AP: Catholic Church lobbied for taxpayer funds, got $1.4B

AP: Catholic Church lobbied for taxpayer funds, got $1.4B. “The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups. The church’s haul may have reached — or even exceeded — $3.5 billion, making a global religious institution with more than a billion followers among the biggest winners in the U.S. government’s pandemic relief efforts, an Associated Press analysis of federal data released this week found.”

Reuters: Pope starts fund to help poorer countries deal with coronavirus

Reuters: Pope starts fund to help poorer countries deal with coronavirus. “Pope Francis has started an emergency fund to help areas affected by the coronavirus in developing countries, the Vatican said on Monday. It said in a statement that the pope had designated $750,000 of funds at his disposal as an initial contribution. He has asked Church entities and dioceses to contribute as they can.”

ProPublica: We’ve Gotten a Lot of Questions About Our Database of Credibly Accused Priests. Here Are the Answers.

ProPublica: We’ve Gotten a Lot of Questions About Our Database of Credibly Accused Priests. Here Are the Answers.. “We published a database in January of Catholic clergy who have been deemed ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse or misconduct by nearly 180 dioceses and religious orders around the country. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have searched the database. A number of those people have reached out with questions about the project. Many have shared personal stories as survivors of abuse. And although the officially released lists total more than 5,800 unique names, dozens of people have written in to suggest names of clergy who they believe have been left off. We’re glad to hear from readers, and we wanted to provide answers to several of the most common questions we’ve received.”

ProPublica: We Assembled the Only Nationwide Database of Priests Deemed Credibly Accused of Abuse. Here’s How.

ProPublica: We Assembled the Only Nationwide Database of Priests Deemed Credibly Accused of Abuse. Here’s How. . “ProPublica published an interactive database on Tuesday that lets users search for clergy who have been listed as credibly accused of sexual abuse in reports released by Catholic dioceses and religious orders. It is, as of publication, the only nationwide database of official disclosures. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the religious leaders’ national membership organization, does not publicly release any centralized, countrywide collection of clergy members who have been credibly accused of sexual assault.”

Ubergizmo: Vatican Priest Launches His Own Minecraft Server To Tackle Toxic Gaming

Ubergizmo: Vatican Priest Launches His Own Minecraft Server To Tackle Toxic Gaming. “Due to the fact that more games are being created as multiplayer games, it also means that there is a rise in online communities, which in turn has also unfortunately resulted in some of them being rather toxic. However, in a bid to try and create a less toxic environment for gamers, a Vatican priest by the name of Fr. Robert Ballecer, decided to create the Vatican’s Minecraft server where he hopes that it would foster a less toxic community.”

Aleteia: Digital maps provide treasure trove of information about the Catholic Church, for free

Aleteia: Digital maps provide treasure trove of information about the Catholic Church, for free. “GoodLands, whose mission is to help the Catholic Church use its land better for the benefit of people and the environment, is providing a number of free maps related to various aspects of the worldwide Catholic Church at its Catholic GeoHub site. If you have a desktop computer, a strong internet connection and maybe a lot of time on your hands, you can explore maps showing the boundaries of Catholic dioceses and parishes, the numbers of Catholics in each, the ratio of priests to parishioners, or stats on Catholic healthcare in various parts of the world.”

The Hindu: Sexual abuse victims sue to open Vatican archives

The Hindu: Sexual abuse victims sue to open Vatican archives. “The lawsuit in a U.S. federal court, which will be formally announced in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota on Tuesday, aims to compel the Vatican to open its archives and ‘release all the identities of thousands of offenders known exclusively by the Vatican and held in strict secrecy,’ lawyer Jeff Anderson said in a statement. “

Asian and African Studies Blog: Jesuit Mission Press ‘Feiqe monogatari’ now online

Asian and African Studies Blog: Jesuit Mission Press ‘Feiqe monogatari’ now online. “One of the most important items in the British Library’s Japanese collections is a small, rather ordinary-looking, leather-bound volume, generally known as Feiqe monogatari (BL shelfmark Or.59.aa.1). Despite its appearance, it is, in fact, a remarkable work in a number of ways. Firstly, it was one of the earliest books printed in Japan using movable type rather than the traditional woodblocks, secondly, it is the first non-religious text printed in colloquial Japanese transcribed into the Roman alphabet, offering valuable insights into the phonology of the Japanese language in the 16th century, and thirdly, it is the world’s only extant copy.”

The Conversation: What Catholic Church records tell us about America’s earliest black history

The Conversation: What Catholic Church records tell us about America’s earliest black history. “In 1513, a free and literate African named Juan Garrido explored Florida with a Spanish conquistador, Juan Ponce de León. In the following decades, Africans, free and enslaved, were part of all the Spanish expeditions exploring the southern region of the United States. In 1565, Africans helped establish the first permanent European settlement in what is St. Augustine, Florida today. The Slave Societies Digital Archive which I direct as a historian at Vanderbilt University includes Catholic Church records from St. Augustine. These records date back to the 1590s and document some of the earliest black history of the U.S.”

Los Angeles Times: Using artificial intelligence, researchers are teaching a computer to read the Vatican’s secret archives

Los Angeles Times: Using artificial intelligence, researchers are teaching a computer to read the Vatican’s secret archives. “The archives’ heavily laden shelves stretch 53 miles down dimly lighted corridors and are packed with papal correspondence dating to the 8th century and penned by the likes of Mary Queen of Scots and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The only problem: There is so much of it. More than 1,000 scholars are let in annually to scour the shelves, but much has yet to be read, let alone inventoried, digitized or translated. Which is why one IT professor in Rome decided it was time to let algorithms loose in the hallowed halls of the Vatican, using artificial intelligence software taught to read medieval Latin.”

The Catholic Telegraph: All Issues Of The Catholic Telegraph From 1831 – 1885 Now Online

The Catholic Telegraph: All Issues Of The Catholic Telegraph From 1831 – 1885 Now Online. “All issues of The Catholic Telegraph from 1831-1885 can now be read online. Funded by grants from the State Library of Ohio and the Hamilton County Genealogical Society, the Catholic Research Resources Alliance has been working with the archdiocese’s archives to digitize, index, and post the issues. “

The Guardian: Vatican advises nuns not to overindulge in social media

The Guardian: Vatican advises nuns not to overindulge in social media. “The Vatican has advised cloistered nuns not to overindulge in social media to avoid sullying their contemplative world with ‘noise, news and words’. In a document published by the Vatican’s office for religious life, nuns were told that while they were allowed to use Facebook or Twitter and read online news, they were advised to do so ‘with discretion and sobriety’.”

America Magazine: Can the Catholic Church help young people figure out how to use social media?

America Magazine: Can the Catholic Church help young people figure out how to use social media?. “Rebecca Bratten Weiss knows the power of social media. It has allowed the writer and independent scholar to reach beyond her rural Ohio community and connect with other Catholic thinkers who help her develop ideas and form new relationships. She even has a new chapbook on poetry coming out, co-authored with another writer she met online. But she has fallen victim to the darker sides of digital culture as well.”