Voice of the Faithful Focus, Aug. 31, 2018


Pope Francis long knew of cardinal’s abuse and must resign, archbishop says
“On the final day of Pope Francis’ mission to Ireland, as he issued wrenching apologies for clerical sex abuse scandals, a former top Vatican diplomat claimed in a letter published on Sunday (Aug. 25) that the pope himself had joined top Vatican officials in covering up the abuses and called for his resignation … Archbishop (Carlo) Viganò claimed that the Vatican hierarchy was complicit in covering up accusations that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had sexually abused seminarians and that Pope Francis knew about the abuses by the now-disgraced American prelate years before they became public.” By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times

Francis says Catholic Church ‘abandoned’ children, letting them be abused
“Pope Francis has acknowledged that the Catholic Church ‘did not act in a timely matter’ to protect children from sexually abusive priests over a period of decades, saying in a new letter to members of the Catholic faith around the world that the church ‘abandoned’ minors to those who would abuse them. ‘With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been … realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives,’ the pontiff says in the letter, released Aug. 20 in response to the Pennsylvania grand jury report.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Victims call for federal investigation of sex abuse in Catholic Church
“Some victims of clergy sex abuse and their supporters are calling on federal and state entities to investigate sex abuse within the Catholic Church and root out abusers and anyone who has protected them. Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, and Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic group that provides support to victims of clergy sex abuse, held childhood photos of sex abuse victims at a news conference Aug. 21 outside the headquarters of the USCCB in Washington.” By Rhina Guidos, Catholic News Service

We can only move forward when we name the evil of clericalism
“As finger pointing and efforts to blame individuals or groups for the massive crisis in the church today continues, and many church leaders, experts, those claiming to be theologians and justifiably angry and indignant Catholics diagnose the current tragic state of affairs in the church, theories abound. In some misinformed minds, the current abuse crisis is caused by obligatory celibacy for priests in the Latin Rite, homosexual members of the clergy and episcopacy, alcoholics, bishops unwilling to submit their resignations, etc., yet there is one glaring word that many avoid speaking: the evil of clericalism that is at the root of the crisis.” By Thomas Rosica, National Catholic Reporter


A turbulent time: accusation and revelations around Church’s handling of abuse, cover-up take center stage
“The already roiled landscape of the Catholic Church’s institutional response to clergy sexual abuse through the years ratcheted up again late Aug. 25 when, in a scathing 11-page written statement, the Vatican’s former ambassador to the United States accuses Pope Francis of ignoring concerns about Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and lifting sanctions against the former cardinal years before the public became aware of abuse allegations against him.” By Brian Fraga, Our Sunday Visitor

Prominent Catholics see larger role for laity in church’s abuse response
“An independent lay-run board that would hold bishops accountable for their actions, a national day for Mass or prayers of reparation, and encouragement to parishioners to become more involved in their diocese are among steps suggested by prominent lay Catholics to right the U.S. church as it deals with a new clergy sexual abuse scandal. Those contacted by Catholic News Service said that it was time for laypeople to boost their profile within the church and help begin to dismantle long-standing clericalism that has sought to preserve the reputation of offending clergy at the expense of the safety of children.” By Dennis Sadowsky, Catholic News Service

National Review Board: change in church’s culture needed to end abuse
(Aug. 28, 2018) “More committees are not the answer to stop the abuse of children and vulnerable adults by clergy, said an Aug. 28 statement by the National Review Board, which is charged with addressing clerical sexual misconduct in the Catholic Church. ‘What needs to happen is a genuine change in the church’s culture, specifically among the bishops themselves,’ the board said. ‘This evil has resulted from a loss of moral leadership and an abuse of power that led to a culture of silence that enabled these incidents to occur.’” By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service, National Catholic Reporter

American Catholics calling for immediate changes in church amid child sex abuse scandals
“American Catholics are calling for immediate changes in the church as the re-emerging international scandal of child sex abuse is causing some to speak out in protests. The pope wrapped up a trip to Ireland this weekend (Aug. 25). During the trip, he apologized for decades of sex abuse at the hands of priests and for the systemic coverup.” By Victoria Sanchez, WJLA-TV ABC7

Cupich urges accountability in fellow bishops, lay leadership on abuse issue
“Calling the Catholic Church’s latest controversy a ‘new low,’ Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich urged his fellow bishops to hold one another accountable and accept leadership from lay people on issues related to clerical sex abuse, while also praising Pope Francis’ response — or lack thereof — to accusations by his former ambassador to the U.S. ‘The Holy Father got it right last night,’ Cupich told NCR Monday (Aug. 27), adding he thought it was appropriate not to ‘go into the weeds, down a rabbit hole of answering all of these things.’ By Heidi Schlumpf, National Catholic Reporter

Civil lawsuits are the only way to hold bishops accountable for abuse cover-ups
“A Pennsylvania grand jury [has] documented 70 years of concerted efforts by Catholic bishops in that state to conceal more than 1,000 cases of child sexual abuse by priests – including rape, sadomasochism and producing child pornography … Yet the few criminal prosecutions of church officials for such cover-ups have either been dropped or resulted in small fines or, in one case, probation. Civil lawsuits – legal claims brought by abuse victims for money damages – have consistently been the only effective way to make Catholic church officials publicly and concretely accountable for their decades-long cover-up of unspeakable crimes.” By Timothy D. Lytton, TheConversation.com

Why is it time for all U.S. bishops to resign
“For some time, many members of the Catholic Church may have believed that the worst of the clerical abuse crisis was in the past. This certainly has been the Church’s intent, at least in word. But now the spotlight has returned … Cardinal (Daniel) DiNardo (USCCB president) spoke of rebuilding trust. To such an end, as a beginning, there would be no better and more effective step than for the U.S. bishops to do what they should have done over 15 years ago: make a collective public act of repentance and then resign en masse, as those of Chile did in the wake of their own revelations in May.” By Gerard Mannion, Time magazine

Catholics remain skeptical after Francis’ apology for abuse
“Pope Francis condemned the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic clergy in an unprecedented letter Monday (Aug. 20) to the church’s 1.2 billion followers, but many Catholics remained skeptical that the scathing statement will lead to lasting systemic change … For parishioners and clergy who have been battered by yet another revelation of widespread, decades-long abuse — this time by a Pennsylvania grand jury reporting last week that at least 1,000 children had been abused by 300 priests over 70 years — the pontiff’s words left many wondering whether real reform will follow.” By Brian MacQuarrie and John R. Ellement, The Boston Globe

Pennsylvania prelate says bishops who hid abuse should resign
“In an Aug. 16 interview with Eternal Word Television Network, Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico said the only way to regain the trust of the laity after decades-long claims of sexual abuse by priests and others at six Pennsylvania dioceses is by deeds and one of those deeds may mean getting rid of bishops who hid abusers. During a report on EWTN’s evening show, reporter Jason Calvi asks him: ‘Should bishops who knew about or covered up abuse resign?’ ‘I think they should,’ Bishop Persico answered. ‘I think we need complete transparency if we’re going to get the trust of the people back. We have to be able to demonstrate it.’” By Rhina Guidos, The Pilot


