clock menu more-arrow no yes

Vox Sentences: Don’t expect the Catholic Church to fix its sex abuse problem anytime soon

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Ella Nilsen. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

The FCC axes net neutrality rules, with dramatic implications for the internet as we know it; the Catholic Church gets called out in a damning new report about priest sex abuse scandals in Australia.


The end of the internet as we know it

Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • The Federal Communications Commission just took a crucial step that will make the internet a lot less free. [CNN Money / Sherisse Pham]
  • In a partisan 3-2 vote yesterday, the FCC ended Obama-era net neutrality rules, which basically mandates that internet providers including cable companies have to treat all internet traffic equally, and not be allowed to block access to certain sites. [Vox / Timothy Lee]
  • Under 2015 rules passed by the Obama-era FCC, the idea was for the internet to be like a public service that everyone could use, and therefore for it to be regulated like the public utilities for electricity and energy. [Vox / Aja Romano]
  • Now that could change. Cable companies like Time Warner, Verizon, and AT&T could have more say in which sites load faster and what you can access. There's a chance this could be challenged in court. [Vox / Aja Romano]
  • Net neutrality has broad support from the American public, no matter which party they belong to. [Morning Consult / Mariam Baksh]
  • But the group that doesn't support the rules includes some congressional Republicans and the right-leaning members of the FCC, including Chair Ajit Pai. [Washington Post / Michael Socolow]
  • Pai and others argue that net neutrality rules are heavy-handed regulations that were bad for business and the future of high-speed internet. (It's also worth noting that Pai used to work for Verizon, which would benefit from the rule change.) [NYT / Cecilia Kang]
  • Pai is also catching a lot of flak for recording a weird video trying to make the case that the internet won't change that much after the rule change. The video, which went viral, featured a Daily Caller staffer who is a Pizzagate conspiracy theorist and the song "Harlem Shake" by the DJ Baauer, who is now suing Pai for using his song. [The Verge / Nick Statt]

Confess, but don't address

  • A new report by Australia's royal commission has found rampant sexual abuse of children happening in the country's schools and religious institutions, going back decades. It's laying much of the blame on the Catholic Church. [NYT / Jacqueline Williams]
  • After a five-year investigation in which thousands of victims shared their stories, the royal commission issued more than 400 recommendations on how to stop future abuse. They include calls for the church to end its celibacy requirement for priests and a new requirement for priests to report any abuse allegations they hear in confessional. [NPR / Scott Neuman]
  • But don't expect the Catholic Church to jump at the chance to implement these reforms; they quickly dismissed some of the key ones. [The Australian / Tessa Akerman]
  • A high-ranking member of the Australian clergy said confession should continue to be a confidential place, and if abuse was confessed there, he hoped the abuser would report his or her crimes outside the confessional. [Guardian / Melissa Davey]

Miscellaneous

  • A surgeon in the UK is going on trial for literally branding his initials into the livers of two of his patients while they were on the operating table. It's a case so strange that authorities say there's no legal precedent. [NPR / Camila Domonoske]
  • The tiny Eastern European nation of Estonia has gone completely digital, with voting, doctors accessing medical histories, and taxes all done fast — and online. [New Yorker / Nathan Heller]
  • Months after Hurricane Maria, vast swaths of Puerto Rico are still struggling without electricity or clean water. Daily life is still suspended, as schools are empty and small businesses are in trouble. [Washington Post / Arelis Hernandez, Whitney Leaming, and Zoeann Murphy]
  • During the peak of Cold War nuclear tensions, the Eisenhower administration encouraged families to stock up on foods to sustain them during nuclear winter, including cornflakes, Tang, Campbell's soup, and candy bars. [Eater / Garrett Graff]

Verbatim

“Yeah. Bald eagles do look like Trump. Fuck bald eagles.” [A photographer named Christian to Outside Magazine / Ian Frazier]


Watch this: How the end of net neutrality could change the internet

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to repeal the net neutrality protections it adopted in 2015. Here's what that means for the future of the internet. [YouTube / Liz Scheltens and Mallory Brangan]


Read more

What happens to a family when they have equal rights, and then lose them?

The best books the Vox staff read in 2017

We need a greener, more reliable, more resilient energy grid. Microgrids might be the secret sauce.

The conservative case to fire Robert Mueller, explained

The California fires were at my door. I had 20 minutes to pack. Here’s what I took.