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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Kayla Koslosky

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

On Wednesday news broke about the sexual assault of thousands of children by Catholic priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses. The release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report confirmed that approximately 300 priests sexually assaulted or molested thousands of children in the past seven decades. The report also laid claims that senior clergymen, like Archbishop Donald Wuerl, played large parts in covering up the crimes of the predator priests. 

Since this news broke, many have been waiting for the church to respond. Instead, the church is handling the situation simply like, what many are calling, bad press. Sohrab Ahmari from the New York Post wrote that the Archbishop of Washington, Father Wuerl, and his colleagues “have treated the report as a PR headache rather than a moral and spiritual wake-up call.” 

Fox 5 DC had the opportunity to sit down with Archbishop Wuerl in the wake of the report. Fox 5 reports that the Wuerl said, “My efforts from the time that I reached Pittsburgh onto today, I’ve tried to do my very best to deal with this whole question of allegations against a priest. Now, remember, we're dealing with a long spectrum of time so how we dealt with things in the late 80s and early 90s is different than the way we would today.” Wuerl continued saying, “How do you deal with an allegation, and remember now when an allegation comes forward that allegation often times ends up being one word against another.”

This response, among others, was not what people were looking for.

Yesterday, the commentary editor for the Washington ExaminerTim Carney, took to twitter to voice his discontent saying, “So Cardinal Wuerl presided over my Mass today. He gave a statement at the beginning about the "stories" we may have heard. It was handwaving and diversionary. Shameful.”

Dr. Albert Mohler also chimed in to voice his disapproval of the actions of the Catholic church saying, “all of us should be outraged. Outraged not only that the abuse happened, but that the cover-up was so systemic.”

Many are calling for Wuerl’s resignation, but as of right now Wuerl is refusing to resign. 

Photo courtesy:Unsplash/Josh Applegate

CBN reports that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) has filed a complaint against Brigadier Gen. E. John Teichert this week. The MRFF filed this complaint to Defense Secretary James Mattis requesting an investigation into Teichert; the newly installed commander of the 412 Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base in California is.  

According to CBN, Teichert, a Christian, is subject of this complaint because he posted links to articles, a Christmas video, bible verses and prayer requests on his personal website. 

The MRFF is claiming that Teichert’s website is violating rule against religious proselytizing that the Air Force and Defense Department have in place.

On his website Teichert describes himself in the following way: 

"John is an active duty Brigadier General who has served in the United States Air Force since 1994, and who was saved by grace through faith in Christ in 2004.  He has commanded at the wing, group and squadron levels, and is currently serving as Air Force commander. The Lord has blessed his career while burdening his heart with the need for our nation to return to its Christian foundation.  He serves alongside his amazing wife of 20 years and their three incredible children.  It is their desire to fully invest their lives to maximize their impact on people and on our nation for the Lord."

CBN reports that in a press release that was sent out on Monday the MRFF said Teichert "should be doing time behind prison bars, not commanding a wing wearing general's stars." The MRFF continued saying Teichert was "a fundamentalist Christian tyrant and religious extremist predator.” They followed this up by claiming that they had received 41 complaints against Teichert spanning across several different religions, including Christians, during his stint at Edwards Air Force Base.

Recently Teichert, a highly decorated and experienced commander, reportedly "commanded the 11th Wing and Joint Base Andrews, responsible for the security, personnel, contracting, finance, medical and infrastructure support for five wings, three headquarters, and over 80 tenant organizations, as well as 60,000 Airmen and families in the National Capital Region and around the world."

CBN reports that Teichert’s decorations and honors include the “Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster and the Aerial Achievement Medal with six oak leaf clusters.”

 

Christians in Chicago are taking part in 40 days of outreach and ministry this summer to help the city recover from a spike in deadly gun violence in Chicago.

“Jesus Summer” started on July 14 after Chicago saw an increase in gun violence. During one weekend in the summer, at least 72 people were shot and 13 were killed in the city.

“Jesus Summer” started with a gathering of pastors, churches and city leaders praying on street corners. Groups then hosted other ministry events, such as a tent revival, meals for the homeless and children’s activities.

"We're empowering the churches with millions of dollars worth of merchandise to make sure we can try to hit every home in Chicago with the gospel," said Pastor Dimas Salaberrios, of Concerts of Prayer Greater New York. He helped launch “Jesus Summer.”

"That's the mission and there are multiple events happening, at last count about 160 events taking place over the course of Jesus Summer, in the streets, in tough neighborhoods to share the love of Christ,” he said.

Salaberrios says he is fasting until Chicago has no shootings for one week.

"When you reach the shooters and the shooting stops, that brings peace right now," he said. "I mean...no place in the United States has more murders than Chicago. If you add up the Iraqi war and Afghanistan, in the same time-period, Chicago's homicides are far greater than the casualties of that war."

"Now to have that on American soil blows my mind and we want to encourage the nation to make Chicago their prayer target as well as a place to come in and do ministry."

Salaberrios has shared his testimony with local gang members, saying he was a “kingpin drug dealer.”

Salaberrios also joined Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson and other ministry partners as they shared the gospel in a Chicago street that’s been dubbed “Murder Drive.”

"A lot of people watched the [Duck Dynasty] show and I know it was strange to see me here, a little out of place," Robertson said. "They wonder what I'm doing walking around. Yeah, we just tell 'em we're here because we love 'em and just want to hug on 'em and try to show Jesus through our lives."

“Jesus Summer” ends Aug. 26.

Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Pedro Lastra

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