Testimony of His excellency Carlo Maria Vigano, Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana, Apostolic Nuncio

Aftershocks of cover-up accusation against Pope felt in Rome
“Yet despite the Vatican’s apparent strategy of riding out the storm, there were at least four aftershocks from the earthquake triggered on Sunday (Aug. 25), when an 11-page letter from Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò was released claiming he informed Francis in June 2013 that McCarrick had “corrupted generations of seminarians,” that the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops has a thick dossier on the ex-cardinal, and that Pope emeritus Benedict XVI had imposed restrictions as a result.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com

Letter accusing Pope leaves U.S. Catholics in conflict
“In a remarkable break from the usual decorum among the bishops, American Catholic leaders are in open conflict over the explosive allegations from a former Vatican diplomat that Pope Francis knew about, and ignored, accusations of sexual abuse against a now-disgraced American cleric. Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, a Pope Francis appointee, said that the pope’s opponents were using the accusations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò to advance a larger agenda.” By Elizabeth Dias and Laurie Goodstein

The man who took on the Pope: the story behind the Vigano letter
“At 9:30 a.m. last Wednesday (Aug. 22), Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò showed up at the Rome apartment of a conservative Vatican reporter with a simple clerical collar, a Rocky Mountains baseball cap and an explosive story to tell. Archbishop Viganò, the former chief Vatican diplomat in the United States, spent the morning working shoulder to shoulder with the reporter at his dining room table on a 7,000-word letter that called for the resignation of Pope Francis, accusing him of covering up sexual abuse and giving comfort to a ‘homosexual current’ in the Vatican. The journalist, Marco Tosatti, said he had smoothed out the narrative. The enraged archbishop brought no evidence, he said, but he did supply the flair, condemning the homosexual networks inside the church that act ‘with the power of octopus tentacles’ to ‘strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations.’” By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times

Vigano testimony receives mixed response from U.S. bishops
“Multiple bishops have responded to a testimony published over this weekend (Aug. 25) by a former apostolic nuncio to the United States, which called for the resignation of Pope Francis and several cardinals and bishops, who are alleged to have covered-up of sexual abuse allegations against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick.” By Catholic News Agency in The Pilot

Benedict’s secretary: reports ex-pope confirmed Vigano’s letter ‘fake news’
“Retired Pope Benedict XVI’s personal secretary says that reports the ex-pontiff confirmed some of the claims in a former Vatican ambassador’s statement alleging a widespread cover-up of ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s abuse of seminarians are ‘fake news.’ ‘Pope Benedict has not commented on the ‘memorandum’ of Archbishop [Carlo] Viganò and will not do so,’ Archbishop Georg Gänswein told the German Die Tagespost newspaper Aug. 28.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Former ambassador Vigano accuses Vatican of covering up McCarrick scandal for years
“A former Vatican ambassador to Washington has published an 11-page letter filled with accusations against dozens of former and current high-level officials in the Catholic Church, claiming there was a systemic cover-up of allegations that now former cardinal Theodore McCarrick was sexually abusing seminarians. Archbishop Carlo Vigano, who served as the Holy See’s chief diplomat in the U.S. capital from 2011-2016, also claims that Pope Benedict XVI had placed unannounced sanctions on McCarrick, barring him from celebrating Mass publicly or traveling, and ordering him to a life of prayer and penance.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Vigano’s accusations: What we know and what questions they raise
“Late Saturday (Aug. 24) night, an 11-page letter attributed to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò was published by the National Catholic Register, Life Site News and a number of other sites that report about the church. In it, the former Vatican ambassador to the United States under Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis makes a number of allegations about how Vatican and U.S. cardinals, as well as Pope Francis and previous popes, handled allegations of sexual misconduct against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. He also calls on Pope Francis to resign.” By Michael J. O’Loughlin, America: The Jesuit Review

Making sense of McCarrick cover-up charges against Pope Francis
“As Pope Francis wrapped up a 32-hour visit to Ireland on Sunday, the cold, windy and rainy weather undoubtedly put a damper on turnout … Yet as it turns out, the meteorological storms Francis faced paled in comparison to the metaphorical ones breaking on Sunday (Aug. 25), in part related to his overall handling of the clerical sexual abuse crisis, but more specifically to an astonishing claim by a former papal ambassador in the U.S. that Francis had lifted restrictions imposed on Cardinal Theodore McCarrick under Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, despite being informed of misconduct concerns against McCarrick in June 2013.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com

Pope Francis dismisses Vigano’s accusations of McCarrick coverup
“Pope Francis dismissed the accusations of a former Vatican ambassador that he covered up for ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, saying an 11-page document of unsubstantiated claims released by the prelate ‘speaks for itself.’ Asked about the letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano in a press conference aboard the Aug. 26 flight back to Rome after a two-day visit to Ireland, Francis advised journalists to ‘read the statement attentively and make your own judgment.’” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Vigano letter exposes the putsch against Pope Francis
“Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’s testimony proves one thing: The former Vatican ambassador to the United States is to the clergy sex abuse crisis what Oliver Stone is to the assassination of President John Kennedy, a trafficker in conspiracy theories who mixes fact, fiction and venom to produce something explosive but also suspicious. When you finish reading this testimony, as at the end of Stone’s 1991 movie “JFK,” you can only conclude that the product tells us more about the author than it does about the subject.” By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter

Ex-Nuncio accuses Pope Francis of Failing to act on McCarrick’s abuse
“In an extraordinary 11-page written testament, a former apostolic nuncio to the United States has accused several senior prelates of complicity in covering up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s allegations of sexual abuse, and has claimed that Pope Francis knew about sanctions imposed on then-Cardinal McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI but chose to repeal them.” By Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register


Vatican knew of Pennsylvania sex abuse cover-up, prosecutor says
“The Vatican knew of a cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania through secret archives that bishops in the state shared with church leaders in Rome, the state’s attorney general Josh Shapiro said on Tuesday (Aug. 28). Though Catholic Bishops in Pennsylvania systematically denied the sexual abuse of thousands of children over a 70-year period, they secretly documented the cases and often sent information on them to the Vatican, Shapiro told two national news shows.” By Reuters Staff

Church sex abuse crisis: what you need to know
“Last Tuesday (Aug. 14), Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro presented a more than 800-page report detailing, in horrific detail, over seven decades of sexual abuse committed by priests against minors in six dioceses. The report has sent shockwaves across the church in the United States, with some comparing the crisis to the fallout that came after the 2002 Boston Globe’s Spotlight report that detailed abuse and cover-up. Below is a summary of responses and analysis that has followed since last Tuesday (Aug. 14).” By Staff at America: The Jesuit Review

