Voice of the Faithful Focus, Jun. 30, 2017


Australian cardinal and aide to Pope is charged with sexual assault
Australia’s senior Roman Catholic prelate, and one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, has been charged with sexual assault(link is external), the police in the Australian state of Victoria said on Thursday (June 29). The prelate, Cardinal George Pell, became the highest-ranking Vatican official in recent years to face criminal charges involving accusations of sexual offenses. The case will test the credibility of Francis’ initiatives to foster greater accountability after abuse scandals that have shaken the church around the world.” By Jacqueline Williams, The New York Times

Vatican sex abuse scandal reveals blind spot for Francis(link is external), By Jason Horowitz and Laurie Goodstein

George Pell, Vatican finance chief, charge with sexual abuse(link is external), By Robb M. Stewart and Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal

Cardinal Pell, Vatican finance chief, charged over historic allegations of sexual abuse(link is external), By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Defiant and determined, Pell says he now has chance to clear his name(link is external), By Austen Ivereigh, Cruxnow.com

George Pell’s charging and what it means for the Catholic Church in Australia(link is external), By Paul Kennedy, ABC News Australia

Top adviser to Pope charged with sexual assault offenses(link is external), By Joshua Berlinger and Laure Smith-Spark, CNN

Cardinal Pell: Vatican treasurer denies Australia sex offenses(link is external), By BBC News

Top-ranking Vatican cardinal charged with sex offenses in Australia(link is external), By Julie Zauzmer, The Washington Post

Cardinal George Pell takes a leave of absence after sex assault charges(link is external), By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service

George Pell profile: the pope’s Australian hard man faces the fight of his life(link is external), By David Marr, the Guardian

Pope’s close aide charged, bringing sex abuse scandal to Vatican(link is external), By Philip Pullella and Byron Kaye, Reuters

Remarks by Marie Collins(link is external), clergy abuse survivor and former member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, on Cardinal Pell’s charges

Brooklyn diocese seeks to compensate sex abuse victims
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn announced a program on Thursday (Jun. 22) that will seek to compensate hundreds of victims who were abused as children by its priests and deacons. The program is modeled on one begun last year by the Archdiocese of New York. Like that program, it will be run by Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille S. Biros, mediators who administered the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and awarded compensation to victims of abuse by Jerry Sandusky at Pennsylvania State University.” By Sharon Otterman, The New York Times

Catholic Church in Brooklyn to compensate sexual abuse victims, By Jonathan Allen, Reuters
Brooklyn diocese announces abuse compensation program, By Peter Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter
From 9/11 to Orlando, Ken Feinberg’s alter ego in compensating victims, By Roger Parloff, The New York Times
A gesture of good faith: NYC dioceses abuse-compensation play, Editorial by New York Daily News

Francis considers mandating consultation of laity in bishop selection
“One of the members of the Council of Cardinals said the group is considering whether to advise Pope Francis to make it mandatory for Vatican ambassadors to consult with laypeople before making recommendations for possible new bishops in the Catholic Church. Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias suggested the nine-member group might recommend that ambassadors be instructed to consult with members of a diocese’s pastoral or finance councils before passing on names of who to consider for bishop.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Catholic groups launch conversation about female deacons
“Several progressive Catholic groups are launching an initiative aimed at giving lay Catholics and clergy across the U.S. a direct say on whether the church should ordain women deacons. Their actions follow the appointment of a panel of experts set up by Pope Francis to consider the controversial question. The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, FutureChurch and Voice of the Faithful have launched DeaconChat in a bid to promote education and dialogue on the topic.” By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service

Catholic Groups launch conversation about female deacons, By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service, in The Gazette, Colorado Springs
Catholic groups launch conversation about female deacons, By Josephine McKenna, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter
Topic of female deacons in the Catholic Church is being debated, By Elisa Meyer, World Religion News

U.S. bishops urged to be vigilant, never complacent, in stopping abuse
“Francesco Cesareo, chairman of the National Review Board, urged the U.S. bishops June 14 during their spring meeting in Indianapolis to continue to keep their commitment to stopping clergy sexual abuse and supporting victims of abuse “at the forefront” of their ministry. He said sexual abuse of minors by clergy is ‘not a thing of past’ and stressed the bishops have to always be vigilant and be sure to not ‘let complacency set in’ in their efforts to stop it.” By Catholic News Service on CatholicPhilly.com


