As recently as two weeks ago, Gary Vollmer was absolutely certain that on May 21, 2011, God would send devastating earthquakes, raise believers to heaven in the "rapture," and then destroy the world five months later. Now that it hasn't happened, Vollmer is unfazed.
"God is God, God's going to do what he has to do," he says.
True, he says, believers got some of the details wrong. But the thrust of the message is right.
Why did the Catholic Church experience a sexual abuse crisis? There are no simple answers, according to a five-year study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice that was released on Wednesday. But the reasons suggested in the report are unlikely to satisfy critics of the church.
A five-year study commissioned by Roman Catholic bishops in the United States concluded the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church was caused by poorly prepared priests in the midst of the social and sexual revolution of the Woodstock Era.
The Vatican sent a letter to bishops around the world Monday offering guidance on dealing with reports of clerical sexual abuse.
But the suggestions in the letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are vague and nonbinding and fall far short of recommending the tough U.S.-style norms that bar a credibly accused priest from ministry while his case is investigated.