Is There a Middle Way on Cop Anonymity?

police-van

Let me confess to a failing: When John McNesby speaks, I almost always decide to take the opposite position. It’s a knee-jerk instinct, and it’s probably not one of my better characteristics. My reasoning? If you can find a dirty cop in Philadelphia, McNesby — president of Philly’s police union — is probably nearby, defending that cop and blaming the media. Yes, it’s his job, but his shtick sure seems old and counterproductive in an era that is (rightly) demanding more accountability and transparency from police.

Most of the time, I think he’s bad for Philadelphia.

So when McNesby came out Wednesday in favor of a bill that would require police departments to withhold the names of cops involved in shooting incidents — the Philly Police policy is to name names within 72 hours — I was inclined to dismiss him outright, for three big reasons: Read more »

Washington D.C. Is Still Trolling Philadelphia

PopeSkyline

Seems folks in Washington D.C. can’t get enough of tweaking the rubes in Philadelphia.

Days after the Washington Post declared that Philly “risks reinforcing its image as a second-rate stopover between D.C. and New York,” the Washingtonian — a lesser publication you’ve probably never heard of — has decided to weigh in on the backlash.

“Philadelphia, like many cities, suffers from a massive inferiority complex,” writer Benjamin Freed explains, oh-so-helpfully.

He also rings up Frances Stead Sellers, the author of the original Post piece, who tries to clear things up:

“I’m a fan of Philadelphia,” she tells Washingtonian. “I’ve lived in Powelton Village and close to the Italian Market. But many of the things that make it fun—rowhouses, restaurants, and theaters downtown—also make it more of a challenge to manage security than in a government town, large parts of which close down on weekends.” Read more »

Why Is Brian Tierney Getting a Big Journalism Award?

Brian Tierney, May 23, 2006. AP Photo | Rusty Kennedy

Brian Tierney, May 23, 2006. AP Photo | Rusty Kennedy

So: Brian Tierney is getting a big journalism award.

Really.

The Poynter Institute announced Tuesday that Tierney — who was publisher of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com when their parent company went into bankruptcy — is receiving its “Distinguished Service to Journalism” award.

 No, really.

 Guess which word is never mentioned, even indirectly, in the press release announcing the honor?

Here’s a hint: Starts with a “b” and rhymes with “shmankruptcy.”

Instead, his tenure at the helm of Philadelphia’s largest news organization is described like this: Read more »

Are Pa. Judges Refusing to Do Same-Sex Marriages?

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

A new database suggests a number of Pennsylvania judges have stopped performing civil marriage ceremonies since same-sex marriage was legalized in the state last year.

The news comes as the nation watches Kentucky, where a county clerk, Kim Davis, refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay people, saying to do so would violate her conscience. Is the same thing happening here?

“While judges are not statutorily obligated to perform weddings, many of them do,” PennLive reports. “But starting last summer, after same-sex marriage became legal in Pennsylvania, a number of district judges stopped performing marriage ceremonies.” Read more »

Chaput Slams Trump on Immigration

Chaput Trump

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput assailed GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying Trump’s rhetoric on immigration “plays on our worst fears and resentments.”

The comments were reported by the Associated Press, which said they were “prepared for a church forum that was part of the run-up of activities to a visit by Pope Francis.”

In those comments, Chaput disputed Trump’s proposal to end “birthright citizenship” — the automatic granting of citizenship to babies born on American soil, even if their parents are illegally.

“This is a profoundly bad idea,” Chaput said. Read more »

Chaput Praises Pope’s Abortion Stance

Archbishop Charles Chaput. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Archbishop Charles Chaput. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput on Tuesday praised Pope Francis‘ decision to allow priests to forgive abortion during the Catholic Church’s forthcoming “Jubilee Year of Mercy.”

“Pope Francis’ recent remarks on absolution for the sin of abortion demonstrate his commitment to all those in need of healing,” Chaput said in a statement released by the archdiocese. “With a special ‘Jubilee Year of Mercy’ set to begin in December, the timing is very welcome.”

Abortion is considered by the church to be a grave sin, and in much of the the world a senior church official is required to give permission for absolution. The policy has been different in Philadelphia, Chaput said. Read more »

Astronaut Posts Amazing Photo of Philly From Space

This is what Philly looked like from outer space today:

Ah yes, a cheesesteak comment. Funny thing, he’s not even the first astronaut to make that kind of comment lately. Read more »

RiverLink Ferry to Offer Service for Pope Visit

Courtesy the Delaware River Waterfront Corp.

Courtesy the Delaware River Waterfront Corp.

There will be an easier way to cross the Delaware River during the weekend of the pope’s visit.

Instead of walking across the Ben Franklin Bridge, the RiverLink Ferry System will provide quick trips across the river on both days of the visit, for just $7 a ride. Two tickets must be purchased in advance — one from Philly to Camden, the other from Camden to Philly, both tickets for specific times — to participate. No walk-ups will be allowed; all tickets for the weekend will be pre-sold online. Read more »

Pope Francis Says Priests Can Forgive Abortion

AP_pope-francis-vatican-3-940x540

Well, this pope keeps defying expectations, doesn’t he?

The Vatican announced today that priests will be allowed to forgive abortions during the upcoming “Jubilee Year” starting December 8th. Normally, abortion is considered a grave sin that can be absolved only by senior church figures.  The announcement comes just weeks before Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia and an American church that is more divided over issues like gay rights and abortion than doctrine might suggest.

Pope Francis made clear in his order that the church remains committed to its anti-abortion stance, and said that forgiveness will be offered only to those women “who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.” Read more »

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