Obama: Scouts should allow gays members Archbishop's letter read in church Kerry makes calls to Mideast
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said Sunday that gays should be allowed in the Boy Scouts.
The president's comments in a pre-Super Bowl interview on CBS come ahead of this week's meeting of the Boy Scouts' national executive board. A proposal to open up the Scouts' membership to gays is expected to be discussed and possibly voted on at the gathering in Texas.
The White House said in a statement last August that Obama opposed the gay ban. Obama, like presidents for the last century, serves as honorary president of the group.
"My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life," Obama said. "The Scouts are a great institution that are promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives. And I think nobody should be barred from that."
LOS ANGELES -- Roman Catholic parishioners in the Los Angeles area heard a letter from Archbishop Jose Gomez in which he described newly released files on clergy sex abuse as "terribly sad and evil."
Church leaders read the archbishop's words at Sunday Mass across the Los Angeles Archdiocese, the Los Angeles Times reported. Gomez said the church needs to acknowledge the "terrible failure" of its handling of abuse cases.
On Thursday, Gomez stripped his predecessor Cardinal Roger Mahony of his administrative duties for failing to take swift action against abusive priests. In a letter posted on his personal blog Friday, Mahony challenged Gomez for publicly shaming him and said he developed policies to safeguard children after taking over in 1985, despite being unequipped to deal with the molester priests he inherited.
Mahony had apologized two weeks ago after another release of similar files showed he and other top aides worked behind the scenes to protect the church from the growing scandal, keep offending clerics out of state and preventing public disclosure of sex crimes committed by priests.
Following a court order, the church posted on its website tens of thousands of pages of the secret personnel files of 122 priests accused of molesting children.
WASHINGTON -- New Secretary of State John Kerry reached out to Israeli and Palestinian leaders in phone calls this weekend, assuring them the Obama administration will continue to pursue a Mideast peace agreement while recognizing the individual concerns on both sides.
Kerry told Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his and President Barack Obama's commitment to support Israel's security.