Voice of the Faithful Focus, Apr. 29, 2016

Highlighting issues we face working together
to Keep the Faith, Change the Church


Francis: Spirit works in laypeople, ‘is not property of the hierarchy’
“Pope Francis has again sharply denounced the culture of clericalism among priests in the Catholic church, calling it ‘one of the greatest deformations’ that must be confronted by the global faith community and saying it helps ‘diminish and undervalue’ the contributions that laypeople make. The pontiff has also strongly reaffirmed the right of laypeople to make decisions in their lives, saying that priests must trust that the Holy Spirit is working in them and that the Spirit ‘is not only the ‘property’ of the ecclesial hierarchy.’” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
Pope Francis: Clericalism distorts the Church, By Vatican Radio
Pope blasts clericalism, says clock has stopped on ‘hour of laity,’ By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com

Top Vatican cardinals aren’t commenting on pope’s exhortation
“Two of the Vatican’s most senior prelates, both known for taking a strong stand for the Church’s tradition at the Synod on the Family, are declining interviews on Pope Francis’ controversial apostolic exhortation.” By John-Henry Westen and Claire Chretien, LifeSiteNews.com

Fr. Hans Kung says Francis responded to request for free discussion on infallibility dogma
“On March 9, my appeal to Pope Francis to give room to a free, unprejudiced and open-ended discussion on the problem of infallibility appeared in the leading journals of several countries. I was thus overjoyed to receive a personal reply from Francis immediately after Easter.” By Hans Kung, National Catholic Reporter

Sex abuse and the Catholic Church: Why is it still a story?
“I have interviewed many survivors of child sexual abuse over many years, but this was the first time I had ever interviewed a survivor who was also a politician. State Representative Mark Rozzi sat behind his office desk at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. … (Answer to questions) Why does the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church never seem to go away? Why is it still a story?” By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
Reporting on abuse in the church: What’s new? Plenty, By Susan Lehman, The New York Times

The Catholic Church’s defiance and obstruction on child sex abuse
“In three years at the helm of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has been a source of inspiration for millions of faithful around the world. In one critical respect, however, he has fallen short of his own promise: to come fully to terms with decades of child sex abuse by clergymen and the institutional cover granted to them by bishops and cardinals.” By The Washington Post Editorial Board

Three religious leaders enabled friar to be predator
“Records from a Franciscan religious order show three former leaders knew a friar had been accused of child sex abuse before he was allowed to work at a high school and other jobs where he was later accused of molesting more than 100 children.” By Associated Press

Catholic sex abuse scandal hits unlikely country
(Apr. 20, 2016) “The Roman Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal has stretched into one of the least Catholic countries: Japan, where former students at a prestigious all-boys parochial school allege they were molested or raped by religious brothers who taught there decades ago.” By Associated Press on CBSNews.com


Ohio seminary approves changes to strengthen admissions process
“Three initiatives designed to strengthen the admissions process at the Pontifical College Josephinum have been approved by the school’s board of trustees. The initiatives include a formal recommendation to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to establish a national database listing all applications to each seminary and houses of formation in the United States; hiring a qualified private investigative agency to assist in verifying the integrity of all applicants, including a review of their social media postings; and interviews for all applicants with a representative of the seminary’s admissions committee and the seminary’s director of psychological evaluation and counseling.” By Tim Puet, Catholic News Service in Catholic Review

Time limits for reporting sexual abuse are wrong — Scrap them
“After this month, victims of pedophile priests in the Catholic church will no longer be able to find justice – at least, not in Hawaii or Minnesota, two states that extended the statute of limitations (SOL) after a renewed wave of allegations came to light in 2013. This is yet another perfect example of our country’s willful ignorance about rape and sexual abuse. Why are there SOLs in these cases at all? There shouldn’t be.” By Andy Kopsa, The Guardian

