Stephen P. White


A Different Kind of Transparency

Catholics now have a guidebook, written for non-experts (or at least non-canonists), which provides a simplified explanation of how Rome expects the rest of the Church to handle allegations of clergy sexual abuse.

Lessons of the Latest Abuse Numbers

We owe it to our shepherds to let them try to regain our trust, as hard as that may be. As for our bishops, surely they know how difficult it is to trust a leader who never lets down his guard, who through contempt or fear, refuses to grant the very trust he demands in return.

Our Deeper Task

You don’t need a well-developed theory of justice to be appalled or outraged by real injustices – for example, by police brutality or the killing of George Floyd. But you need it to see clearly what has brought our communities and country to this state of affairs.

Are These Not My People?

Perhaps one problem with our conversations about race is that we want to have things both ways – to heal as one without accepting any responsibility for a whole. We want to proclaim ourselves one people, but without taking responsibility for the parts to which we do not wish to belong.

Catholic Schools and the Common Good

The intransigence of our political divisions, even between and among Catholics, is a good place to begin thinking about the importance of truly Catholic education for both the Church and the nation.

The Gift of John Paul II

Those of us who have benefitted so greatly from John Paul II’s accomplishments – and from his intercession now – ought to be equally willing to learn from his failings, too. It would be a pity if we were not so willing. We have nothing to lose and much to gain from the truth.

Credit, Where It’s Due

The actions of the media, lawyers, and victims’ advocacy groups have sometimes been, taken in isolation, very damaging to the Church. But the actions of these same groups have often, over the long term, been a strong force moving the Church in the right direction.

Pell Case Quashed – McCarrick Report Still Pending

For too long the Church reflexively stood with those it was “easy” to believe and “easy” to defend: accused priests. For that we are still paying the price, though the greater price was paid in the suffering of victims. Justice demands better.

False Allegations Are Rare – and Real

One of the underappreciated realities of the abuse crisis is that a sizable portion of priests who are accused are neither manifestly guilty nor demonstrably innocent. And this creates a thorny problem for both priests and bishops.

Trauma and Taboo

The Church is sometimes better prepared to deal with sinners than she is to help those hurt and wounded by sin.