Aug 20, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen
1 big thing: Pope Francis' historic letter

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Pope Francis released a first-of-its-kind letter today mourning the Catholic Church's "atrocities" and failures to protect children from abusive clergy.

Why it matters: The Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal is global, with victims and coverups from Australia to Chile to Ireland and the United States.

Details from Reuters' Philip Pullela:

  • "[T]he pope appeared to be launching an appeal for all Catholics to face the crisis together and not let it tear the Church apart."
  • "In his letter, the pope referred to the suffering endured by minors due to sexual abuse at the hands of a 'significant number of clerics and consecrated persons.'”
  • "The Vatican said it was the first time a pope had written to all of the world’s some 1.2 billion Catholics about sexual abuse. Past letters on sexual abuse scandals have been addressed to bishops and faithful of individual countries."
  • In Francis' own words: “We have realized that these wounds never disappear and that they require us forcefully to condemn these atrocities and join forces in uprooting this culture of death."

What they're saying:

  • “More actions, less words,” said Anne Barrett-Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org. "He needs an effective discipline process for bishops and religious superiors who are known to have enabled abuse."
  • Irish abuse survivor Colm O'Gorman: "He says the church must condemn the crimes of clerics who abused, and seek forgiveness for its own 'sins'... And again, fails to acknowledge the plain fact of the Vatican’s willful cover up of those very crimes. Of their facilitation of them."

Go deeper:

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Rehman Asad/NurPhoto via Getty Images

"People ride on an over-crowded train as they rush home to celebrate Eid-al Adha festival with their families and friends in Dhaka, Bangladesh."

  • "Muslims across the world are getting ready to celebrate Eid al-Adha by visiting the tombs of their loved ones and slaughtering sheep, goats, cows and camels, marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and in commemoration of Prophet Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God's command."
2. What you missed
  1. Trump dared John Brennan on Twitter to sue him after stripping the former CIA director's security clearance last week.
  2. Trump's special envoy for Middle East peace held a secret meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' son last September. Go deeper.
  3. Trump is complaining again about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, telling Reuters today that he should "be given some help by the Fed". This follows Trump criticism of the Fed in July.
  4. A pair of typhoons are on collision courses with highly populated areas of Southeast Asia, including Southwest Japan and the Korean Peninsula. The storms will possibly batter two massive Asian economies on the same day. Go deeper.
  5. Businesses are arguing that the Trump administration's proposed 25% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods will force American consumers to pay more for everyday items ranging from "cradles to coffins," reports Reuters.
  6. The Washington Redskins will sign RB Adrian Peterson to a one-year deal to fill a hole left open by injury, provided he passes a physical, the Washington Post reports.
Bonus: AP Top 25 is here
Data: AP; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios
3. 1 pet thing

Gadgets for pets is increasingly a growth industry, the AP's Adam Pemple reports, with pet owners shelling out on fitbits, automated feeders, and other smart tech for the non-human members of the family.

By the numbers:

  • "People in the U.S. will spend $72.1 billion this year on pet products and care, up 3.6 percent on the year in an industry that has grown steadily since the mid-90′s, according to the American Pet Products Association."
  • Worldwide spending in 2017 was $109 billion dollars, according to Euromonitor International."
Mike Allen