Papal abuse commission member suggests changes to group expected in fall
“A member of Pope Francis’ commission on clergy sexual abuse has suggested the composition of the advisory body may change at some point this fall, as the original three-year terms granted to individuals in the group expire. Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, who was appointed by Francis with seven others in March 2014 as the initial members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, said the group is hosting its last planned plenary session in September.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter


To understand Pope Francis, you have to understand the Jesuits
“Discernment is one of the words Pope Francis repeats most, especially when speaking to priests and seminarians. He often expresses his desire for greater formation in discernment – a concept that may seem obscure without an understanding its importance to the Pope’s Jesuit formation.” By Elise Harris, Catholic News Service

As clock ticks on pope’s ultimatum, Nigeria diocese in is tumult
“Following a dramatic show of papal authority in Nigeria, with Pope Francis demanding that all the priests of a diocese write him a letter pledging their loyalty and promising to accept the bishop the pope has appointed, the matter seems far from resolved. Some priests seem willing to go along, while others are submitting a half-apology, and others are even calling for the pope’s resignation.” By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com
Pope’s ultimatum in Nigeria has roots in 2014 letters, By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com

Nice guy or tough guy? The two faces of Pope Francis
“To the vast majority, Pope Francis is the compassionate face of Catholicism today. He’s rescued refugees, opened the Vatican’s doors to the homeless and told Catholics there’s no sin God won’t forgive. But there is another streak to the Argentine pontiff that has been on display in recent days: A willingness to flex papal muscle and lay down the law.” By Christopher Lamb, Religion News Service


Dubia cardinals seek papal audience
“After seven months of not receiving a response from Pope Francis to their request that he clarify highly disputed parts in his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), four cardinals asked the Holy Father for an audience in April but the Pope has yet to respond, it has emerged.” By National Catholic Register

Full text of dubia cardinals’ letter asking Pope Francis for an audience, By The Pilot


Gregory: Bishops ‘can never say we are sorry enough’ for tragedy of abuse
“Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory said June 14 the U.S. Catholic bishops ‘can never say that we are sorry enough for the share that we have had in this tragedy of broken fidelity and trust—the clergy sex abuse crisis. He made the comments in the homily at an evening Mass said to commemorate a ‘Day of Prayer and Penance’ for victims of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. The liturgy was celebrated at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis at the end of the first day of the bishops’ spring assembly.” By Catholic News Service in National Catholic Reporter

Letter from Rome: Who will be the next bishop of Milan?
“Pope Francis is preparing to change the leadership of several important dioceses around the world. The moves, which he’s expected to begin rolling out in the coming days, are likely to give a huge boost to his unrelenting and long-term project to change the mentality and direction of the global Catholic Church.” By Robert Mickens, Commonweal

The ice begins to break in conservative chokehold of USCCB
“As I opined last week, I did not expect much from this week’s (Jun. 14-15) spring meeting of the U.S. bishops’ conference … There are still more bishops in the U.S. who consider this papacy a bit of bad weather they hope will pass than there are bishops who have embraced Francis’ papacy as the breath of fresh air the church needs. What did become obvious in Indianapolis, though, was that the tide is turning and the ice cracking in the conservative chokehold of the conference.” By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter

Updates from the U.S. bishops’ meeting: Continue to fight Trump-backed immigration proposals
“Live updates as the bishops gather June 14-15 in Indianapolis for their annual spring meeting.” By Michael O’Loughlin, America: The Jesuit Review


The future of the priesthood looks more hopeful
“My concern about the future of the priesthood in the United States has centered around everything I have heard and experienced involving those priests ordained in the last few decades. Now Time magazine presents a thoughtful article on the latest attitudes among seminarians today, and it is encouraging. I should say that if I were writing my vision of the future of the Catholic priesthood, it would certainly include priests being able to marry if they choose to, and a priesthood that includes women in significant numbers. It would also include a clergy even less driven by doctrine than the young seminarians appear to be. Yet, the article does suggest that the youngest crop of seminarians is moving in a positive direction.” By Pat Perriello, National Catholic Reporter

New Catholic bishop reassigning many priests in Memphis
“An unusually high number of parish priests in the Catholic Diocese of Memphis are being reassigned by new Bishop Martin Holley. All of the reassigned pastors are being given new titles: Parochial Administrator. Holley has not provided a public explanation for the changes, but priests and parishes have been informed.” By David Waters, USA TODAY Network, in The Commercial Appeal

