Voice of the Faithful Focus, Apr. 8, 2022


In shockingly frank deposition, former bishop admits moving alleged abusers from treatment to ministry
“In testimony conducted over four days in April 2021, Bishop Howard Hubbard, the former leader of the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., described in unusually frank terms how he moved diocesan priests who had been accused of molesting children in and out of treatment centers and back into ministry. He admitted that the transfers were consistently made without informing local police, families of abuse victims or Catholics in Albany’s parishes, where the men were reassigned. Bishop Hubbard testified that parishioners were told that their pastors had been removed for ‘treatment’ with no further explanation.” By Kevin Clarke, America: The Jesuit Review

Swiss Catholic Church to open historic abuse study
“The Swiss Catholic Church said Monday (Apr. 4) it had commissioned an independent study to shed light on sexual abuse in the Church since the mid-20th century and ‘learn lessons’ from the past. At a press conference Monday, the Conference of Swiss Bishops, the Central Roman Catholic Conference of Switzerland and the Conference of Unions of Orders and Other Communities of Consecrated Life in Switzerland said they mandated the University of Zurich the mandate to study past attacks … The conclusions are expected in the autumn of 2023.” By Agence France-Press on NewsInfo.inquirer.net

Pope Francis makes historic apology to Indigenous of Canada for church abuses
“Pope Francis on Friday (Apr. 1) made a historic apology to Indigenous Peoples for the ‘deplorable’ abuses they suffered in Canada’s Catholic-run residential schools and said he hoped to visit Canada in late July to deliver the apology in person to survivors of the church’s misguided missionary zeal. Francis begged forgiveness during an audience with dozens of members of the Metis, Inuit and First Nations communities who came to Rome seeking a papal apology and a commitment for the Catholic Church to repair the damage.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, in America: The Jesuit Review

Ex-Albany bishop acknowledges covering up abuse allegations
“The former bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has acknowledged covering up allegations of sexual abuse against children by priests in part to avoid scandal and protect the reputation of the diocese. Howard J. Hubbard made the admission during a deposition taken last year as part of a response to dozens of claims filed under New York’s Child Victims Act. A judge ordered the deposition released on Friday. Hundreds of people have sued the Albany diocese over sexual abuse they say they endured as children, sometimes decades ago.” By Associated Press

The time is ripe for a clergy abuse inquiry in Latin America
“Over the past few years, several countries in Europe have launched new inquiries into the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests … While this current wave of inquiries in Europe follows in the footsteps of those previously held in countries like Canada, Ireland, Belgium and Australia, there are regions in the world where the political will to expose the truth and deliver justice to survivors remains largely stagnant or non-existent. This is particularly the case in Latin America, home to the world’s largest Catholic population, where no government has yet announced a national inquiry into the issue.” By Adalberto Méndes López, AlJazeera.com

Cardinal: Synod aims to end Church’s culture of silence
“The cardinal overseeing the worldwide Synod says the process is an attempt to end the Church’s ‘culture of silence’ about its problems, including sexual abuse and the ‘deep divisions’ that exist between Catholics. Cardinal Mario Grech, the secretary general of the Synod of Bishops office in Rome, says the Synod is an opportunity to have a ‘frank and open’ discussion on the fundamental questions about the future of Catholicism. ‘There are problems, issues, within the Church about which we choose to remain silent rather than speaking,’ he said during a Mass to open a three-day meeting of Church leaders, ‘The Road to a Synodal Church,’ at the Catholic Chaplaincy of the University of Oxford, England, on March 24.” By CathNews.com


The church needs to name and confront ‘clerical fragility’
“This is not the only time that I have seen clergy absenting themselves from engaging in the public or scholarly reckoning with the history and reality of clergy sexual abuse. There are a lot of reasons why clergy may choose not to attend or participate in such events, including schedule conflicts or other legitimate excuses. Still, in other instances, some clergy have even been hostile, defensive or claiming the status of victimhood for the continued investigation into abuse and its cover-up. We have seen this sort of clerical defensiveness over the years, even from Pope Francis, and more recently in some defenses of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in the wake of revelations of his own mishandling of abuse cases while archbishop of Munich.” By Daniel P. Horan, National Catholic Reporter