A lawsuit to be filed against catholic bishop who is lifting suspension of a priest accused of child abuse
“A Federal Lawsuit will be filed in Minnesota against a Catholic Bishop in India, in connection with alleged sexual abuse against a priest while he served in Northwestern Minnesota a decade ago. News of the federal lawsuit is coming from the office of Twin Cities attorney, Jeff Anderson, who has represented several victims of clergy abuse. Monday, in Fargo, the woman who says Father Joseph Jeyapaul abused her at her home church in Northwestern Minnesota spoke out about the decision in India to return Jeyapaul to ministry there.” By Kevin Wallevand, WDAY-TV
Catholic diocese in India reinstates priest who admitted child sex abuse, By Kenan Machado, The Wall Street Journal

He was raped by a priest as a teen. 30 years later, he’s getting justice.
“Mark Rozzi dropped out of college and was working at his family’s window and door installation company when a tragic life event inspired him to make a drastic career change. He went into politics. He did it for one reason: justice.” By Colby Itkowitz, The Washington Post


‘Amoris Laetitia’ – A Commonweal Reading List
Click here to see a list of articles on ‘Amoris Laetitia’ by Commonweal writers and contributors. In addition:
Some exceptions may apply: for Francis, rules aren’t the main concern, By Commonweal Editors

Amoris Laetitia – A National Catholic Reporter Reading List
Click here to see a list of articles on ‘Amoris Laetitia’ by National Catholic Reporter writers and contributors. In addition:
Francis: ‘New concrete possibilities’ for remarried after family exhortation, By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
Editorial: Take Amoris Laetitia’s challenge seriously, By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff

Bishops react: ‘Not reform of the rules, reform of the Church’
“Commenting on the apostolic exhortation during a press discussion a few hours after its formal release on April 8, Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, N.Y., chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, said, ‘Amoris Laetitia’ was focused on ‘reaching people not in the abstract, but in the concrete realities of their lives.’” By Kevin Clarke, America: The National Catholic Review
Kasper says Pope’s synod document “changes everything,” By Christopher Lamb, La Stampa
Cardinal Nichols: Amoris Laetitia describes ‘the same tension’ as John Paul II did, By Dan Hitchens, Catholic Herald
Collins’ misgivings allayed by final Synod document, By Michael Swain, The Catholic Register
Archbishop Roche: Amoris Laetitia a “light in an obscure world,” By Vatican Radio
Santa Rosa Bishop Robert Vasa says pope’s proclamation does not change church doctrine, By Martin Espinoza, The Press Democrat

‘Amoris Laetitia’ is a disappointment overall
“I have just completed a pretty careful reading of Pope Francis’ latest Apostolic Exhortation, ‘Amoris Laetitia.’ I want to explore in some detail a few of the relevant issues the treatise raises … For now, however, I will just make some general comments about the document itself. I have to say at the outset that despite the fact that the ‘joy of love’ is truly wonderful, I find it difficult to feel excessively positive about ‘Amoris Laetitia.’ The document breaks little new ground and reads more like it is coming from a cautious cleric than a bold reformer.” By Pat Perriello, National Catholic Reporter

Family time
“Friday, April 8, Pope Francis’ long-awaited apostolic exhortation on the family and love, ‘Amoris Laetitia’ (‘The Joy of Love’), was released. The exhortation includes not only the pope’s reflections but also insights from the meetings in 2014 and 2015 of the Synod of Bishops. In this thorough analysis of the theology of the family and of the challenges families face in today’s world, the pope sets a pastoral agenda that should keep Catholics busy for a long time.” By Editors at America

What some critics of ‘Amoris Laetitia’ are missing
“Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’ has been accepted by most Catholics as a breath of fresh air. Its warm encouragement to families to place love at the center of their lives, its clear invitation to pastors to accompany Catholics in the ‘complexity’ of their situations and its strong reminder that the church needs to recover an appreciation of the role of conscience have been welcomed by millions of Catholics as a sign that the church wants to meet them where they are. But not by all Catholics. In a few quarters of the church it has not been received warmly at all. In fact, it was greeted with a vituperation that seemed to approach apoplexy.” By James Martin, S.J., America

