|Catholic Church Fights Abuse Allegations
As a summit on how to handle child sex abuse began at the Vatican, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel called on the Catholic Church to stop “self-policing.” According to Nessel, local and global church figures need to allow law enforcement to take over investigations into potential clergy, rather than conducting their own internal investigations. Michigan is one of at least 13 states that is currently carrying out investigations into clergy sexual abuse within the church; the federal government is also investigating.
Pope Francis, speaking from Vatican City, called on clergy to “hear the cry of the little ones who plead for justice.” Chico Harlan of The Washington Post recaps the beginning of the summit: “The meeting’s first day involved a mix of prayer, emotional appeals and discussions on specifics. In a room that looked like a college auditorium, rows of bishops listened to speeches and took notes. Francis delivered 21 ‘reflection points’ — ideas for handling abuse that one organizer, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, described as a ‘road map’ for discussion in following days.”
PRRI data has shown that 62 percent of Americans overall believe that churches and places of worship are not responding well to issues of sexual harassment and assault. Another survey, also conducted in 2018, shows that 81 percent of American Catholics say child sexual abuse by clergy is a major problem.
|Kaepernick Back in the News
Shortly after former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Panthers safety Eric Reid settled a lawsuit with the NFL, Nike unveiled—and then sold out of—a new Kaepernick jersey. The all-black, logo-less “Icon” jersey was briefly available for $150. “The Nike Kaepernick Icon Jersey is out of stock! Thank you to everyone that took the time out of their day to pick one up. I am humbled and appreciate all your continued support. Check the link in the bio to be notified for the next drop!” Kaepernick wrote on Twitter. More than two years after Kaepernick began sitting out or “taking a knee” during the pregame performance of the national anthem, his star is still bright.Kaepernick’s jerseys are still in high demand, even though it’s been two seasons since he wore an NFL uniform. In September, jerseys featuring the hashtag #IMWITHKAP sold out in just a few hours. In 2018, PRRI examined how attitudes toward Kaepernick’s famous protests. According to PRRI data, half (50 percent) of Americans believe that athletes should be required to stand for the playing of the national anthem before sporting events. Americans are also largely aware that professional athletes first started kneeling during the anthem to protest police violence against African Americans. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of the public identify this as the original motivation for the national anthem protests. Only 13 percent say these protests are in opposition to the election of President Donald Trump, and eight percent say they are a response to negative treatment of players by the NFL management.