Dozens of priests resign from Indonesian diocese to protest bishop
“Dozens of Indonesian priests have quit their posts after accusing a bishop on the Catholic majority island of Flores of embezzling more than $100,000 of church funds for personal use. Ucanews.com reported that at least 69 priests from Ruteng Diocese submitted letters of resignation in mid-June, quitting their posts as episcopal vicars and parish priests, and demanded that Bishop Hubertus Leteng heed their calls for a complete overhaul of how the diocese is run.” By Catholic News Service on CatholicPhilly.com

Mutinous Indonesian priests quit posts in bishop protest, By Ryan Dagur, Jakarta, and Ronaldus Tarsan, Ruteng, Indonesia, UCANews.com
Rebel Indonesian priests seek Vatican help over bishop, By UCANews.com

Pope wants priests to be shepherds who encounter their flocks
“The Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, says Pope Francis’s vision for the priesthood offers a template for renewal, as priests join the faithful in carrying out the New Evangelization as missionary disciples in today’s world, helping people encounter, love and follow Jesus.” By Mark Zimmerman, Cruxnow.com

Catholic priest whose style split N.C. mountain parish is leaving
“The pastor of a Catholic church in the N.C. mountains whose conservative leadership style split the congregation and drew national media attention has resigned. In a Facebook post, the Rev. Christopher Riehl of St. John the Evangelist parish in Waynesville wrote that he was ‘worn out or burned out’ and for his own well-being needed to take a sabbatical.” By Tim Funk, The Charlotte Observer


Diocese of Youngstown participates in synod surveys
“Bishop George V. Murry wants high-school youths and young adults in the Diocese of Youngstown to be part of Synod of Bishops surveys on the topic ‘Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.’ On Jan. 13, Pope Francis wrote to young people in the Catholic faith that a Synod of Bishops will take place in October 2018 on the topic.” By The Vindicator

Catholics face fewer options in northwest Iowa
“The Diocese of Sioux City is rolling out changes that will close or consolidate many Catholic churches in northwest Iowa as part of its Ministry 2025 plan. A shortage of priests and declining participation in weekly Mass fueled the Diocese to find more efficient ways to serve Catholic communities. Father Paul Kelly celebrates Mass in English and Spanish at St. Rose of Lima in Denison, a small western Iowa city that may soon welcome more parishioners from nearby communities.” By Amy Mayer, Iowa Public Radio

Detroit wraps up synod with plan to ‘unleash the Gospel’
“Nearly seven months after the Detroit Archdiocese’s Synod 16, Archbishop Allen Vigneron released a pastoral letter outlining the synod results, along with launching a new website and coat of arms to ‘Unleash the Gospel.’ The letter was released following the Pentecost vigil Mass on June 3. Vigneron wrote that the letter is meant to ‘serve as the charter for implementing the fruit of Synod 16.’ In an accompanying video, Vigneron states that the letter and synod ‘is not just the project of a year. This is a project of a generation.’” By Kristen Whitney Daniels, National Catholic Reporter

Gary diocese’s first synod hopes to ‘move the mission of the church’
“Mentioning the city of Gary, Indiana tends to evoke an image of dilapidated buildings, unemployment and crime. Following the steady decline of the steel industry in the late 20th century, Gary’s population faced dramatic reductions … Those numbers weighed on Gary Bishop Donald Hying’s mind when initially proposing the synod. ‘We have significant poverty here in our diocese. … That’s something that’s on everyone’s hearts as well,’ Hying told NCR. ‘[The synod] will benefit not only the church but also the world as we live the mission of Christ.’” By Kristen Whitney Daniels, National Catholic Reporter

As Minnesota congregations become more diverse, churches struggle to find Latino clergy
“Twenty-six years ago, when Jacqueline Belzer immigrated to the United States, there were only two churches in the Twin Cities that served Catholics who wanted to worship in Spanish … But there is another issue that has remained a persistent problem for both Catholic and Protestant churches throughout Minnesota: a shortage of Latino clergy to minister to the state’s increasingly diverse faith communities.” By Ibrahim Hirsi, MinnPost.com

Area towns may lose Catholic churches
“Some rural communities in the area might be without a Catholic church if preliminary recommendations hold true. The church consolidations are being recommended as part of a long-range plan for the Archdiocese of Omaha. ‘The main reason is just to make sure into the future we have vibrant parishes able to sustain themselves and be mission-oriented,’ said Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor of the archdiocese.” By Julie Blum, The Columbus Telegram