New Exhortation must now be implemented
“‘Amoris Laetitia’ is a long and complex document with many parts dealing with diverse topics, but all relating in the end to the family, the Church’s concept of the family and how people can be led, sometimes bit by bit, to see the wisdom of it. Almost all of the attention so far has been given to the sections of ‘Amoris Laetitia’ that deal with how the Church should treat couples living in ‘irregular’ situations, such as in a second marriage after the first marriage ended in divorce.” By David Quinn, The Irish Catholic

Real revolution in pope’s family letter may come in muddy shoes
“When Pope Francis in his recent apostolic exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’ (‘The Joy of Love’) says the Church’s marriage and family outreach should sometimes be like shoes getting ‘soiled by the mud of the street,’ that’s something John Grabowski definitely understands.” By Mark Zimmerman, Cruxnow.com


Rehabilitating a disgraced priest: a thought-experiment
After it emerged that a priest with a history of sexual abuse is serving as a pastor, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City is ‘assessing the situation.’ With all respect to Archbishop Coakley—for whom I have generally had a high opinion—I think he should be assessing himself. In light of this case, actually all the American bishops should be assessing themselves. Because what happened in Oklahoma illustrates why so many people believe—rightly, I would argue—that their bishops still don’t ‘get it.’” By Phil Lawler, CatholicCulture.org

How many years, hearings before an admitted child molester is jailed?
“Timothy Probert is a bastard. I’ve waited two years, four months, 13 days and roughly 17 hours to write those words. Under the guise of a Christian face, Probert used a carefully manipulated role of prominent community member and child of God to gain the trust of adults and then sexually molest their children. What could be worse?” By Samantha Perry, Bluefield West Virginia Daily Telegraph

Where do priests accused of abuse go?
“Churches in South America are buzzing with priests who were transferred there from places like U.S. and U.K. But many of these priests have a dark, unknown past.” By Amna Shoaib, Carbonated.tv

In letter to CDF, theologians and bishops call for reform of Vatican doctrinal investigations
“A group of prominent global Catholic theologians, priests and bishops who have been criticized by the Vatican’s chief doctrinal office have come together to call for a new process for theological investigations in the church that would be marked by openness and transparency instead of deep secrecy. In a letter sent to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last month, the theologians argue that current procedures for investigations — characterized often by a lack of adequate defense or possibility of appeal — are ‘contrary to natural justice and in need of reform.’” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Top editor at Catholic News Service reportedly pushed out over pro-LGBT tweets
“The director and editor-in-chief of Catholic News Service, a news agency affiliated with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has reportedly been pushed out of his position after an outcry over tweets endorsing LGBT rights. Two prominent Catholic news outlets have reported that Tony Spence resigned this week at the request of an official in the bishops conference.” By Camila Domonoske, National Public Radio

The Crux of the matter
“The Pulitzer Prizes were announced today (Apr. 19), just weeks after the movie version of the Boston Globe’s prize-winning religion coverage won an Oscar and its highly touted experiment in full-blown Catholic reporting folded. That trial balloon, called Crux, was an enterprise edited by John L. Allen Jr., who left NCR to take it on. Four days after the Globe ended it, citing failure to attract enough ad revenue, Crux found a new home at the Knights of Columbus.” By Ken Briggs, National Catholic Reporter

The end of Catholic guilt
“I thought of him while reading the latest institution-shifting document from Pope Francis, ‘Amoris Laetitia’ — the Joy of Love. The title sets the tone for the continuation of a quiet revolution. Note that it’s not called the Job of Love, the Duty of Love or the Unbearable Burden of Love. Instead, the pope implies that there’s considerable fun to be had in human relationships. You can even find in its 256 pages a mention of the ‘erotic dimension’ of love and ‘the stirring of desire.’ Yes, sex. The pope approves of it, in many forms.” By Timothy Egan, The New York Times