Pennsylvania abuse report shows that the church requires dramatic change
“Despite my obsession with President Trump, the Pennsylvania grand jury report cries out for comment. The report conservatively tells us that 300 priests were involved in the sexual abuse of at least 1000 kids. Of course, we are not surprised — we’ve seen this movie before. We know about Boston. We know a bit about Ireland. We need to acknowledge that if an in-depth investigation has uncovered such activity in Pennsylvania, there is no reason to believe that the same kind of data would not be uncovered in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta or any other area of the country. There is some talk that Attorney General Brian Frosh in Maryland is being asked to conduct such an investigation.” By Pat Perriello, National Catholic Reporter


In wake of Pennsylvania report, Springfield Diocese bishop notes ‘past failures’ of Catholic Church
“In response to allegations of the sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by clergy in Pennsylvania, the bishop of the Springfield Diocese has condemned ‘past failures’ of the Catholic church and urged local victims to continue to reach out to his Office of Child and Youth Protection. The strongly worded letter from Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, which was issued from his office Friday, outlined counseling and other services available through the diocese for victims of child sexual abuse.” By Haven Orecchio-Egresitz, The Berkshire Eagle

Bishop Zubik hopes Pope Francis allows him to continue leading diocese, help with healing
Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik was stunned when a group of abuse survivors demanded he resign over his handling of child sexual abuse complaints as detailed in a recent grand jury report. ‘I was surprised that people would ask me to resign. First of all, resignations are something that are decided by the pope,’ Zubik said. ‘But since becoming bishop of Pittsburgh since 2007, I’ve been very responsive … And I want to still continue to lead the people to help with their healing.’” By Deb Erdley, TribLive.com

Dear brother bishops: the time for closed doors is over
“There has never been a moment in the history of the U.S. Catholic Church when the trust and confidence in bishops as leaders has been more in doubt. The allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct levied against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick—and how they were or were not handled by church leaders—would have been enough to sink our episcopal poll numbers. The Pennsylvania grand jury report guaranteed a loss of trust and gave birth to a new level of skepticism.” By Robert N. Lynch, bishop emeritus of St. Petersburg, Florida

Clergy sex abuse crisis ‘devastating’ for the church, cardinal says
“The scandal of clergy abusing minors and vulnerable adults has overwhelmed the Catholic Church and its mission to preach the Gospel, said the Vatican secretary of state. ‘It is not easy to say, because this scandal of clerical sexual abuse has really affected and continues to affect us — everybody — and it has a devastating effect on the life and on the witness the church is going to give to the world,’ said Cardinal Pietro Parolin.” By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter

Bishops welcome Pope’s letter on abuse
“The Catholic bishops of Australia have welcomed Pope Francis’ letter to Catholics regarding sexual abuse in the Church. In a statement releases yesterday (Aug. 21), Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Mark Coleridge said the bishops share in the Pope’s ‘determination to protect young people and vulnerable adults.’” By CathNews.com

President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference response to Pope Francis’ letter to the people of God
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement in response to Pope Francis’s Letter to the People of God, issued earlier today (Aug. 20). In his letter addressed to the whole People of God, the Pope calls on the Church to join in acts of prayer and fasting in ‘combatting all forms of abuse of power, sexual abuse and the abuse of conscience.’” By Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and USCCB President

Bishop Morlino, others charge ‘homosexual subculture’ for clergy abuse crisis
(Aug. 21, 2018) “Accusations of sexual abuse and misconduct by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and within several U.S. seminaries have rematerialized past charges placing gay priests and homosexuality at the root of the church’s escalating crisis, positions backed in recent days by a handful of bishops. ‘It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord,’ wrote Bishop Robert Morlino in an Aug. 18 letter to Catholics in the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin.” By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter

Anchorage archbishop calls for action, prayer, penance in wake of Pennsylvania report on clergy sexual abuse
“Many of you are aware of the disturbing Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report on Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors and Vulnerable Adults released earlier this week. The report is devastating in the graphic detail of the sinful behavior of priests and the negligent response of bishops and church leaders to properly respond to victims. This report, so quickly on the heels of the revelations earlier this summer of similar misconduct by a Cardinal of the Church has been deeply harmful to victims and their families, as well as to you, the members of the Church. I share your anger and disappointment.” By Archbishop Paul Etienne, Archdiocese of Anchorage, in Catholic Anchor

Letter from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich to the people of the Archdiocese of Chicago in response to the Pennsylvania grand jury report
“Dear Brothers and Sisters: Anger, shock, grief, shame. What other words can we summon to describe the experience of learning about the devastating revelations of sexual abuse — and the failures of bishops to safeguard the children entrusted to their care — published in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, released Tuesday? This catalogue of horrors comes on the heels of news accounts of deeply disturbing sexual-abuse and harassment allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who recently resigned from the College of Cardinals.” By Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago

Charlotte bishops call reports of Pennsylvania priests molesting thousands of kids ‘shameful’
“From the parish to the priest, allegations from a new grand jury report out of Pennsylvania has rocked the Roman Catholic Church. The report details decades of sexual abuse and says priests in six dioceses molested at least 1,000 children, if not more, since the 1940s … David Hains, spokesman for the Charlotte Diocese, said the report found huge problems that need to be fixed.” By DaShawn Brown, WSOC-TV

Nuncio says U.S. bishops committed to addressing abuse scandal
“The U.S. bishops are ‘deeply committed’ to facing the reality of clerical sexual abuse and the history of covering it up, said the Vatican nuncio to the United States. ‘All of us bishops, priests and members of the Church must find a real response to the problem. Just a juridical or organizational response will not be enough to avoid evil,’ said the nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre. The archbishop made the comments at a news conference Aug. 19 in Rimini, Italy, before giving the opening address at the annual weeklong conference of the Communion and Liberation movement.” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in Catholic New York

Dublin archbishop call for Pope Francis to speak ‘frankly’ about abuse
“The Catholic archbishop of Dublin has said the Pope should speak frankly about church abuse scandals. Diarmuid Martin said the institution had come through moments of real darkness and needed to avoid covering up or justifying what happened. The first papal visit to Ireland for almost 40 years takes place next weekend. Archbishop Martin said: ‘My hope is that he will speak kindly but also speak frankly. The recent history of the church in Ireland had its moments of real darkness.” By Belfast Telegraph


Pope Francis, the bishops and the road to real conversion after McCarrik scandal
(Aug. 29, 2018) “Amid the escalating cascade of conflict within the Catholic Church, trying to track what is going on is like trying to find your way in a hurricane. That seems to be part of the strategy of those attacking Pope Francis. The chaos unleashed by their shocking accusations of cover-up involving three popes and a host of others—accusations that of course must be investigated, but are already starting to wither under scrutiny—is not only an attempt to undermine Francis’ papacy; it is also drawing our attention away from the astonishing revelations of abuse out of places like Pennsylvania and involving figures like former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.” By Jim McDermott, America: The Jesuit Review

Pope Francis faces accusations of ignoring sexual abuse
“Another accusation has emerged in the Catholic Church’s ongoing sexual abuse scandal. A former senior Vatican diplomat to the U.S., Carlo Maria Vigano claims that Pope Francis knew about, and ignored, allegations of wrongdoing by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, previously archbishop of Washington, D.C. William Brangham turns to Dennis Coday, an editor for the National Catholic Reporter, to discuss.” By PBS News Hour

