Jean-François Copé on September 5, 2009/Olivier Pon
One of the most frequent questions I get from readers outside of France is how politicians here can justify banning Muslim face veils in public places. Isn’t this a blatant violation of the freedom of religion? Why isn’t this seen as such an obvious case of discrimination that legislators reject the idea outright?
As a tide of previously confidential Catholic Church documents about child sexual abuse by priests has risen over recent weeks, the Vatican has been able to say that none of them was a “smoking gun” proving it had instructed bishops to cover up the scandals. This defense looks thinner than ever with the posting of a 2001 letter by Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos congratulating (yes, congratulating!) a bishop for not only hiding a self-confessed serial abuser but earning himself a criminal sentence for doing so. For more on the 2001 case, click here.