Accountability, transparency ‘critical’ in Church governance
“As the second assembly of the Plenary Council approaches, Catholic Religious Australia will host its third and final ‘conversation’ exploring the Light from the Southern Cross report on Church governance. The online ‘Accountability & Transparency’ conversation will be held on May 4, with report co-author and University of Western Australia Adjunct Professor Susan Pascoe and St Vincent de Paul Society national president Claire Victory as the keynote speakers. ‘Accountability and transparency need to be reflected in the administrative and governance practices of all Church bodies. They are critical to promoting co-responsible governance for the Church,’ Ms Pascoe said.” By CathNews.com


Dioceses preparing reports for Synod of Bishops
Dioceses across Australia are preparing reports on the local consultation phase of the global Synod on Synodality, which will shape the development of a national synthesis to be sent to the Holy See. Between October and March, individuals and groups were invited to reflect on and respond to a series of questions across the Synod of Bishops’ three key themes: communion, participation and mission. When the online portal for submissions closed in March, more than 1100 responses had been received through that platform on behalf of thousands of people. Dioceses also received submissions directly from groups and individuals.” By CathNews.com

You can now register for VOTF Synod on Synodality input sessions for April & May
“Voice of the Faithful has scheduled additional input sessions for the Synod on Synodality for April & May. The Synod is the most significant opportunity ever for the Church’s laity to influence the future of the Church … This is your opportunity to express your dreams and concerns for the Catholic Church. Participants will listen to the Holy Spirit and engage in mutual discernment to seek a path forward. The Synod on Synodality, officially called “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission,” will provide all people of God with a chance to express how they see the Church becoming the synodal, pastoral, evangelical Church it should be.” By Voice of the Faithful on DigitalJournal.com

German bishop criticizes Synodal Path, worries that theologians are usurping bishops’ authority to interpret doctrine
“Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg has once again sharply criticized the Synodal Path reform process in Germany. Attempts are being made to challenge the bishops’ authority to interpret church doctrine, Voderholzer wrote in the newspaper Tagespost. Voderholzer criticized the fundamental “orientation text” adopted by the Synodal Assembly in Frankfurt with a two-thirds majority. He said it denied the importance of the episcopal magisterium as an authority for interpretation.” By KNA International in America: The Jesuit Review

‘We are all responsible together for what the church becomes’: Vatican II, synodality and the future of Catholicism
“The Rev. Joseph Komonchak is widely acknowledged as the country’s leading ecclesiologist. An emeritus professor of theology and religious studies at The Catholic University of America, where he taught for 32 years, he is the English-language editor of the five-volume The History of Vatican II. But in the tradition of the luminous ecclesiologist John Henry Newman, Father Komonchak’s preferred form of writing is the essay … This interview took place at Father Komonchak’s home, a onetime chicken farm he shares with his brother, Andrew, and two large and insistently affectionate dogs in Bloomingburg, N.Y., not far from where he was born 82 years ago.” By Kenneth L. Woodward, America: The Jesuit Review

Synodality requires change in church structure, says theologian
“The Catholic Church’s hierarchy should undergo deep structural changes and share administrative powers with all Catholics if it wants to create a synodal church as envisioned by Pope Francis, said a prominent Indian theologian. Father Felix Wilfred, former secretary of the theological advisory committee of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, said the synodality that Pope Francis is stressing calls for ‘a transition from the synodal of bishops as an institution to the synodal church’ as a way of being. Ucanews.com reported he said this requires ‘deep structural changes’ and should address ‘major theological issues.’” By Catholic News Service on CatholicPhilly.com

Pope Francis says the synod must hear ‘excluded’ voices. These five dioceses are trying.
“The preparatory documents for the 2021-23 Synod of Bishops on synodality make it clear: Bishops the world over are called to make ‘every effort’ to consult and listen to those who feel ‘excluded or marginalized’ from society and the church. ‘If we believe in the imago Dei, that the image of God is in everyone, then if we do not hear from those voices, we are not hearing from the entire body of Christ. And that’s our loss,’ said Mary O’Meara, the executivPope e director of the Office of Deaf and Disabilities Ministry for the Archdiocese of Washington.” By Brian Fraga, National Catholic Reporter


Cardinals, theologians gather to plan how U.S. church can support Pope Francis
“A group of about 70 cardinals, bishops and theologians gathered privately for two days here from March 25-26 for conversations focused on how the U.S. Catholic Church can better support the agenda of Pope Francis. Through a series of keynote presentations and panel discussions centered on tracing the roots of Francis’ papacy to the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, invited participants also considered the opposition the pope continues to face from some quarters of the U.S. church, more than nine years after his March 2013 election. Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, one of the attendees, told NCR that part of the purpose of the event was to ‘understand the spirit of what they call the ‘opposition.’” By Joshua J. Mcelwee, National Catholic Reporter


