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Catholic Church

Mayor Ed Murray unveiled his detailed zoning plan for the U-District on Monday.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

This was going to be a story about how far we’ve come in talking about victims of sexual abuse.

A survivor of abuse has resigned from Pope Francis' panel on clerical sex abuse, citing "shameful" resistance within the Vatican to the group's efforts to protect children.

Pope Francis has declared that abortion, which remains a "grave sin" in the eyes of the Catholic Church, can be absolved by ordinary priests for the foreseeable future — instead of requiring the intervention of a bishop.

The change was implemented on a temporary basis, for one year only, as part of the Catholic Church's "Year of Mercy," which began last December and ended on Sunday.

In a letter released on Monday, the pope announced that the change was being extended indefinitely.

Pope Francis told a gathering of about 900 heads of women's religious orders that he supports studying whether women can become deacons. The step is seen as a possible turning point for the Roman Catholic Church, which does not allow women to serve in ordained ministry.

At Thursday's meeting of the International Union of Superiors General, Francis was asked why women are not allowed to be deacons and whether he would form an official commission to look into the issue. He responded, "I accept; it would be useful for the church to clarify this question. I agree."

Michael J. Cody
BishopAccountability.org

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times reporter Lewis Kamb about his story profiling Rev. Michael Cody, a priest who worked in Western Washington for 21 years and sexually abused children.

Radke also speaks with attorney Michael Pfau about secret files kept by the Catholic Church on abusive priests. 

Church abuse victim Mary Dispenza looks on in her studio with her artwork in the background in her Bellevue, Wash., home on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2006.
AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey

Bill Radke talks with Mary Dispenza, director of SNAP (Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests) in Seattle, about her reaction to "Spotlight" winning Best Picture at the Oscars Sunday night. The movie tells the story of how Boston Globe reporters uncovered a massive child abuse cover-up by the Catholic Church.

Abusive Priests On Indian Reservations Leave ‘Profound Wound’

Jan 28, 2016
Attorney Vito De La Cruz in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Until the 1960s, Catholic boarding schools forcibly took Native American children from their families.

Steve O'Connor, a former police officer, was raped by his seventh grade teacher as a student at St. Benedict’s School.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Steve O’Connor was 63 when he told his full story – to a jury in King County.

"When Dan Adamson came to my house and I’m 12 years old, he says, 'I’ve selected Steve as my special boy,'" he said.

Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, a 43-year-old Polish priest who revealed his homosexuality, and a same-sex relationship on the eve of gathering of bishops from around the world, has been stripped of his doctrinal responsibilities for what the Vatican says are "very serious and irresponsible" actions.

"The decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the synod assembly to undue media pressure," the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a statement.

Alberto Pizzoli/Reuters

Argentina's Buenos Aires province passed a groundbreaking new law this week, believed to be the first of its kind worldwide.

The law requires the province fill at least 1 percent of government jobs with transgender people. The law only applies to Buenos Aires province, but USA Today reports that this sort of requirement is not in place anywhere else.

Pope Francis in a file photo from 2013.
Flickr Photo/Catholic Church England and Wales (CC BY NC SA)/http://bit.ly/1MuUz3K

Jeannie Yandel talks to Mary Dispenza, author and director of the Northwest branch of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, about Pope Francis' visit to the United States. 

Pope Francis speaks his mind, and he did that again in his address to a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday morning. But, in the vein of the best Jesuit teachers, Francis praised America, its rich political history and its ideals before delicately delivering some things its political leaders might, well, want to consider working on.

There were political messages that challenged the orthodoxy of both American political parties, but, in this 51-minute address, there were a lot more points of emphasis Democrats are happy about — and that put some pressure on Republicans.

Irene Velazquez, Araceli Hernandez and Angela Escoz prepare for a 100-mile pilgrimage to greet Pope Francis.
Liz Jones/KUOW

There’s a name Angela Escoz of Seattle refuses to utter: Donald Trump.

"It’s incredible the control this guy has over people and the media and the barbaric things he says every day against immigrants,” Escoz said. She’s an immigrant from Peru.

Sunday morning services at St. Mary Magdalene Community in Drexel Hill, Pa., look different from a typical Roman Catholic mass. The homily is interactive, there's gluten-free communion bread, and the priest is a woman.

Caryl Johnson calls herself a priest, but technically she was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. That happened automatically in 2011 when she was ordained by the group Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

Two nuns from 19th-century Palestine are now saints after being canonized by Pope Francis, in a move seen as aimed at encouraging Christians across the Middle East who are facing persecution by Islamist extremists.

According to The Associated Press:

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