Marie Collins: History will judge Francis ‘on his actions, not his intentions’
“Although Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins praises Pope Francis for candidly admitting in his recent letter to Catholics around the world that the church covered-up clergy sexual abuse for decades, she says the letter is missing ‘the most important thing’: a plan to hold the perpetrators of the cover-up to account. In an NCR interview Aug. 21, the former member of Francis’ papal commission on clergy sexual abuse said that while she believes the pontiff has good intentions in fighting abuse she is looking for actions to back up those intentions.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis could save the Church. Will he?
“The Roman Catholic Church’s clergy sex abuse crisis has come roaring back to life as if it were the worst days of 2002, when the scandal tsunami out of Boston seemed to inundate the entire church. The shock waves this time came from substantiated allegations that a well-known cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, a retired archbishop of Washington, had molested boys; he was forced to resign last month from the College of Cardinals. Then came the grand jury report out of Pennsylvania detailing 70 years of horrific abuse by some 300 priests, too much of it facilitated by bishops.” By David Gibson, Commentary in The New York Times


Full test of Pope Francis’ in-flight press conference from Dublin
“Please read below for CNA’s full transcript of the Pope’s Aug. 26 in-flight press conference from Dublin to Rome …” By Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis’ farewell telegram to Ireland’s president
“Immediately after his departure, the Holy Father, Francis, sent a telegram to the President of the republic of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, with the following message …” By Vatican News

Balance sheet on Pope’s trip to Ireland: who won and lost
“Now that the dust has begun to settle on Pope Francis’s whirlwind 32-hour visit to Ireland over the weekend (Aug. 25), it’s time to step back and draw some tentative conclusions about how the pontiff fared, as well as who else gained and lost from the experience.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com

‘Abysmal and appalling’ – survivors of clerical abuse slam Pope’s visit and lack of plan ‘to address hurt’
“Survivors of clerical abuse have branded the visit of Pope Francis as ‘abysmal and appalling’ because he failed to identify an action plan about what he is going to do to address the issues of hurt caused by the Church in Ireland. Speaking after the Pontiff admitted he was not aware of the Magdalene Laundries or the mother and baby homes, they questioned how he could be so out of touch with the deep pain and ongoing anguish that emanated from such institutions.” By Conor Feehan, Irish Independent

In Dublin, the rejection of the pope was the reckoning of a people
“It started with a procession. I was walking through the Royal Dublin Society venue on the first day of the World Meeting of Families, looking everywhere for the media center so I could pick up my press credentials … Only 130,000 of the expected half-million ticket-holders turned up at the papal Mass on Sunday afternoon. It was a stunning contrast to the 1.25 million who showed up in Phoenix Park for Pope John Paul II in 1979 … The anger and hurt of the Irish people was obvious, but it was harder to pinpoint precisely when the disillusionment began and when it turned so antagonistic.” By Jamie Manson, National Catholic Reporter

After Pennsylvania, what Pope Francis should say in Ireland
“Pope Francis will make a fate-laden journey to Ireland this weekend. On Sunday (Aug. 26), when he addresses a throng of Catholics in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, he will recall the last papal visit to Ireland, that of John Paul II, in 1979. But another papal address of that year should also come to mind. In June of 1979, John Paul II spoke to more than a million Poles in a field outside of Krakow and set in motion events that changed history. But that was then. Nowhere is the difference between what the Polish Pope confronted and what the Argentinian Pope now faces greater than in Ireland, which is ground zero of the collapse of Roman Catholic moral authority.” By James Carroll, The New Yorker

Critics who rallied against papal Mass say he needs to do more
“While an estimated 300,000 people gathered to celebrate Pope Francis’s closing Mass for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, across town a smaller group of papal critics held their own rally to show support for victims of clerical and institutional abuse in the Catholic Church. Donna Dent, who stood for nearly two hours hoisting a sign honoring 796 children whose remains were found in a septic tank at the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, said she came to the rally ‘to stand with everyone, any victims’ of the Church’s sexual, physical or institutional abuse.” By Elise Harris, Cruxnow.com

Pope Francis in Ireland: Call for resignation further clouds visit
“On the second day of a difficult mission to win back the confidence of Irish Roman Catholics, Pope Francis awoke on Sunday (Aug. 25) to a bombshell accusation from within his own citadel. A former top-ranking Vatican official released a 7,000-word letter asserting that the pontiff knew about the abuses of a now-disgraced American prelate, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, years before they became public.” By The New York Times

In Ireland, Pope Francis finds a country transformed and a Church in tatters
“Nearly 40 years since the last papal visit to Ireland, Pope Francis arrived on Saturday (Aug. 24) to a transformed country where the once-mighty Roman Catholic Church is in tatters — its authority eroded by deepening secularization and a global sex abuse crisis challenging Francis’ papacy.” By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times


McCarrick kept a robust public presence during years he was allegedly sanctioned
“While Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò makes a number of accusations against former and current Vatican officials in his 11-page letter, there is only one he aims at Pope Francis: that he knew former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had ‘corrupted generations of seminarians and priests’ but nonetheless decided to lift sanctions that included ‘a life of prayer and penance’ which had been imposed on the retired D.C. archbishop by Pope Benedict XVI in either 2009 or 2010.” By Michael J. O’Loughlin, America: The Jesuit Review

U.S. Cardinals reject Vatican diplomat’s claims of widespread cover-up of abuse
“U.S. cardinals issued separate statements pointedly rejecting allegations, made by a former Vatican ambassador to the United States, of a widespread cover-up of the sexual misconduct of former Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, said the 11-page letter released over the weekend (Aug. 25) by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano is filled with ‘factual errors, innuendo and fearful ideology’ … Some bishops in the U.S. hierarchy, however, said they found Vigano’s allegations ‘credible’ and Vigano ‘a man of truthfulness, faith and integrity.’” By Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter

Protesters outside churches call for Wuerl’s resignation, church reform
“A group of about 30 protesters, including survivors of clergy sex abuse, stood outside the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C., Sunday (Aug. 25) morning, calling for the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, end to cover-ups, and greater inclusion of the laity in church leadership. Wuerl, who was bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years before coming to Washington in 2008, has come under fire following this month’s Pennsylvania grand jury report documenting 70 years of abuse in six dioceses in that state. He has lost credibility in the eyes of many calling for reform.” By Julie Bourbon, National Catholic Reporter

Cardinal Wuerl pulls out of World Meeting of Families after scathing report
“Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who was due to give a keynote address at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, has withdrawn from the event. No reason was given for the decision, which was announced on Saturday. However, the Cardinal was heavily criticised in the Pennsylvania grand jury report over his handling of child sexual abuse allegations while he was bishop of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1988 to 2006.” By CathNews.com