Archdiocese of Hartford to send delegates to historic Church convocation in Orlando
“Guided by the missionary vision of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Guadium, or Joy of the Gospel, the Archdiocese of Hartford will send delegates to the Convocation of Catholic Leaders in Orlando, Fla., in July. The purpose of the national meeting, organized by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is to discuss the issues facing Catholics in the 21st century. Its ultimate aim is to equip delegates with tools and resources that they can use to evangelize in their respective dioceses.” By Catholic Transcript of the Archdiocese of Hartford


Catholic groups launch conversation about female deacons
“Several progressive Catholic groups are launching an initiative aimed at giving lay Catholics and clergy across the U.S. a direct say on whether the church should ordain women deacons … The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, FutureChurch and Voice of the Faithful have launched DeaconChat in a bid to promote education and dialogue on the topic.” By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service, in The Gazette


Vatican women’s council hopes to be ‘electric shock’ for global Church
“The female advisory board of the Pontifical Council for Culture has big plans: By sending an “electric shock” within the Church, it hopes to spark thousands of similar councils around the globe in search of solutions that go beyond women priests.” By Claire Giangrave, Cruxnow.com


New child protection experts graduate from Rome’s Jesuit university
“Before students were presented with their diplomas in safeguarding minors, they each received a logoed mug as a memento of their time in the Center for Child Protection’s intensive program at the Pontifical Gregorian University … The graduates — 24 men and women from 18 different countries — would be going back to their dioceses, bishops’ conferences or religious orders to kick-start or strengthen child protection policies and measures.” By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, on Catholic Philly.com

Vatican statistics track church health indicators
“The health of the Catholic Church can be measured in many ways, and the Vatican has a special office just for that purpose. The Central Statistics Office, which operates under the Vatican Secretariat of State, conducts a variety of studies for the Roman Curia throughout the year. But one of the office’s biggest projects is compiling the annual, 500-page Statistical Yearbook of the Church.” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service


Mysterious exit of Vatican auditor begs question: Is reform even possible
“Almost a week later, it remains mysterious why Libero Milone, an Italian businessman and auditing expert hired in 2015 for a five-year term as the Vatican’s first-ever Auditor General, abruptly resigned. Whatever the case, the optics don’t seem encouraging in terms of the current state of Pope Francis’s reform effort.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com

Pope accepts early resignation of Vatican’s first independent auditor, By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter

Zimbabwe: Catholic treasurer embezzles $6,000
“A treasurer at St Alois Roman Catholic Church in Chitungwiza appeared in court last Friday (Jun. 16) charged with stealing $6 000. Kurauone Chokuona (40) appeared before Chitungwiza magistrate Mr Oliver Mudzongachiso facing charges of theft of trust property. He was represented by Sandra Mbetu and Roswitter Madembo and was remanded to June 21 for trial.” By Fungai Lupande, AllAfrica.com

Vatican bank reports $40 million profit in 2016
“In its annual report the Institute for the Works of Religion, often referred to as the Vatican bank, made a profit of about $40 million. The institute held assets worth 5.7 billion euros at year’s end, and all of the profits will be turned over to the Holy See, with none being placed in the institute’s reserve account.” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter


Victims of child abuse get 50-year compensation window after MSPs vote to remove time bar
“The Scottish Parliament has voted to remove the three-year limit on child abuse survivors suing for damages in court. This will allow victims of abuse dating back to September 26, 1964, to claim compensation for their injuries following the implementation of the Limitation (Childhood Abuse) (Scotland) Bill.” By PoliceProfessional.com

New York Senate won’t take up Child Victims Act
“Though he said discussions continue, state Senate Republican Majority Leader John Flanagan said after leaving the governor’s office on Tuesday (Jun. 19) afternoon that the Senate will not take up the Child Victims Act legislation. That bill, which would extend the time during which young victims of sexual abuse could bring a case against their abuser, has passed the Assembly and has the support of the governor … ‘It’s under discussion, but the Senate is not going to be taking that bill up,’ he said when asked to clarify that the bill is dead for the year.’” By Matthew Hamilton, Times Union

Republican state senator voices support for Child Victims Act breaking ranks with party, By Kenneth Lovett, New York Daily News
Young victims of abuse need chance to fight back, Editorial by Times Herald-Record


