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Vox Sentences: Pope Francis’s crisis of confidence

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Sen. John McCain is honored by politicians on both sides of the aisle in the wake of his death; Pope Francis begins an apology tour.

Pope Francis implicated in sex abuse scandal

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  • Pope Francis arrived in Ireland on Saturday, 40 years after the last pope visited the country and in the midst of a sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church that’s worsening by the day. Francis was in Ireland to attend the ninth World Meeting of Families event. [NYT / Jason Horowitz]
  • He spent much of his visit reckoning with recent allegations that the Vatican has institutionally covered up sex abuse within the church for decades. He apologized for the sins of his clergy members and begged forgiveness “for the scandal and betrayal felt by so many others in God’s family.” [Belfast Telegraph / Alf McCreary]
  • Former US Catholic Church chief diplomat Carlo Maria Viganò, meanwhile, penned a letter Saturday accusing Pope Francis of covering up abuse committed by former DC Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. This is the first accusation that directly implicates the pope. [Vox / Tara Isabella Burton]
  • Francis, whom Viganò called on to resign, has so far stayed silent on the matter. [Atlantic / Emma Green]
  • But it’s clear the letter has shaken the clergy. A New Jersey monsignor said the accusation is “like an earthquake for the Church.” [CBS]
  • The visit and Viganò’s letter come just weeks after a grand jury in Pennsylvania released an extensive report accusing the state’s Catholic Church of covering up the abuse of more than 1,000 victims by over 300 clergymen for 70-plus years. [Vox / Daniel Hemel]
  • It’s safe to say, then, that Francis’s visit to Ireland wasn’t exactly warmly received. There were notably fewer people in attendance to welcome Francis than there were to welcome Pope John Paul II in 1979. [NPR / Frank Langfitt]

The nation pays tribute to John McCain

  • Arizona Sen. John McCain died on Saturday at 81 years old. The revered war hero and former Republican presidential nominee was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer just over a year ago. [CNN / Stephen Collinson]
  • McCain was known for his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, his crusade against the United States’ use of torture, his 2008 presidential campaign, and, more recently, his willingness to be one of the few Republican politicians to speak out against President Trump’s policies. [Today, Explained]
  • Democratic and Republican politicians and public figures alike have since paid tribute to the senator. Former President Barack Obama, who will deliver a eulogy at his funeral, honored McCain for his patriotism, dedication, and courage. [THR / Katie Kilkenny]
  • Aside from a tweet, re-lowering the White House flag to half-staff, and issuing a matter-of-fact statement, Trump forewent a meaningful tribute. He never resolved his political feud with the senator and as a result has not been invited to the funeral. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced a plan to propose renaming the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington in honor of the McCain, “so that generations remember him.” [CBS / Emily Tillett]
  • McCain’s final message to the nation was a warning to no longer “confuse ... patriotism with tribal rivalries” and “hide behind walls.” [NBC / Adam Edelman]
  • McCain leaves America with an extensive and patriotic legacy. But it’s worth remembering that that legacy also includes tapping Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential nominee and, as a result, empowering a demagogue who paved the way for Trump’s presidency. [Vox / Laura McGann]


  • Research scientists are facing the music as many of their controversial and often outrageous studies fail to reproduce the same results years down the line. [BuzzFeed / Stephanie M. Lee]
  • Rapper Azealia Banks shared the apology she wrote for Tesla founder Elon Musk after starting a “cat-fight” two weeks ago. She proposed they formally meet to start anew, as they are the “co-stars of pop culture’s latest fan-fiction.” [Twitter / Joshie D]
  • A “sexually frustrated” dolphin named Zafar has forced a small town in Brittany, France, to close off its beaches to swimmers after he began to, er, bother swimmers, kayaks, and boats. [Telegraph / Rory Mulholland]
  • Beyoncé and Jay-Z say all is well after an “intoxicated” fan charged the stage during their concert and tried to start an all-out brawl. [NME / Tom Skinner]


“America is built on an appeal to the obvious. The Declaration of Independence holds its truths to be ‘self-evident’ … What Americans have confronted lately is a state of affairs in which many of our most basic paradigms are no longer obvious to everyone.” [Nausicaa Renner reckons with how society explains the idea of “obvious” / NYT Magazine]

Watch this: Stop peeing in the pool. Chlorine doesn’t work like you think.

Pee-ple taking bathroom breaks in pools is not good. [YouTube / Gina Barton]

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