Theologians, lay leaders call for mass resignations of U.S. bishops
“More than 3.000 theologians, educators and lay leaders have called for all U.S. bishops to submit their resignations to Pope Francis, much like Chile’s 34 bishops did in May after revelations of sexual abuse and corruption, as a public act of penance and a ‘willing abdication of earthly status.’ ‘Today, we call on the Catholic Bishops of the United States to prayerfully and genuinely consider submitting to Pope Francis their collective resignation as a public act of repentance and lamentation before God and God’s People,’ said a statement, posted in English and Spanish on the Daily Theology blog on Friday (Aug. 17).” By Heidi Schlumpf, National Catholic Reporter


Priests worry of a ‘2002 redux
“Catholic priests voiced their ‘frustrations and anxieties’ over renewed church sex abuse scandal as Cardinal Sean O’Malley sought to address cover-up allegations to the clergy of the Boston archdiocese yesterday. ‘Is this 2002 redux?’ The Rev. Paul Soper, the archdiocesan secretary for evangelization and discipleship, said was the overriding concern of the approximately 300 priests who attended O’Malley’s meeting at St. Julia’s in Weston.” By Sean Philip Cotter, Boston Herald


Catholics are desperate for tangible reforms on clergy sex abuse
“This week (Aug. 24), Pope Francis convenes the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, a massive, triennial gathering of Catholics to celebrate ‘joy for the world.’ The timing could not be more awkward. The event comes in the wake of a terrible period for Catholic families amid revelations about clergy sex abuse, including the release of a massive new report detailing years of misconduct and cover-up in Pennsylvania.” By Emma Green, The Atlantic

Ahead of World Meeting of Families, event amplifies excluded voices
“Preparations are almost complete at the Royal Dublin Society for the 37,000 people from 116 countries who will attend the World Meeting of Families’ pastoral congress, which formally opens tonight and runs from Wednesday until Friday (Aug. 22-26) … But in the wake of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, World Meeting of Families lost a keynote speaker as U.S. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington under pressure over his handling of abusive priests while he was bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006, announced his withdrawal from the event.” By Sarah Mac Donald, National Catholic Reporter


Sexual abuse and the culture of clericalism
“A grand jury’s recent revelation of decades of systematically entrenched and deeply sadistic levels of child abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses has pushed many Catholics into a bewildered rage. Why does the modern church—and the U.S. church in particular—continually find itself not merely falling short of Jesus’ community of love and solidarity but actually failing catastrophically to meet even the most rudimentary levels of human decency? What is the matter with Catholicism today … Too many bishops and representatives of the church treated abuse victims as legal opponents to be silenced and liabilities to be manipulated.” By Jason Blakely, America: The Jesuit Review

Clericalism: the culture that enables abuse and insists on hiding it
“Pope Francis blamed ‘clericalism’ in the Catholic Church for creating a culture where criminal abuse was widespread and extraordinary efforts were made to keep the crimes hidden. Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has targeted clericalism as an illness in the church, an ailment that pretends ‘the church’ means ‘priests and bishops,’ that ignores or minimizes the God-given grace and talents of laypeople and that emphasizes the authority of clerics over their obligation of service.” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in America: The Jesuit Review

Sex abuse and clericalism
“More broadly, a serious examination of a clerical culture that fosters such misconduct is needed. As Cardinal Blase Cupich recently argued, the whole church needs to confront attitudes of power, privilege, and entitlement that characterize many of the ordained and reinforce a structure that protects them from accountability. This means that the laity should be allowed greater participation in many aspects of the church’s life …” By Commonweal Editors


Capital idea: women design plenary council event
Women of the Canberra and Goulburn Archdiocese have designed their own consultation event to contribute to the Plenary Council 2020 renewal process. the one-day event on September 8 is designed by women, for women and effort is being made to include all Catholic women – engaged or disengaged, affiliated or disaffiliated, hopeful or grieving.” By CathNews.com


One congregation’s question of faith following the Pennsylvania clergy report
“Yesterday (Aug. 19) at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in suburban Atlanta, a priest spoke to his congregation about sexual abuse. Catholics are struggling with the details of a Pennsylvania grand jury report released last week … His words led to a remarkable exchange during the service yesterday. Susan Reynolds was in the pews at St. Thomas More. She’s also a professor of Catholic studies at Emory University’s School of Theology. Welcome.” By Alisa Chang, All Things Considered, National Public Radio


Pope: No ‘rupture’ in ‘Amoris,’ which is rooted in ‘classical doctrine’ of Aquinas
“In the letter you left for me (Pope Francis), you asked if I could write some thoughts about Amoris Laetitia, and you proposed some questions. I will happily respond but I think it would be better for me to write freely what is in my heart. I hope this will be useful to you.” By Cruxnow.com Staff


Editorial: It’s time to choose the painful path of purification
“The Catholic community has arrived at a point in its history so seared by raw reality that we are all left with nothing to lean against or hide behind. Our leaders, drained of authority and credibility, can only follow as we move beyond overburdened expressions, beyond even the content of our normal prayers. We grasp for some new psalm of lamentation to fit this horrid moment and search for a new way to live as a Catholic community.” By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff

The clerical church in search of its soul
“It is difficult to find the words to capture what I feel as the report of the 18-month investigation of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania is revealed. The number of priests — more than 300 — and the number of children abused — over 1,000 — is staggering. In the victims’ testimonies, one feels the pain and the shame even these many years later. The magnitude of the violation is hard to imagine when the victim sees the abuser as a representative of God.” By Nancy Sylvester, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter

Dear fellow Catholics: the Church needs you now more than ever
“I went to bed Saturday (Aug. 24) night with a feeling of deep sadness. After reading the 11-page bombshell testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio to the United States, in which he alleges that bishops, cardinals and Pope Francis himself knew about the allegations of abuse against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and continued to support him in his ministry, I truly did not know what to think … If it is true, what do we do now? What happens next?” By Katie Prejean McGrady, America: The Jesuit Review

Trent’s long shadow: the abuse crisis and seminaries, dioceses, and the laity
“With the recent revelations about Theodore McCarrick, new investigations into the seminaries of Boston and Lincoln (Nebraska), and the grand-jury report from Pennsylvania, the sex abuse crisis has reached a new stage. If this is, as many believe, the most serious crisis in the Catholic Church since the Protestant Reformation, then the analysis of this systemic failure of the institutional church needs to take the long view, comparing this period in the church’s history to others in order to discover where exactly things went wrong.” By Massimo Faggioli, Commonweal

The body of Christ must reclaim our church
“With what we have learned about the abuse of minors and seminarians perpetuated by Theodore McCarrick and his parallel rise through the ranks of the church, coupled with the scathing grand jury report out of Pennsylvania that chronicles in vivid detail the rape of children and the culture of secrecy that enabled the abuse to continue for decades, what are Catholics feeling? Anger and disgust don’t seem strong enough words. Revulsion? Horror? Betrayal?” Editorial in National Catholic Reporter

What happened when a dad challenged his priest during Mass about the sex abuse crisis
“Susan Reynolds, a Catholic studies professor at Emory University, took to Twitter to describe something she witnessed during Mass on Sunday that she said was unlike anything she had ever seen before. In a series of tweets, Ms. Reynolds described an encounter between the pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Church and a father at Mass with his young son, who is on the verge of making his first Communion.” By Michael J. O’Loughlin, America: The Jesuit Review

