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Divided Loyalties: An Incredible Situation

March 24th, 2010
10:54 PM ET
Sister Joan Chittister

Sister Joan Chittister

By Joan Chittister

For all the certainty about the facts of the case, there is still an aura of discontent everywhere about the situation surrounding clerical sex abuse in the Church. No one disputes the data now; everyone disputes the nature of the problem. And worse than that, the data simply keeps piling up on all sides.

First, the world called it an “American problem.” As in, those Americans are a wild bunch anyway, what else can you expect?” The Vatican went so far as to dismiss the issue as simply another demonstration of American exaggeration–what the Irish call  the American tendency to be “over the top.”

Then Ireland found itself engulfed in the problem and suddenly the outrage was no longer seen as ‘over the top,’ On the contrary, it became a display of integrity. Nor were the numbers seen as being exaggerated by the media. On the contrary, the numbers of child victims, the world began to understand, had, if anything, been minimized.

Now, the boil has broken in Europe, too: in the Netherlands, in Austria, in Germany, and, oh yes, in the Vatican, as well.

Now, the United States is no longer seen as being hysterical about a non-problem but early in its confrontation of it, also a decidedly American trait.

But what, precisely, is ‘it?” What is the real problem?

Note well: After stories of the first few high-profile cases of serial rapes and molestations and their unheard of numbers died down, the focus shifted away from individual clerical rapists to the unmasking of what was now obviously a systemic problem. This prevailing practice of episcopal coverups, of  moving offenders from one parish to another rather than expose them either to legal accountability or to moral censure in the public arena, occupied the spotlight. It was a practice that saved the reputation of the church at the expense of children. It traded innocence for image.


Filed under:  1 • Catholic Church

And now your feedback

March 24th, 2010
08:56 PM ET
Christiane - all ears for the feedback.

Christiane – all ears for the feedback.

Israel plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem and the possible repercussions on the U.S.–Israeli relations and the Middle East peace process was heavily discussed among the Amanpour audience.  Some felt that although the U.S – Israeli relations evolved and this indicated a positive pull toward this situation, the settlements “needed to stop.”   Additionally, while some suggested a one state solution with two legislative bodies others thought this was a risqué move and it “would not work.”  Overall, viewers had a good exchange of ideas that differed in opinion but shared a common goal.   

What are your thoughts? Please share your thoughts with us! In addition, if you missed the show go to for more information.

Below, you will see some opinions from viewers like yourself. We would love to hear what you think.

Facebook comments about the Israel plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem

Peter Houston Make no mistakes. And I do not want anyone to misrepresent my presentation. I am not advocating any attack on Israel. i want peace in Israel. i want peace in Palestine. But if Israel will not negotiate in good faith, Arab Nations must not sit and continue to watch Palestinians suffer the kind of treatment that the world delivered the Israelis from many years ago. Enough is Enough.

Markus Lique Umaguing Jr I believe the Israelis knows what they r doing in East Jerusalem and US won't abandon them, not at this point in time..


Filed under:  Feedback

Israeli official: Construction in East Jerusalem years away

March 24th, 2010
12:19 PM ET

(CNN) - Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said Tuesday his government would take two years to implement plans to expand the East Jerusalem settlements in Ramat Shlomo, a plan that set off a diplomatic imbroglio with the United States when it was announced two weeks ago.

"By the nature of the planning process, there won't be any building in that Jewish neighborhood called Ramat Shlomo at least within the coming two years," Meridor told CNN's Christiane Amanpour. "So this is really not a problem now - at least two years, there's not supposed to be any building according to the normal process of planning, that this plan needs to go through."

The Israeli government announced during Vice President Joseph Biden's visit to Jerusalem earlier in March that it would build 1,600 new apartments in largely Arab East Jerusalem. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton later called the timing of the announcement "insulting."

Meridor said he did not think the issue would affect U.S. Israeli relations, nor the attitude of the Obama administration toward the status of Jerusalem.

"They understand that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel," Meridor said. "Nobody that I know of in America or, for that matter, in the Palestinian Authority, think that when there is an agreement of peace, and there are lines, the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, those who are in East Jerusalem or West Jerusalem, will not be part of Israel."

But Daniel Levy, a senior fellow at the New America foundation, told Amanpour that the White House would be looking for an acknowledgement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his meeting with President Barack Obama Tuesday evening that the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem would one day be part of an eventual Palestinian state.

"No one is asking Israelis and Palestinians to fall in love," Levy said. "Israel unfortunately is addicted to the settlements. If Israel's ready for peace, it could stop settlements."

"It could say to the international community, 'You guarantee security, you run this,'" Levy added. "I think we need now a concrete American plan not to deal with one settlement, but to deal with the entirety and to get a border."

Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al-Quds University in Jerusalem, voiced doubts that the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank would allow the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel - a "two-state solution."

"I don't see how a two-state solution, based on East Jerusalem being the capital of a Palestinian state, is going to be possible under the circumstances," said Nusseibeh, whose school describes itself as the only Arab university in Jerusalem.

"When you're talking about settlements, I know that the focus today is on 1,600 new housing units in a particular area in Jerusalem, Ramat Shlomo, or whatever," Nusseibeh said. "But you forget the fact that Israel has been building across the green line in East Jerusalem for the past 42 years. And we already have more than 250,000 people living across the green line in Jerusalem, in East Jerusalem, and in the surrounding areas."

Filed under:  Israel • Palestinian territories