New research on babies in their mothers’ wombs is blowing a big hole in the argument that sex differences are merely a social construct. Recent studies, summarized in a Psychology Today article, have found significant differences in the brains of male and female babies in utero. —K.C.
Pope Francis on Thursday named Wilton Gregory the new archbishop of Washington, D.C., filling a seat most recently vacated by two men implicated in the widespread clergy sex abuse crisis.
Gregory, 71, has been the archbishop of Atlanta since 2005 and will be the first African American to lead the Washington archdiocese. He will replace Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who resigned last year after a Pennsylvania grand jury accused him of covering up clergy sex abuse while he was the bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006. Francis defrocked Wuerl’s predecessor, Theodore McCarrick, in February after a Vatican-backed investigation found he sexually abused minors and adults during his long career.
Gregory, known as a Francis-like progressive, headed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops conference when it adopted a “zero-tolerance” abuse policy in 2002, which toughened penalties for abusers but also explicitly, and controversially, excluded bishops from the policy.
“We’ve certainly given our faithful a lot of reasons to leave the church. I want to provide a few reasons to stay,” Gregory said at a news conference in Washington on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, the Vatican upheld its conviction of the ousted archbishop of Guam for sexually abusing minors, exiling him from the Pacific island and barring him from presenting himself as a bishop. But the decision stopped short of defrocking him, allowing Archbishop Anthony Apuron to remain in the ministry despite 200 people coming forward to accuse him of raping and molesting them over decades. Critics denounced the decision as further evidence that the Vatican is not serious about punishing abuse. Apuron has maintained his innocence. —K.C.