Bishops have frank conversations with lay theologians about Pope Francis, U.S. Church and Vatican II in semi-off-the-record meeting
“It is not too often that a few dozen U.S. Catholic bishops are gathered together in one place, outside the regular meetings of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. But last week in Chicago, bishops from throughout the United States and a few from other parts of the world engaged in dialogue with theologians, scholars and journalists about the state of the church. The gathering sought to address how Catholics might escape the political polarization gripping their lives and how they might contribute to a better civic life and more charitable public discourse.” By Michael J. O’Loughlin, America: The Jesuit of Review

Kansas bishop to resume duties after investigation into sex abuse allegation
“The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dodge City who stepped down 14 months ago during an investigation into a sexual abuse allegation is resuming his duties, a church official announced Wednesday (Mar. 23). Bishop John Brungardt will return to his role as bishop after investigations by Kansas’ top law enforcement agency and church authorities, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas said in a statement.” By July L. Thomas, The Kansas City Star

Ex-Albany bishop admits acknowledges covering up abuse allegations’
“A former Catholic bishop has admitted covering-up child sex abuse allegations against 11 priests, and not reporting the suspects to cops – or even firing them. Former bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Howard J. Hubbard made the shocking admissions during a deposition taken last year as part of a response to dozens of claims filed under New York’s Child Victims Act. A judge ordered the deposition released on Friday (Mar. 25). Hundreds of people have sued the Albany diocese over sexual abuse they say they endured as children, sometimes decades ago.” By Associated Press


Advocate says Vatican curia changes allow women in management, but not ministry
“One of the nation’s foremost champions for the cause of female deacons considers the Vatican’s new apostolic constitution – that in-part opens top Vatican leadership roles to any baptized lay person, including women – an important step for Pope Francis’s vision, but not necessarily affecting the future of women in the diaconate. ‘I think you need to distinguish between management and ministry,’ Phyllis Zagano, an adjunct professor of religion at Hofstra University, and author of the new book ‘Women Religious, Women Deacons: Questions and Answers,’ told Crux. ‘Ministry would be the diaconate. It’s not exactly apples and oranges, but it’s close.’” By John Lavenburg, Cruxnow.com

What it means to be a woman – from a Catholic perspective
“In honor of Women’s History Month, ‘The Gloria Purvis Podcast’ is exploring questions about what it means to be a woman, from a Catholic perspective. In this episode, Gloria speaks with Abigail Favale, an associate professor of English and the dean of the College of Humanities at George Fox University in Oregon. Abigail is the author of ‘The Eclipse of Sex by the Rise of Gender’ and a related forthcoming book, ‘The Genesis of Gender.’” By The Gloria Purvis Podcast


Parramatta Diocese accused of using school funds to buy church properties
“The Parramatta Catholic diocese is under investigation by the NSW government over allegations it used school funds to buy parish properties, a parliamentary hearing has been told. St Madeleine’s Primary School in Kenthurst is at risk of losing government funding after an independent committee recommended the Education Minister declare that it is operating for profit due to the purchases.” By Daniella White, The Sydney Morning Herald

Vatican’s former financial watchdog said he had no oversight of London realty deal
“Facing accusations that he failed to prevent a catastrophic real estate deal that prosecutors say cost the Catholic Church $384 million, the former chief of the Vatican’s financial watchdog agency told a judicial tribunal on Tuesday (April 5) that he is innocent. ‘I am firmly convinced I have not committed any crime,’ said René Brülhart, adding that he ‘was offended’ by the charges against him claiming that he ‘brought advantage to people I don’t even know.’’ By Claire Giangravé, Religion News Service

As lawsuit against Hartford’s archbishop advances, rift widens over $15 million scholarship endowment
“A dispute in the Hartford archdiocese that led to a lawsuit intensified this month with the chief plaintiff accusing Archbishop Leonard Blair of ‘a sinister move’ and asking the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for help. Blair did not comment Friday (Mar. 25), but last month announced he was resigning from the Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools board because of what he called ‘senseless quarrels” that distracted the archdiocese from its mission. But Brian Giantonio, president and chairman of the foundation that raises money for scholarships, contends the argumentativeness has come from Blair and his advisors … Blair has ‘a desire to convert the FACS’s millions of dollars earmarked for education to other uses,’ he (Giantonio) wrote.” By Don Stacom, Hartford Courant