The plague of sexual abuse is worse than you think
“Like you, I was disgusted by the Pennsylvania grand jury report on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, released on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Unlike you, perhaps, I read the whole report, mainly because my job required it—every excruciating account of sexual abuse by 301 priests across six dioceses, with more than 1,000 victims. The fact that most of these events took place more than 25 years ago, over a period of seven decades, provided little comfort. News is simply information that you haven’t heard before—it does not matter much whether it happened yesterday or a century ago.” By Matt Malone, S.J., America: The Jesuit Review

Three ways Catholics can fight sexual abuse in the church
“Why do we keep suffering the painful drip, drip, drip of clergy sex scandals in our church? And what can we do to make this stop? In the wake of last week’s horrific news, more and more anguished Catholics are asking these questions. I’m referring to the nauseating 1,300 page grand jury report that says over 300 ‘predator priests’ are credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 Pennsylvania children.” By David Clohessy, USA TODAY
Reports of attorneys general, grand juries, individuals, commissions, and organizations, By BishopAccountability

Will we ever know the truth?

“Pennsylvania is bad enough. What if the other 49 shoes drop? Will other U.S. attorneys general follow Pennsylvania’s lead? Will they launch investigations? Will they rid of us these troublesome priests … and bishops? Probably not. Even as we reel in heartsick disbelief at staggering stories, the problem’s roots may be too deep. We must assume decay began long before the Pennsylvania report’s 1947 start date. In the U.S., as elsewhere, a generational infestation now exhibits its epic proportions. Too many priest-abuser’s stories begin with their own abuse at the hands of a priest or priests.” By Phyllis Zagano, National Catholic Reporter

Real change against abuse starts with church’s clergy/lay structure
“Theodore McCarrick’s alleged flagrant and repeated abuse of power over those in his employ (not forgetting his abuse of a minor, but focusing on the workplace cases for the moment) raises the specter of clericalism and begs change. Theologian Fr. Bryan Massingale agrees with Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich that a sense of entitlement prevailing among some ordained men could be conducive of exploitative behavior. Both agree that the issue is not whether the men are gay or straight (or, I would add, something beyond that binary), but that they have, by reason of their clerical status, access to privilege and power within the ecclesial community that can insulate them from accountability.” By Mary E. Hunt, National Catholic Reporter

Why the bishops should welcome invitation to resign
“During a listening session after the 6 p.m. Mass on Sunday, our pastor, Paulist Fr. Michael McGarry, offered what seemed like a pretty radical suggestion. Listing several possible reactions that Catholics might have to the latest outrages in the clergy sexual abuse scandal, he said he’d be especially heartbroken if people became so repulsed by the institution that they’d lose their focus on the teachings of Jesus.” By Bill Mitchell, National Catholic Reporter

Anne Burke: Each state should convene grand jury on Catholic priest sex abuse
“‘I wasn’t shocked. Not at all,’ said Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, a devout Catholic and mother of five responding to a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing the sexual abuse of 1,000 young people at the hands of hundreds of Catholic priests. ‘I think every state should convene a grand jury into this culture of secrecy that protected offenders at all costs,’ said Burke, who was once interim chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops study on nationwide clerical sexual abuse in 2002.” By Michael Sneed, Chicago Sun Times

Unsettling times? Not all bishops have been forthright about the rot in the church
“‘I don’t think this is some massive, massive crisis,’ said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Catholic archbishop of Washington, D.C., in a statement that could not possibly be more wrong. Speaking three weeks after revelations about his predecessor’s sexual predation against boys and young priests, Wuerl said he was aware that a harrowing Pennsylvania grand-jury report would soon document the sexual abuse of 1,000 children by Catholic clergy and criticize Wuerl’s own treatment of some abusers.” By Ramesh Ponnuru, Commentary in The Houston Chronicle

Abuse victims say they felt hurt by ordinary Catholics’ lack of compassion
“Sexual assault victims say they were hurt not only by individual priests, but by church officials and ordinary Catholics who treated them with intolerance and indifference. Four survivors of sexual assaults by priests shared their stories with Catholic News Service. They are: Jim VanSickle and Mike McDonnell of Pennsylvania, Michael Norris of Houston and Judy Larson of Utah. Many of them have not been to a Catholic church in years. They say the atmosphere of their former parishes created breeding grounds for abuse due to the hardhearted attitudes of diocesan officials, staff and ordinary churchgoers.” By Zita Fletcher, Catholic News Service, in America: The Jesuit Review

Confrontation time: Cardinal McCarrick and me in 2002
“In late April of 2002, Pope John Paul II summoned all the American cardinals to Rome for an emergency meeting to discuss the ‘American problem’ of the sexual abuse scandal. It was dominating news coverage in the United States, and the bishops’ meeting in Dallas that June would be covered live on national television. Nothing much happened in Rome. The pope addressed the cardinals. A statement full of platitudes about concern and condemnation was issued. But no real accountability.” By Fr. Peter Daly, National Catholic Reporter

What Father Bradel did to me
“When I saw the name of the priest who molested me listed in the Pennsylvania grand jury’s report, I thought: I’m gonna be in big trouble. The abuse started when I was about 12 years old, so it’s not a surprise that the language that came to mind was straight out of that period of my life. I scanned through the nearly 900 pages of the report that was released by the attorney general last week. It detailed abuse in six dioceses over 70 years, listing more than 300 abusive priests. The accounts were horrifying — young victims were given gold cross necklaces to signal to other predators that they were ‘optimal targets’ — and the documentation of what happened is surely a good thing.” By Patricia McCormick, The New York Times

Cardinal Wuerl must go
“In 1972, Pope Paul VI warned that ‘the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God.’ We see that smoke throughout the report from a Pennsylvania grand jury, which alleges that more than 300 priests abused more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses — including 99 priests from the Diocese of Pittsburgh, which was led for 18 years by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, now archbishop of Washington.” By Marc Thiessen, The Washington Post


California diocese buys $2.3 million home for retiring bishop
“The Catholic Diocese of San Jose has purchased a five-bedroom, $2.3 million home in Silicon Valley for its retiring bishop, which is raising some concerns among the diocese’s 640,000 Catholics, given the church’s mission of charity and serving the poor. Bishop Patrick J. McGrath, 73, acknowledged in an interview with the Mercury News of San Jose that the price tag is ‘lot of money,’ saying ‘I could understand’ it might not sit well with some parishioners.” By Associated Press in Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Catholics skip the collection plate amid ‘moral catastrophe’ of sex abuse cover-up
“Pittsburgh mom Derya Little is such a devoted Catholic that she wishes she could go to church every day. But with four small children, she has to limit her Mass attendance to Sundays. Another key part of her faith is the $10,000 a year she and her husband give to Catholic causes. They adhere to a traditional definition of tithing and donate exactly 10% of their gross income to charity per year.” By Leslie Albrecht, MarketWatch