On Benedict XVI anniversary, why he’ll go down as ‘Great Reformer’
“By consensus, while emeritus Pope Benedict XVI was a great teaching pontiff, ecclesiastical governance on his watch often left something to be desired … Today, however, marks the 11th anniversary of Benedict’s election to the papacy on April 19, 2005, and to mark the occasion, I want to suggest that over the long run, Benedict will be judged not by his failures but rather the historic reform processes he set in motion.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com


Is a ‘governance gap’ emerging under Pope Francis?
“Pope Francis just keeps on truckin’ as the most compelling moral point of reference in the world today … Of late, however, there have been reminders that Francis’ success on the global stage is not really matched by comparable breakthroughs as a manager. Over the past quarter-century, two areas above all have generated persistent scandal and heartache for the Vatican, and were waiting for a new pope to take up: The child sexual abuse scandals, and money.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com

“Is the Pope Catholic?” suddenly a serious question
“It’s always been the jokey answer to a dumb question, but it’s now a serious issue for Catholic intellectuals who have been criticizing, and defending, the Catholic bona fides of Pope Francis, especially since the pontiff released a landmark document on family life earlier this month that some say calls into question the church’s teachings on the permanence of marriage.” By David Gibson, Religion News Service, on Cruxnow.com

Pope Francis’ new teaching on the family
Thank you, Pope Francis, for once more proving yourself the chief shepherd of your worldwide flock. When I was a child in the 1950s, in Catholic school, the Baltimore Catechism defined a sacrament as simply ‘an outward sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace’ …” To the Editor, The New York Times


Franciscan sister sees subtle shift, Francis effect, in seminary classroom
“There’s hope for Catholics seeking newly-ordained priests galvanized by Pope Francis. It just might take a while, says Franciscan Sr. Katarina Schuth, holder of an endowed chair for Social Scientific Study of Religion at St. Paul Seminary in Minnesota and leading expert on seminary education. She sees a subtle shift in her classroom. In recently assigned reflection papers, three of her first-year students wrote about priestly ministry and the poor.” By Peter Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter

Turning talk into action
“The decision to convoke a diocesan synod back in September 2014 was a bold move by Limerick’s Bishop Brendan Leahy who at the time was little over a year in office. After all, until last weekend (Apr. 9-10) there had not been a synod in Ireland in over half a century, and none in Limerick for 70 years. Having come from Dublin it was an opportunity for Bishop Leahy to get a feel for his flock. More importantly still it was a clear indication that this was a bishop willing to listen and take heed of what his faithful were telling him.” By Cathal Barry, The Irish Catholic


A married priest responds to ‘Amoris Laetitia’: nine questions for Father Dwight Longenecker
“Father Dwight Longenecker is a Catholic priest, husband and father of four who serves as pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, S.C. … On April 9, Father Longenecker wrote a blog entry in defense of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’ on marriage and the family, noting that ‘real life is fuzzy, ambiguous and messy.’ On April 14, I interviewed him by email about his perspective on the pope’s work.” By Sean Salai, S.J., America: The National Catholic Review


Pulling the plug on audit means gut-check time for Vatican reform
“When Pope Francis’ landmark project of financial reform was announced two years ago, one lynch-pin was the idea that the world would no longer just to have to take the Vatican’s word for it in terms of how much money it has and where it’s going. Instead there would be a credible audit carried out according to generally accepted business standards in the 21st century. That step, officials said, would represent a revolution in the direction of transparency and accountability. As it turns out, it’s now a revolution delayed.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com
Vatican unexpectedly suspends independent financial audit, By Rosie Scammell, Religion News Service
Vatican suspends outside audit while reviewing contract, By Catholic News Service on CatholicPhilly.com
Vatican spokesman says suspending audit not about ‘blocking reforms,’ By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com
Vatican press statement highlights conflict over audit, By CatholicCulture.org