Opposition to Pope Francis is rooted in a rejection of Vatican II
“The first thing to acknowledge when we talk about the Second Vatican Council today is the gap between the horizon of expectations raised by the council and the situation of the Catholic Church today, especially in this country. Vatican II called Catholics to unity … But in these last few years we have seen that the fundamental call of Vatican II to unity through reconciliation has often turned into a source of bitter division and contention, at times dangerously flirting with schism … We have seen all this with shocking clarity during the pontificate of Francis. This is more than a chronological overlap. There is a parallel between the rejection of Vatican II and the relationship between the church in the United States and Pope Francis. The opposition to Pope Francis is rooted in the opposition to Vatican II — a theological crisis that did not begin with this pontificate.” By Massimo Faggioli, National Catholic Reporter

The sins of our fathers: The healing journey between Indigenous peoples and the Catholic Church begins in Rome
“As Indigenous survivors of residential schools gather in Rome to speak to the Holy Father, they must be thinking of their own experiences and the effects of Indian residential schools on themselves and their families. They are not the defenseless, voiceless children of yesterday. These former students of the Catholic-entity institutions who ran the schools have found dignity in who they are as Indigenous peoples and want to speak about reparations from the church, which would help in their healing journey.” By Rennie Nahanee, CBC

Borghesi’s ‘Catholic Discordance’ revisits neoconservatism in the church
Neoconservatism. The word itself hearkens back to the aughts, complete with images of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, ‘No Country for Old Men’ and ‘Everybody Loves Raymond,’ the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Neoconservatism was crippled first by failures in Iraq, then by the economic meltdown in 2008 and the election of Barack Obama as president. The coup de grace came in 2016 when Donald Trump decided to stop acquiring golf courses and casinos and, instead, acquired the Republican Party. Today, reading about neoconservatism feels the same way it felt in the 1990s when you were sorting your library and came across books about Eurocommunism: The subject was moved from the politics shelves to the history shelves.” By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter


At the State House, another emotional debate over time limit on sex-abuse claims
“On Thursday (Mar. 24), South Kingstown Rep. Carol McEntee took to Twitter to draw attention once again to ‘the monsters’ who sexually abuse small children and ‘the institutions that protect them.’ ‘Predators are still being institutionally protected, and too many victims are still without justice,’’ McEntee tweeted, as her older sister, Ann Hagan Webb, once again steeled herself to drive to the State House for a televised hearing.” By Katherine Gregg, The Providence Journal


Annual Keeley Vatican lecture addresses sexual abuse in Catholic Church
“Rev. Hans Zollner delivered this year’s annual Keeley Vatican Lecture Tuesday (Mar. 29) night at the Eck Visitor Center. The annual lecture seeks to deepen ‘Notre Dame’s connection to the Holy See by bringing distinguished representatives from the Vatican to Notre Dame to explore questions involving Notre Dame’s Catholic mission.’ The topic of his lecture was the sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church. Zollner is a German Jesuit Priest, a theologian and a licensed psychotherapist who focuses on the prevention and healing of childhood sexual abuse. He’s also a professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.” By Emma Duffy, The Observer of Notre Dame, St. Mary’s and Holy Cross


Five Disturbing facts about the Los Angeles Diocese’s lack of accountability on predator priests
“While researching some predator priests in Los Angeles, the nation’s largest Archdiocese, we at Horowitz Law stumbled on a few disturbing facts about what is really going on behind the scenes in LA. Disturbing Fact #1: At least 355 proven, admitted, and credibly accused abusive Catholic clergy are or have been in that one jurisdiction. That’s not a typo, 355. That figure comes from perhaps the nation’s most comprehensive and trusted source of information on the church’s continuing crisis, BishopAccountability.org. The Archdiocese consists of 288 parishes, which means that, on average, every single church in the sprawling area has been ‘served’ by more than one child molester.” By Horowitz Law


Chicago’s most infamous pedophile priest takes the fifth
“Daniel McCormack served five years in prison for molesting young boys. Now, he’s a free man but his legal troubles are far from over. WGN Investigates has learned the former priest spent hours being deposed Wednesday (Mar. 30) by attorneys in several pending civil cases. The plaintiffs allege they were sexually abused by McCormack. ‘His demeanor was pretty flat and matter-of-fact,’ says Attorney Gene Hollander. ‘To me, he didn’t show any remorse at all.’” By Ben Bradley and Andrew Schroedter, WGN-TV9 News