Catholic Church says sexual abuse by clergy still unresolved with 25 new cases
Sexual abuse by clergy continues to be a problem within the Roman Catholic Church, according to a recent annual report. The Church’s National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People found in May that between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, there were 1,232 abused individuals who brought forth 1,318 allegations of sexual abuse by clergy. ‘These allegations represent reports of abuse between a specific alleged victim and a specific alleged accused, whether the abuse was a single incident or a series of incidents over a period of time,’ noted the annual report.” By Michael Gryboski, Christian Post

In God’s name, how many more did he violate?
“One cold November afternoon in 1969, a 17-year-old schoolgirl called Jean Wehner was driven to a remote rubbish dump on the outskirts of the American city of Baltimore. There, she was led to the rotting corpse of her murdered teacher, Sister Cathy Cesnik. ‘This is what happens when you say bad things,’ the terrified teenager was warned. The chilling scene from the new Netflix series, The Keepers, may seem like the plot of a Scandi-inspired thriller, but the hit show keeping millions of viewers on the edge of their seats is not a voguish noir fiction, but a cold-case documentary.” By Rene Graham for the Daily Mail on Sunday

Who killed Sister Cathy? By Peter Jeffery, Commonweal

USCCB president appoints four new members of the National Review Board
“Four new members have been appointed to serve on the National Review Board by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The NRB advises the bishops’ committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, and the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection at the USCCB. The NRB was established by the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People, which the bishops adopted in 2002.” By USCCB, News Release

Leading group for Church abuse victims faces uncertain future
“Today SNAP boasts 25,000 members, but foes and friends alike are unsure if the organization will be able to survive its latest scandal … In January, a former SNAP employee sued the organization. In her lawsuit, Gretchen Rachel Hammond alleges she was fired after she raised questions about whether SNAP was colluding with attorneys in a kickback scheme—referring sexual abuse victims to attorneys in exchange for donations from those same attorneys. The group firmly denies the allegation, but the claim is particularly damaging to an organization whose mission is to defend the vulnerable.” By Lilly Fowler, Religion&Politics.org

Fifteen Years after Dallas: A Series
“So in honor of the 15th anniversary of the 2002 Dallas Charter, I thought I would take a look at some recent scandals that show us that the problem is far from over and that any glad-handing on behalf of the members of the USCCB this week is just for show. Nothing has changed, except the window dressing.” Introduction; Part One: The Altoona-Johnstown grand jury report; Part Two: is there a crook in the diocese of Crookston; Part Three: a priest admits abusing, Chicago cardinal does nothing; Part Four: Convicted priest deemed ‘safe’ by Oklahoma City archbishop, Catholics rightfully upset; Part Five: Naughty Nienstedt and the Vatican shred; Part Six: A seminarian in Ohio attenpts to buy babies, while bishop pretends nothing happened; Part Seven: Sister Cathy turns Baltimore into a troll.; Part Eight: (Dis)Honorable Mention: Guam and the hope and healing hoaxBy Joelle Casteix, TheWorthyAdversary.com, an award-winning author, and since 2003, the volunteer Western Regional Director of SNAP.

Hawaii’s Catholic Church must confront its past
“There are two Roman Catholic Churches when it comes to taking responsibility for child sex abuse cases in Hawaii: the repentant and the defiant. The repentant is occasionally seen in public statements … Under the veneer of the repentant Church is the defiant. Many decades of denials have been discarded for public, but hollow, apologies and solemn, though insincere, promises of atonement and amends.” By James Wright, CivilBeat.org


Attitudes that keep victims silent
“Susan Manter was watching coverage of the Bill Cosby trial last week when the man once hailed as ‘America’s Dad’ left the courthouse in Norristown, Pa. ‘We love you, Bill!’ someone shouted from the crowd. The Holden woman cringed. Late last month, she settled a civil case against a different kind of father, a Shrewsbury priest convicted in 2012 of beating her and ripping off her clothes during horrific counseling sessions that dragged on for three years.” By Dianne Williamson, Worcester Telegram & Gazette


Why did diocese wait three years to make abuse allegations public?
“Three years ago, when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse found credibility to allegations that a Utica priest committed acts of child sexual abuse, it was not Bishop Robert Cunningham’s policy to make public those matters, said Danielle Cummings, the diocese’s chancellor and director of communications.” By Greg Mason, Utica Observer-Dispatch