And the women also … women deacons for Ireland
The early Church had a problem. As it grew, the apostles could not attend to all its ministries. As Pope Francis said, when speaking to assembled bishops in Philadelphia, last September, the apostles essentially ‘invented’ the diaconate. The beginnings of the diaconate related in the Acts of the Apostles include an important fact: the apostles (not Jesus) called the first seven to service of the nascent Church.” By Phyllis Zagano, The Irish Catholic


Church defenders should thank media who exposed child abuse
“Nuala O’Loan knows how an organization protects its own and belittles accusers. She knows all about institutional cover-up, having skillfully unmasked precisely that in policing here. In return she took insults and threats but media comment was a strong ally. So it is sad to see her in a recent university conference attacking Irish media treatment of the Catholic Church – in a bizarre location.” By Fionnuala O’Connor, The Irish Times

The Vatican just put a convicted rapist back in a parish
Just what is it that the Vatican does not get about predator priests? Apparently a lot. Father Joseph Jeyapaul is a priest from India who admitted to raping two adolescent girls in Minnesota when he served the Crookston diocese from 2004 to 2005 … Apparently, Jeyapaul’s rap sheet is not enough to kick him out of the priesthood for good. In February, the Vatican approved lifting his suspension from the priesthood and agreed that he could be reassigned to a new parish in India. That parish even made him the diocesan head of its commission for education.” By Barbie Latza Nadeau, The Daily Beast

Blind-reported child sex abuse cases may be reopened after hundreds not investigated
Hundreds of cases of child sex abuse going back decades may be reopened after the Catholic Church publicly abandoned a controversial practice known as blind reporting. Blind reporting occurs when an organization passes on an allegation of child sex abuse, but strips the report of the name of the victim, meaning police are unable to investigate the report.” By Natasha Robinson and Alison Branley, ABC News Australia

Cardinal Bertone’s sins against children
“Recently news of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s chutzpah emerged again in Barbie Latza Nadeau’s article ‘Vatican Bling-Bling: Hospital Funds Diverted to Cardinal’s Villa’ when we learned that, in jaw-dropping contrast to his boss Pope Francis (who lives in a 750-square-foot apartment in a guesthouse at the Vatican), the Cardinal created a penthouse for himself by refurbishing two Vatican-owned rooftop apartments … The Vatican Tribunal opened a criminal dossier on the matter last week.” By Matthew Fox, Huffington Post


Catholic clergy member arrested on child pornography charges
“Following a nearly 10-month investigation, police have arrested Brother Thomas Sawyer, 73, of Valatie, New York. Sawyer is a member of an international catholic order, and investigators say he may have downloaded thousands of photos of naked children. Sawyer, a longtime Catholic educator in many schools across the country, lived at West Haven’s St. John Vianney Church.” By Doug Stewart and Tony Terzi, FOX61-TV


Sex abuse lawsuits continue to stack up against Hawaii’s Catholic Church
Nearly 150 victims of child sex abuse have filed lawsuits against Hawaii’s Catholic Church and other local institutions in the past four years. This includes more than two dozen lawsuits that were filed within the last two weeks to beat Sunday’s deadline to sue.” By HawaiiNewsNow.com


SNAP protests lifted suspension of Minnesota priest convicted of sexual abuse
“SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, urged other victims to come forward following mass at a Crookston church today (Apr. 17). Weeks ago Vatican officials lifted the suspension of a Minnesota catholic priest who pled guilty to child sex crimes in 2015. Father Joseph Jeyapaul served four years in prison and was sent back to his native country of India.” By Valley News
Lawsuit seeks removal of convicted priest in archdiocese in India, By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune


Retired St. Louis Catholic priest faces new allegations of abuse
A retired Roman Catholic priest who has previously been accused of sexual abuse is facing new allegations. The Archdiocese of St. Louis is informing the region’s Catholic community that a new allegation was recently reported against the Rev. Thomas J. Graham. The alleged abuse occurred in the 1980s at St. Alban Roe Catholic Church in Wildwood. According to a statement from the archdiocese, Graham is already on permanent administrative leave which prohibits him from engaging in ministry.” By St. Louis Post-Dispatch Staff


