It was a poisonous Pentecost Sunday for the pope, who likely had the tumultuous events of the past week on his mind as he celebrated a mass in St Peter's Basilica on the day regarded as the birthday of the Church. "This is a strategy of tension, an orgy of vendettas and pre-emptive vendettas that has now spun out of the control of those who thought they could orchestrate it," Church historian Alberto Melloni wrote in the Corriere della Sera newspaper. The leaked documents included letters by an archbishop who was transferred to Washington after blowing the whistle on what he saw as a web of corruption and cronyism, a memo that put a number of cardinals in a bad light, and documents alleging internal conflicts about the Vatican bank. --Philip Pullella, ReutersNPR:
Monsignor William Lynn, the highest ranking Catholic official to be criminally tried for covering up child sex abuse by priests, faced fierce questioning in a Philadelphia courtroom on Thursday. Lynn handled the sex abuse claims when he was secretary for clergy for more than a decade. BARBARA BRADLEY HAGERTY: "Well, there was some fireworks. Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington came loaded for bear. He wasn't quite as aggressive as he was yesterday. But I got to say the questioning was really relentless and sharp. He essentially called Lynn a liar 14 times in one hour. He also argued that Lynn tried to protect the priests and the church, and not the children."What a bunch of fuckheads.