Catholic dioceses of Evansville priest accused of sexual misconduct
“The Catholic Diocese of Evansville disclosed Wednesday (Apr. 6) that one of its priests has been accused of sexual misconduct. In a news release, the diocese said it received an allegation of sexual misconduct against Father Bernie Etienne, who serves as pastor at Evansville’s Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 1301 S. Green River Road.” By Houston Harwood, Courier & Post


Dodge City Bishop Brungardt cleared of abuse allegations
“The bishop of Dodge City, Kansas has been cleared of an allegation of sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Kansas City announced Wednesday (Mar. 23). Bishop John Brungardt will return to ministry after a nearly 14-month voluntary leave of absence which began in February 2021, when the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said it was looking into an allegation of abuse against the bishop. ‘The allegation was fully investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), following which civil authorities declined prosecution,’ the Archdiocese of Kansas City said in a March 23 statement.” By The Pillar


Catholic priest returns to job after being cleared of sexual abuse allegations
“A Catholic priest is back on the job after being cleared in a sex abuse investigation. The Rev. Martin Demek, who was last a priest at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Baltimore, will now be allowed to practice after the archdiocese said there’s no evidence to substantiate allegations against him. Back in August, he was removed after claims of child sex abuse emerged. However, the archdiocese said they interviewed nearly 50 people to come up with their decision.” By WBAL News Radio


Church liability for predator priests fought at top Massachusetts court
“The Supreme Court of Massachusetts, the state at the epicenter of a sex abuse scandal that has engulfed the Catholic Church for the past two decades, seemed eager Monday (Apr. 4) to shred one diocese’s immunity defense against claims from a former altar boy. ‘If priests are raping children, the civil courts can hold the bishop liable; I don’t have any problem with that,’ Justice Scott Kafker declared this morning — an unusually predictive statement for oral arguments where the justices are normally loath to declare positions on the merits so openly.” By Thomas F. Harrison, Courthouse News


Vatican complaint vs. St. Louis archbishop re: pastor still on the job
“In the two decades since U.S. bishops promised to oust credibly accused predatory priests, we know of only one still-active cleric who has been accused publicly five times without ever having been suspended from his post around kids. That cleric is Fr. Alex R. Anderson, an active parish priest in the archdiocese of St. Louis. Despite being accused of molesting at least five boys – none of whom know each other – and being named in at least two pending civil abuse lawsuits, Fr. Anderson has not been suspended for a single day by St. Louis Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski nor by his predecessors.” By David Clohessy on davidcloshessy.com


‘This is for everybody’: Omaha archdiocese holds healing service for survivors of abuse
“It’s the fifth annual service the archdiocese has held for survivors of abuse and their family members. KETV Newswatch 7 was there as the archbishop led the service. Inside St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, men, women and children sat in pews Monday night, surrounded by the color purple, which symbolizes strength and domestic violence awareness.” By Abbie Petersen, KETV-TV7 News


Deceased Buffalo priest accused of abusing boy in 2017
“A Buffalo Diocese priest who died in 2021 is accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy less than five years ago. A claim of ‘unpermitted sexual contact’ by the Rev. Robert M. Yetter in a lawsuit filed last week is the most recent alleged incident of abuse by a diocese priest among several hundred cases that have become public through court filings since 2018. The vast bulk of accusations against Buffalo area priests involve abuses alleged to have happened at least 30 years ago, and diocese leaders say data shows safeguards tightly curbed abuses since they were put in place in 2002.” By Jay Tokasz, Buffalo News


Man sues Catholic Diocese of Cleveland over rape allegations against former priest McWilliams
“A 19-year-old man has sued the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland over allegations that it failed to protect him from a former priest who was sentenced to prison for exploiting children. The man filed the lawsuit in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court earlier this month, alleging that Robert McWilliams raped and sexually molested him. The accuser was about 15 years old at the time of the incidents.” By John Caniglia, Cleveland.com


Philly area priest who lied about child sex abuse to be sentenced
“A former Philadelphia Catholic priest who pleaded guilty late last year to lying to federal agents in connection with a child sexual abuse case will learn his fate later this week when he is sentenced by a federal judge. Robert Brennan, who was charged in a corruption case by the federal government relating to his alleged sexual abuse of a minor child decades ago, is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday (Mar.24) by U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, according to court records.” By Jon Campisi, Philadelphia Patch


