Friday Five: What Wuerl knew, Opus Dei, Tim Tebow fiancee, Cyntoia Brown, Knights of Columbus

Once again, the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal dominates the headlines.

From the Washington Post to the New York Times to Commonwealth, the story that won't go away keeps making mainstream news.

And yes, various angles show up in this week's Friday Five.

Let's dive right in:

1. Religion story of the week: The Washington Post’s Michelle Boorstein reported Thursday that despite past denials, D.C. Cardinal Donald Wuerl knew of sexual misconduct allegations against ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick and reported them to the Vatican.

Catholic News Agency, which broke the news, includes a name that is crucial to the wider story: Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.

Look for more GetReligion analysis of this important development in the coming days.

2. Most popular GetReligion post: Yet another Washington Post story on a major angle in the scandal was the focus of our No. 1 most-clicked commentary of the week.

If you missed it, check out Editor Terry Mattingly’s analysis titled “Why a Catholic star vanished: Opus Dei apologist groped woman and was sent into semi-exile.”

There will be little or no debate about this rock-solid Post story, in part because Opus Dei leaders spoke on the record about this case, their reactions to it and ongoing investigations into the popular Catholic apologist’s actions with other women.

A follow-up piece on the Opus Dei angle did spark a Twitter disagreement between former GetReligion contributor Dawn Eden (Eden’s tweets) and Boorstein (Boorstein’s response) over how Eden was quoted in that report.

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): People is what it is (read: not hard-nosed journalism).

But the magazine’s scoop on Tim Tebow’s engagement to former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters did thankfully, reference Tebow’s faith:

Over the years, Tebow has opened up several times to PEOPLE about his search for love.

“I’m looking, but I just can’t seem to find anyone,” he told PEOPLE in spring 2017. “I don’t want to be single; I’m ready to settle down and start a family. I want to have kids. I have so many things I want. No one will be happier than me when I finally find the right person.”

“I’m just looking for someone who has a good heart,” he added at the time. “They have to be kind, and they have to care about people who can’t do anything for them in return.”

“They have to really love God,” he continued. “My faith is important to me — it’s the most important thing — and I need to be with someone who also shares that faith.”

Tebow tells PEOPLE, now, that Nel-Peters is exactly what he has been looking for. “She’s just perfect for me,” he says. “I’m really blessed to have her by my side for the rest of my life.”

4. Shameless plug: Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision to grant clemency to Cyntoia Brown, who was serving a life sentence for a murder she committed at age 16, made national headlines this week.

I wrote a story for The Christian Chronicle — also picked up by Religion News Service and published by the Washington Post — on the role of a Christian university in Nashville, Tenn., in Brown’s life transformation.

Brown’s case had drawn attention from celebrities such as Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Ashley Judd, who depicted her as a victim of sex trafficking.

P.S. A bonus shameless plug: My GetReligion colleague Julia Duin wrote a story for RNS on snake-handling Pentecostals taking center stage in a new opera at the Kennedy Center. Duin, as you may recall, is an expert on this subject matter.

5. Final thought: “Genius,” actress Patricia Heaton said about the above Twitter video, which concerns recent controversy about the Knights of Columbus.

Humor such as this #burn makes it so:

After all, insurrection and paramilitary operations are only 3 percent of what the Knights of Columbus do. The other 97 percent? Pancake breakfasts and fish fries during Lent.

Happy Friday, everybody!

Enjoy the weekend!

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