A New Chapter Begins

Grind for February 19th, 2019
“A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.”

– Groucho Marx

The Future Looks Bright

The Headline

China takes solar power to a whole new level

The Grind

China’s Academy of Space Technology is building an orbital power plant that will absorb energy from the Sun and send it to Earth.

Unlike ground-based solar panels, the power plant’s photovoltaic array won’t be hindered by bad weather or nighttime.

In other words, the power plant will have constant access to solar energy.

“[The plan] shows that China is committed to its ongoing push towards using more renewable energy and asserting its place among global leaders in space,” notes Futurism

The Details

It is still unclear how the power plant will transmit solar energy to Earth, but scientists are hoping to send it in the form of a laser or microwave.

When it reaches Earth, the energy could be used like traditional electricity. It’s also possible the plant could provide energy directly to spacecraft to power missions deep into space.

If all goes according to plan, the first test facility will be launched by 2025. Based on its success, China has plans to launch a series of more powerful satellites through 2050.

Serves You Right

The Headline

Prominent Cardinal dismissed from priesthood over sexual crimes

The Grind

Pope Francis this week announced his decision to defrock Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the priesthood after the Vatican determined him guilty of sexual crimes.

Charges against McCarrick include:

— Uncounted acts of sexual abuse of minors

— Sexual misconduct with adults

— Abuse of power

— Soliciting sex during confession

McCarrick is the first US Cardinal in history to be removed from the Church.

He lost the title of “cardinal” last year after an investigation found evidence that he had sexually abused a teenager in the 1970’s. Now, he loses the title of “priest” and is banned from celebrating Mass and administering the sacraments.

The Implication

The dismissal completes a shocking fall from grace for McCarrick, who was once among the Church’s most powerful leaders, and raises uncomfortable questions about his rise to prominence.

Why was McCarrick allowed to serve in key positions despite widespread rumors of abuse?

How much did Pope Francis know about those rumors before taking disciplinary action?

Last August, Pope Francis was publicly accused of ignoring the rumors about McCarrick – whom he selected to serve on a powerful advisory board despite disciplinary measures imposed on him by former Pope Benedict XVI.

The Takeaway

The McCarrick ordeal has caused friction between Pope Francis and Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, a longtime friend who leads the Church’s commission on child protection.

The decision to defrock McCarrick “is important in administering justice” but “cannot in and of itself provide healing for abuse victims,” said O’Malley, who has called for increased accountability for Church leaders.

Catholic leaders will attend a summit next week to discuss accountability and other issues related to sex abuse.

Meanwhile, Vatican finance chief Cardinal George Pell will soon go to trial on charges of child sex abuse.

Did you know… More than 25% of the world’s forests are in Siberia.