Papal envoy’s records sought in alleged B.C. priest sex abuse case
“A man who alleges he was sexually abused by Mission Roman Catholic priests and a seminary employee wants the pope’s envoy to Canada to hand over documents related to the case. Mark O’Neill is seeking damages for sexual abuse he alleges he suffered as a teen during his time at a Mission Roman Catholic seminary from 1974 to 1978. He was age 13 to 17 at the time. The defendants listed in the suit are: Seminary of Christ the King; Westminster Abbey Ltd.; the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver, a Corporation Sole; Emerick Lazar; Harold Vincent Sander a.k.a. Dom Placidus Sander; Shawn Rohrbach and John Doe.” By Jeremy Hainsworth, North Shore News

Jesuits continue to investigate alleged sexual abuse in Quebec Mohawk community
“The Jesuits of Canada say they will continue to probe allegations of sexual abuse linked to a priest who once worked in the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) community of Kahnawake outside Montreal. The decision follows Kahnawake’s vote on the weekend in favor of exhuming the remains of Rev. Léon Lajoie, who was assigned to the St. Francis Xavier Mission Church in the community from 1961 to 1996. Members of the community came forward last summer with sexual abuse allegations against Lajoie, who died in 1999, demanding that his remains be moved from the territory in order to start a healing process.” By The Canadian Press

Mounties charge Oblate priest after Intuit delegates ask pope to intervene
“Mounties have laid a new charge against a Roman Catholic priest who has previously avoided trial for multiple allegations of sexual abuse linked to his time in Nunavut. RCMP said a Canada-wide warrant for arrest has been issued for Johannes Rivoire, who is in his 90s and lives in Lyon, France. Nunavut RCMP said officers received a complaint last year regarding sexual assaults that occurred about 47 years ago.” By Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press

Canada’s indigenous peoples seek papal apology at Vatican for residential schools
“Canadian indigenous peoples meet Pope Francis this week to ask him to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in residential schools where children were abused and their culture denied.

More than 30 indigenous elders, residential schools survivors and young people will meet him several times at the Vatican between Monday (Mar. 28) and Friday (Apr. 1) in what Canada’s Catholic Church has called a process of healing and reconciliation.” By Philip Pullela, Reuters


Ex-priest sentenced to 20 years in Costa Rica for 2003 child abuse
“A Costa Rican court sentenced a former priest to 20 years in prison Wednesday (Mar. 30) for sexual abuse of a minor, more than two years after the then-cleric was captured in Mexico for the crime, committed almost two decades ago. A judge ruled Mauricio Viquez, who held high-level positions in the diocese of the capital San Jose, was guilty of abusing a boy who ran errands for him in exchange for meals for his family.” By Inquirer.net


Catholic priest tells sex abuse trial how he carried out exorcism for one of his alleged victims in Leeds
“Father Patrick Smythe described how he had been invited to the complaint’s workplace in Leeds years after he is said to have indecently assaulted him. Smythe, 79, said he had been contacted as there were concerns about a the ‘presence of a malevolent nature’ where he had been working. The defendant told the court that he ‘conducted a simple blessing with holy water’ at the workplace.” By Tony Gardner, Yorkshire Evening Post

Catholic priest in Yorkshire abused boys and bribed them with money, trial hears
“A Catholic priest groomed and abused six young boys in Yorkshire, and bribed them with money and a cinema trip, a jury has heard. Father Patrick Smythe, 78, is standing trial at Leeds Crown Court accused of six counts of indecent assault and one count of attempted indecent assault. It was said that the offences took place against boys under 16 between 1978 and 1983 while Father Smythe worked at St Wilfrid’s school in Featherstone.” By Sophie Corcoran, ExaminerLive.co.uk


Spain Church says 506 child abuse reports received
Spain’s Church said on Friday (Mar. 25) it had discovered 506 cases of child sex abuse through a complaints procedure launched in 2020, stressing its desire for ‘truth’ as the nation opened its first official investigation. – Unlike in many other nations where the government or the Church itself has opened a probe into the scale of such abuses, this has never happened in Spain. But this week, lawmakers backed the creation of an independent expert committee to investigate the abuses, with the Church on Friday offering a fresh update on case numbers.” By TheLocal.es