Loyola School covered up teacher who molested seven girls
“Louis Tambini was a legendary figure at Loyola, a history teacher, coach and athletic director who worked at the small Catholic school on the Upper East Side for more than 30 years. Tambini was also a creep who molested seven girls who attended the school in the late 1970s and early 1980s … But despite evidence that Loyola officials covered up the abuse for decades after they learned of the allegations in December 1982, the victims can’t file lawsuits against the school because New York’s statute of limitations expired decades ago.” By Michael O’Keefe, New York Daily News

Attorney General backs Markey’s sex abuse bill
“The fight to allow childhood sexual abuse victims the right to bring their abusers to justice has just gained another supporter. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has joined forces with Maspeth-based Assemblywoman Margaret Markey to make the Child Victims Act the law of the land in New York State, which seeks to eliminate the archaic statute of limitations in the state which restricts the time for childhood sexual abuse victims to come forward and expose their abusers and the organizations that hid or protected them.” By Anthony Giudice, Times Newsweekly


Advocates aim to keep Crookston Diocese priest convicted of sex abuse from return to ministry
“In hopes of preventing a Catholic priest from returning to the ministry after his conviction for sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl while serving in the region more than a decade ago, a support group is seeking possible victims in the Fargo area. Megan Peterson and Barbara Dorris, members of a group called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP, distributed fliers in a south Fargo neighborhood on Monday, April 18, near the headquarters of the Fargo Diocese.” By Dave Olson, Inforum.com


Priest convicted of sex crime serving in Elgin
“A priest who was convicted in California of sexual battery and sentenced to three years probation is now serving as administrator at Saint Ann Church, Elgin and missions to Mother of Sorrows Church, Apache, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Sterling. He has been named to become pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Lawton effective June 28 … ‘Without excusing or justifying his behavior, I think he can now safely and appropriately return to ministry,’ said Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City.” By The Lawton Constitution


Altoona-Johnstown bishops’ actions on abuse claims called into question
“Sitting through Mass with the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio Jr. presiding was surreal for Elizabeth Williams. She felt a chill. ‘I just wanted to get up and leave. But I felt I could not,’ said Williams, a physician’s assistant. Her anxiety stemmed from knowing she was about to confront Maurizio with allegations that he had molested boys at a shelter for street kids in Honduras.” By Brad Bumsted, Harrisburg Tribune


Catholic diocese of Yakima won’t list names of abusers on website
“The Lay Advisory Board of the Catholic Diocese of Yakima will not be listing the names of local clergy on its website who have had credible claims of sexual abuse leveled against them. The board last month discussed listing priests’ names on the diocesan website and took no action nor made any recommendations to Bishop Joseph Tyson. The seven-member group, which meets quarterly, investigates any allegations of sexual misconduct in the local Catholic church.” By Jane Gargas, Yakima Herald


Prosecutors in Argentina are accusing a Roman Catholic priest of sexually abusing 3-year-old girl
“Prosecutors in Argentina are accusing a Roman Catholic priest of sexually abusing 3-year-old girl. The Public Ministry in Santa Fe province said Wednesday (Apr. 20) that local prosecutors are asking for Nestor Monzon to be formally investigated. Under Argentine law, the request by prosecutors is the precursor to charges that must be decided on by a judge.” By The Associated Press on DailyJournal.net


Compensation to clergy sexual abuse victims could be increased to $100,000
Compensation payments to people sexually abused as children by clergy could be increased to more than $100,000 under the Catholic Church’s much-criticized Melbourne Response scheme, a victims’ advocate says. A review to be released in coming days is expected to recommend lifting the current $75,000 cap on compensation payments to victims in the Melbourne archdiocese.” By Australian Associated Press and Lucy Mae Beers, in Daily Mail

