrining religious freedom, as well as the First Amendment. The judge then issued an injunction ordering the city not to enforce its strictures against the trio that had challenged the law. However, Fleissig declined to find the ordinance flat-out unconstitutional. It survives, but enforcing it against anyone who dissents with its premise may be nearly impossible. The ordinance, which prohibits discrimination in employment or housing, had been challenged by three groups opposed to abortion: Our Lady's Inn, a … [Read more...] about St. Louis Law Enshrining ‘Abortion Sanctuary City’ Partly Struck Down
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says the Archdiocese of St. Louis has agreed to open its files for an investigation of potential clergy abuse. Hawley told reporters in a teleconference Thursday that he is asking the three other Roman Catholic dioceses in Missouri to similarly open their files. A spokeswoman says the Diocese of Jefferson City ... … [Read more...] about St. Louis archdiocese agrees to open files to AG’s office
Graveyards don't creep me out. So what could be better than a journey of discovery into New Orleans' oldest existing cemetery? I asked the Archdiocese of New Orleans if they would allow me, a multimedia filmmaker, to wander and photograph amongst the tombs of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. They said they thought it was a fine idea. The cemetery is located just blocks off the back side of the French Quarter. When it first opened in 1789, it was completely outside the city proper on a piece of barely reclaimed swampland. Spanish authorities were closing the St. Peter Cemetery between Rampart and Burgundy streets after running out of space in it. They needed a new place to bury the dead, preferably far enough outside the city limits that disease would not be a problem. They staked out the new plot on land roughly twice its current size. The Carlos Trudeau map of 1798 shows the cemetery, then 9 years old, drawn in as merely a cartoon signpost west of the city on land beyond St. Louis Street. By … [Read more...] about St. Louis Cemetery No. 1: Is Marie Laveau where they say she is?
ST. LOUIS • A controversial proposal to ban protesters within an 8-foot radius of a health care facility's driveway was defeated Monday by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on a 9-15 vote on the last day of session. Similar “buffer zones” have been enacted in cities such as New York and Chicago, with backers arguing they offer a clearer avenue to charge those who impede the flow of traffic in and out of facilities such as Planned Parenthood. The Supreme Court has struck down more extreme measures creating zones as wide as 35 feet but has upheld smaller zones such as the one proposed for St. Louis.But its potential for passage this year was shaky. It won initial approval in February on a narrow 15-13 vote. Two former yes votes were absent Monday, and several others changed their initial vote in wake of concerns that the bill would have unintended consequences on other protesters throughout the city who might march in the streets or block roads to get … [Read more...] about St. Louis aldermen say no to protest-free ‘buffer zones’ around health care facilities