Church employee embezzled more than $400,000 from Blue Springs parish
“A longtime employee at a Blue Springs church embezzled $446,000 over the past seven years, the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph said Tuesday (Aug. 21). The employee, who had served St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church for decades, was confronted by an internal investigation team last week and has agreed to pay the funds back, said diocese spokesman Jack Smith.” By Joe Robertson, The Kansas City Stare

Catholics consider withholding donations amid scandals
“For decades, Michael Drweiga has opened his wallet whenever the donation basket comes around at church, but the latest revelations of priests sexually abusing children brought him to the conclusion that he can no longer justify giving. Brice Sokolowski helps small Catholic nonprofits and churches raise money, but he too supports the recent calls to withhold donations. And Georgene Sorensen has felt enough anger and ‘just total sadness’ over the past few weeks that she’s reconsidering her weekly offering at her parish.” By Ivan Moreno and Jeff Karoub, Associated Press

The clergy abuse crisis has cost the Catholic Church $3 billion
“Sixteen years after an investigation in Boston highlighted the dimensions of the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic priesthood, the financial and reputational cost to the Catholic church continues to grow. Lawsuits by abuse victims have so far forced dioceses and religious orders in the United States to pay settlements totaling more than $3 billion, and at least 19 have filed for bankruptcy protection.” By Tom Gjelten, National Public Radio


The Pennsylvania Catholic Church report highlights the cruelty of statute of limitations laws
“The release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report documenting the sexual abuse of more than 1,000 child victims by hundreds of Catholic priests has revived a long-running debate about statutes of limitations. These statutes — which create time limits after which criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits can no longer be initiated — prevent many of the Pennsylvania accusers from bringing their alleged abusers to court. It’s the same type of law that helped make it so hard for Bill Cosby’s accusers to take him to court when allegations of rape resurfaced a few years ago.” By Daniel Hemel, Vox.com


U.S. not alone in grappling with Catholic sex abuse, coverup
“Recent revelations of sexual misconduct and cover-up within the highest ranks of the U.S. Catholic Church have revived the sense of betrayal that devastated the American church’s credibility after the first wave of scandal hit in 2002. But the United States is by no means alone: Cases of Catholic priests raping and molesting children, and of bishops covering up for them, have erupted on nearly every continent in recent years, with Pope Francis’ native Latin America the latest to explode.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

How the Catholic Church trains its own about abuse
“How does the Roman Catholic Church prepare its men in seminary to deal with such cases of abuse? And what training does it provide on issues of celibacy, sexuality and ethics? Paul Blaschko attended the St. John Vianney College Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota from 2008 to 2011. He wrote about his experience there for the magazine Commonweal. I asked him about his first exposure to this type of training.” By Jennifer Ludden, National Public Radio

Five things you need to know about sexual abuse in the church
“Trying to make sense of the Pennsylvania grand jury report? Here are five things to keep in mind …” By Nicholas Cafardi, U.S. Catholic

Sexual abuse scandal cries out for papal leadership
“As horrifying tales of priests molesting children have swept through Catholic dioceses across the country during the past 16 years, there is one equally horrifying constant: a systematic cover-up by bishops and cardinals who hid predators, enabling them to ruin the lives of thousands more children. Last week, the tale was told again in vivid and disturbing detail. A Pennsylvania grand jury found that 300 priests across the state had molested more than 1,000 children over seven decades. The victims included a young girl in the hospital for a tonsillectomy and five sisters, one of them just 18 months old.” By USA TODAY Editorial Board


Catholic Diocese of Orlando removes priest facing child sex abuse accusation
“The Catholic Diocese of Orlando announced Wednesday (Aug. 29) that it had removed from the ministry a priest facing an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor in Pennsylvania. The Rev. David C. Gillis had been serving as parochial administrator for the Church of Our Saviour in Cocoa Beach before his removal.” By Jeff Weiner, Orlando Sentinel

Pensacola priest removed from position over allegation
“The Catholic Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee has removed a priest from his position due to an unspecified allegation. The diocese says it’s investigating an accusation against Monsignor James Flaherty. The diocese would not comment on the nature of the allegation.” By Neil Costes, WKRG-TV


She accused a Mishawaka priest of sexual abuse. She got Bishop Rhoades’ attention
“When Bishop Kevin Rhoades announced his plan to release names of priests in the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese accused of abuse, he said the revelations of rampant abuse in Pennsylvania weren’t the only factor in his decision. He also credited a woman who had reported sexual abuse to the diocese — and had urged him to release the name of her abuser.” By Caleb Bauer, South Bend Tribune


Former Lexington bishop named in coverup of Pennsylvania church abuse
“A disturbing grand jury report out of Pennsylvania is hitting close to home for the Diocese of Lexington. The recent report involves hundreds of priests, and more than 1,000 victims of alleged sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The former leader of the Diocese of Lexington, Bishop Ronald Gainer, surfaced in the abuse findings, and is accused of asking the Vatican to protect two accused priests.” By WKYT-TV


Attorney asks Dayton to call for grand jury into state’s Catholic sex abuse scandals, with one bishop urging investigation and calling for ‘culture of care’
“A Twin Cities attorney is calling on Gov. Mark Dayton to open a statewide grand jury investigation into the alleged crimes committed by ‘predator’ priests against children and crimes committed by other top Catholic church officials, from bishops to archbishops, that have chosen to cover them up.” By Ross Torgerson, The Bemidjii Pioneer


Retired priest under investigation for child pornography, Archdiocese of St. Louis says
“A retired Roman Catholic priest with the Archdiocese of St. Louis is being investigated in connection to child pornography, the diocese announced Monday. Church officials were informed Friday (Aug. 23) that a retired priest had been discovered viewing what appeared to be child pornography and they immediately contacted police and the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, the archdiocese announced in a statement. Police seized the priest’s computer, the statement said.” By Erin Heffernan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Priest sex abuse victims want Pennsylvania-style investigation in Missouri, Kansas
“Missouri and Kansas authorities need to launch grand jury-style investigations into clergy sexual abuse crimes and cover-ups in the Catholic church similar to the one conducted in Pennsylvania, a local attorney and abuse victims said Monday (Aug. 20). ‘When we received the grand jury investigation from Pennsylvania, it was shocking and it was saddening,’ said Rebecca Randles, who has represented hundreds of victims in priest sexual abuse lawsuits. ‘And then I sat down to try to figure out, well, how many priests in the Kansas City area, the St. Louis area and KCK had been similarly abusive?’ The number, Randles said, was astounding.” By Judy L. Thomas, The Kansas City Star


Nebraska attorney general urges reporting of abuse by clergy
“The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office and the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln are urging residents to report any allegations of abuse by clergy or others in authority. Lincoln Bishop James Conley and the attorney general’s office said anyone who has experienced even an uncomfortable incident with a priest should report it to law enforcement or the diocese. The move follows a Pennsylvania grand jury report released Tuesday accusing 300 priests of molesting more than 1,000 children. The grand jury also accused senior church officials of systematically covering up the complaints, according to the report.” By MyPlainView.com