Sex abuse haunts victims of Catholic Brother Standen, court hears
Victims of a paedophile Catholic brother who went on to become principal of a prestigious Sydney school have told of the broken relationships, drug and alcohol abuse, self-harm and thwarted careers that have dogged their lives in the 30 years since. William Peter Standen, who also goes by the name Brother David or Brother Dave, was the principal at Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral College for a decade before he retired in 2010.” By Louise Hall, The Sydney Morning Herald

George Pell’s lawyers score small victory at Royal Commission
“Lawyers for Cardinal George Pell have sought to discredit a witness at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse on Wednesday (Arp. 13), persuading Justice Peter McClellan to publicly release a document they say calls into question the testimony of a man whose brother was allegedly abused by disgraced Ballarat Christian Brother Edward Dowlan. Cardinal Pell’s lawyer Sam Duggan also claimed the man, known only as BWF, was an unreliable witness.” By Bianca Hall, The Age, Victoria
Cardinal Pell’s credibility is on the line as Catholic Church strikes back, By David Marr, The Guardian
Case for the defense of Cardinal Pell heard in Australia, By Andrew Rabel, Cruxnow.com


French cardinal admits mistakes in child sex abuse cases
“A French cardinal said his diocese has made ‘some mistakes’ in the management and nomination of certain priests amid allegations that he had covered up child sex abuse cases. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin stressed the “importance” for the victims “to see their right to truth and justice recognized” in a statement issued Monday following a meeting on the issue with 220 priests from the Lyon region.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com
French bishops name senior civil servant to head independent abuse panel, By Tom Heneghan, The Tablet


Catholic priest accused of raping 11-year-old boy
“A Catholic priest invited an 11-year-old student into his office to play computer games, then gave him a soft drink spiked with a sedative and raped him on the floor, a court has heard. Michael Aulsebrook, 60, pleaded not guilty to raping a year 7 boarding student in 1988 during his time as a boarding co-ordinator at Salesian College Rupertswood in Sunbury, northwest of Melbourne.” By Belinda Grant Geary, Daily Mail


Catholic Church to allow independent Dutch child sex abuse investigation
“The Catholic Church is allowing the foundation behind the hotline for child abuse in the church to investigate all cases of sexual abuse that were handled and financially settled in secret. The hotline hopes that these documents will provide supporting evidence for victims who don’t have enough in the official complaints procedure.” By Janene Pieters, NLTimes.nl


Philippines could be first to put clerical abuse victim in top job
(Apr. 17, 2016) “For most Filipinos, the interesting thing about Rodrigo Duterte, the seven-term mayor of Davao City, as a presidential candidate is that he comes off as their country’s version of Rudy Giuliani, known as ‘the punisher’ for his get-tough policies on crime … Yet seen through Catholic eyes, there’s another compelling fact about Duterte’s life story: If he does prevail, he may well become the first survivor of clerical sexual abuse in the Church ever to become a national head of state.” By Cruxnow.com Staff


Abuse scandal rocks Peru’s upper-class Catholic solidarity
“One way of looking at the Francis pontificate is that he’s universalizing what the Latin American Church agreed to at its famous continent-wide gathering in 2007, held at the Marian shrine of Aparecida in Brazil. The signature tunes of the Latin American Church to come out of that meeting – missionary discipleship, pastoral conversion, an option for the poor– make up the music these days coming out of Rome.” By Austen Ivereigh, Cruxnow.com


Uruguay Catholic Church apologizes for sex abuse by priests
“The Roman Catholic Church in Uruguay apologized Thursday (Apr. 14) for sexual abuses committed by priests 20 years ago that went unpunished because the statute of limitations expired. Uruguay’s Episcopal Conference said in a letter on its website that it feels ‘pain and shame’ about the ‘abhorent acts committed by people who had promised to serve God and neighbor.’” By Leonardo Haberkorn, Associated Press, in The Washington Post