St. Paul’s report details 21 additional victims of sexual assault
“St. Paul’s School released Tuesday (Aug. 21) details of sexual misconduct allegations against 10 former faculty and staff – three who were previously unnamed – and interviews with 21 additional victims who have come forward in the past nine months. The 42-page report released Tuesday (Aug. 21) evening is the second supplement to a larger report released by the Concord prep school since May 2017. The initial report substantiated claims against at least 13 former faculty members between 1948 and 1988, while the two supplemental reports include new names and additional allegations as recent as a decade ago.” By Alyssa Dandrea, Concord Monitor


Victim of priest sex abuse rejects $200K payout from Catholic Church
“A man who has accused a Queens priest of sexually molesting him as a boy has rejected a $200,000 offer from the Catholic Church because the money ‘doesn’t even come close’ to delivering justice. ‘I choose to stand on the side of survivors who want to fight,’ Paul J. Dunn, 53, told The Post. ‘There’s no amount of money that will make me feel better.’” By New York Post in St. Lucia News

Decisions regarding accused clerics in Buffalo are focus of new scrunity
“Bishop Richard J. Malone, a former auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Boston under Cardinal Bernard Law who now leads the Diocese of Buffalo, is facing accusations that he mishandled cases of sexual misconduct by priests in his diocese. According to reports published this week by the ABC affiliate WKBW, Bishop Malone returned to ministry a priest whose behavior at a Catholic high school raised the suspicion of parents and administrators. In another case, the bishop is accused of not taking seriously claims by young men that they had been subjected to unwanted sexual advances by another priest.” By Michael O’Loughlin, America: The Jesuit Review

Buffalo Bishop Malone returned priest to ministry after allegations involving a child
“Bishop Richard J. Malone has described the problem as one he inherited, stressing that there’s nothing being hidden in Buffalo anymore. But a 7 Eyewitness News Investigation based on hundreds of internal church documents shows that in the case of one accused priest, Bishop Malone, between 2012 and this year: Returned the priest to ministry after a previous bishop removed him; ignored three new allegations against the priest; misled others about the priest’s history and repeatedly put him around young people despite clear warnings from parents and school officials.” By Charlie Specht, WKBW-TV News Buffalo

Bronx Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing teen
“Days after a stunning report revealed rampant sexual abuse by perv priests in Pennsylvania, another accused holy man has been identified in New York, The Post has learned. Father John T. Meehan, 81, allegedly committed “multiple incidents of sexual misconduct” against a teen victim at Cardinal Hayes HS in the early 1980s, the victim’s lawyer said.” By Melkorka Licea, New York Post


Names of accused bishops to be removed from buildings at two Catholic Pennsylvania colleges
“Officials at the University of Scranton and King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. have announced that buildings once honoring now-disgraced bishops will be renamed and that the bishops’ honorary degrees will be revoked. The move is part of the continuing fallout in the state and across the country from last week’s (Aug. 14) massive report on clergy sex abuse.” By Bobby Allyn, National Public Radio

Catholics in Allentown grapple with clergy abuse report and their church’s response
“Several hundred parishioners filled the bright and colorful sanctuary at the Cathedral Church of St. Catharine of Siena in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for Sunday (Aug. 19) morning Mass. It was a worship service like any other, until Monsignor Francis Schoenauer produced a small red folder, opened it, and started reading from a letter. The congregation was expecting this moment, and all eyes were on Schoenauer as he spoke the words of his superior, Allentown Bishop Alfred Schlert.” By Shai Ben-Yaacov, WHYY-FM

Clergy abuse hotline calls ‘surging’ after scathing grand jury report
“A surge in calls to a clergy abuse hotline in Pennsylvania is breathing new life into a vast investigation of ‘predator priests’ and Roman Catholic Church leaders accused of protecting them. The hotline has drawn more than 300 calls since the release of a withering grand jury report last week claiming church leaders protected hundreds of accused priests at the expense of more than 1,000 abuse victims. “’We’re answering every call and following up every lead,’ Joe Grace, spokesman for state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, told USA TODAY on Sunday (Aug. 19).” By John Bacon, USA TODAY
Victims of child sex abuse by Catholic priests rally downtown, By Melinda Roeder, KDKA-AM
More than 400 have called Pennsylvania’s hotline since clergy sex abuse report, By Bobby Allyn, National Public Radio


Catholic priest in American Fork on leave after allegations of sexual misconduct with minors
“A Catholic priest serving as pastor at St. Peter Parish in American Fork has been placed on leave while the state Division of Child and Family Services and the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against him, involving at least two minors.” By Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune


Cheyenne police re-open Catholic Church sex abuse investigation
“New information has prompted Cheyenne police to reopen an investigation into allegations of abuse by a Catholic Church official in Cheyenne in the 1970’s through the late 1990’s. By Wyoming statute, law enforcement can’t name a suspect in the case, however, they did cite an internal investigation by the Wyoming Catholic Diocese as the reason for a new examination of the facts.” By KNOP-TV NBC2


Catholic priest charged with historic child sex offense at Shark Island near Rose Bay
“A former Catholic priest has been charged with a historic child sexual offence which allegedly occurred at Shark Island near Rose Bay. The now 75-year-old priest has been charged with buggery after allegedly preying upon a 10-year-old boy in 1964.” By Emily MacDonald, The Daily Telegraph

Abuse survivor wants local Catholic Church to ‘name manes’
“The recent revelations that the Catholic Church covered up the abuse of close to 1,000 children by 300 priests over several decades in Pennsylvania has shaken survivors of church abuse in B.C., victims’ advocate Leona Huggins of Coquitlam said Sunday (Aug. 19). ‘I got a call from a survivor this morning,’ said Huggins, who was abused by a Vancouver priest when she was a child. Huggins now volunteers with SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.” By Denise Ryan, Vancouver Sun


U.S. website adds seven names of Irish clergy to ‘abuse-tracker’ database
“The Catholic Church’s culture of secrecy, coupled with Ireland’s ‘strict protection around defamation and data protection,’ is making it impossible to ensure accountability for crimes of sexual abuse, a victim’s support group has said. Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of the BishopAccountability.org website which runs a public ‘abuse-tracker’ of offending clergy, highlighted on Monday (Aug. 27) the Irish State and church’s continued failure in making perpetrators of sexual abuse accountable for their actions. Last week, the group launched the Irish leg of its online database which identifies 94 priests and brothers who have been convicted of sexually abusing children.” By Sorcha Pollak, The Irish Times

New database documents Irish clergy linked to sex abuse
“An international research group launched a database Monday (Aug. 20) of Irish clergy convicted or credibly accused of sexually abusing children in hopes of pressing Pope Francis to disclose the names of all the priests and brothers deemed guilty by the church. BishopAccountability.org says the online database unveiled Monday shows the degree to which information still remains hidden in Ireland. The list was released before the pontiff’s visit to Ireland on Saturday.” By Danica Kirka, Associated Press, in America: The Jesuit Review
U.S. website adds seven names of Irish clergy to ‘abuse-tracker’ database, By Sorcha Pollak, The Irish Times