Philly diocese fogs up again
Is there a new transparency issue? Why isn’t Father Louis Kolenkiewicz listed in the online Archdiocesan clergy directory? He is listed in the clerical appointments that went into effect today. Father Kolenkiewicz is returning from a removal from ministry and his new gig as parochial vicar at the Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul prompted an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Given this, you’d think all the i’s wouldn’t have been dotted and t’s crossed. But as of 3pm today (Jun. 19) – his name [is not on the list].” By Susan Matthews, Catholics4Change


Armidale detectives investigate new allegations of historical abuse
“More than 10 new people have contacted detectives to lodge complaints of historical abuse against a former New England priest. Fairfax Media can reveal Armidale detectives are questioning ‘upwards of 10 people’ about historical allegations of abuse by retired priest David Joseph Perrett. Perrett is on bail for nine charges, accused of molesting four young boys between 1970 and 1982 in Armidale and Guyra.” By Breanna Chillingworth, The Armidale Express

Decision on George Pell child sex charges ‘imminent’: police
“A month after getting legal advice on whether to charge Cardinal George Pell over historical child sex allegations, Victoria’s highest-ranking police officer says a decision is ‘imminent.’” By Australian Associated Press on au.news.yahoo.com

Priest: I was with Pell and know he’s innocent
“ABC reporter Louise Milligan has peddled an implausibly lurid claim: that Cardinal George Pell caught two choir boys drinking altar wine after Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral and made them give him oral sex. Melbourne University Press has even published Milligan’s book detailing this allegation, which police have spent more than a year investigating. And now a priest who was always with Pell at Mass at this cathedral says it simply could not have happened.” By Andrew Bolt, Melbourne Herald Sun

Catholic school St. Stanislaus under fire for staging apology for victims of abuse
“At least 160 students of St Stanislaus College in Bathurst were abused by paedophile priests and staff over three decades, between the 1970s and 1990s. The school plans to host an ‘Apology Service of Sorrow and Hope’ on Friday (Jun. 16) night but victims say asking them to attend the school – where the abuse happened – and incorporating the apology into a religious service would trigger painful memories.” By Lorna Knowles and Alison Branley


Montreal Catholic Church will fingerprint all priests working with children
“The Catholic Church of Montreal will expand its pilot project that bars priests and church volunteers from being alone with children and requires them to provide digital fingerprints to work with vulnerable populations. Around 10 churches have been taking part in the pilot project, which was launched last fall. All churches will now have to follow these rules by 2020.” By CBC News Montreal


Catholic monk admits ‘alarming failure’ to protect children from abuse
“A senior Catholic monk has admitted there was an ‘alarming failure’ by brothers to protect children in care, a public inquiry into child abuse heard. Brother Laurence Hughes, provincial of the De La Salle Brothers, also accepted there was a ‘disturbing lack of awareness’ of abuse in schools run by the order in Scotland.” By Brian Donnelly, The Herald Scotland

Catholic Church engulfed in new abuse scandal after Scots priest admits affair with vulnerable woman
“A Scottish priest has been struck off by the Catholic Church after he admitted having a 16-year affair with a ‘vulnerable’ woman who went to him for counseling when he was a parish priest in Australia. A senior bishop has also issued a ‘full and sincere apology’ to the victim after the priest admitted he ‘allowed the situation to develop inappropriately’ when the woman was feeling ‘grief, fear and loss of sense of her worth.’” By Peter Swindon, The Herald Scotland

Scotland: Catholic Church safeguarding review group established
“In December 2016, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Scotland announced that Helen Liddell would Chair the Independent Review Group (IRG) set up as a result of the McLellan Commission Report into the current safeguarding policies, procedures and practices within the Church in Scotland. The IRG is an autonomous body which will function separately from the Church and will review safeguarding standards and carry out independent audits as recommended by the McLellan Commission. The Group met for the first time on 27 May and established working groups to develop and scope the future activities of the IRG.” By Independent Catholic News

Nuns say ‘sorry’ amid hundreds of child abuse allegations
“More than 400 allegations of child abuse have been made against an order of nuns which ran four orphanages in Scotland until the 1980s. The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry heard details of 257 civil actions and a further 147 complaints made in connection with children’s homes run by the Sisters of Nazareth, the last of which closed in 1985.” By Chris Marshall, The Scotsman


Guam priest, Fr. Ray Techaira, accused of raping and sexually assaulting boy
“Father Ray Techaira reportedly raped and sexually assaulted a boy from 1984 through 1987, the lawsuit issued in the District Court of Guam says. Techaira, on the other hand, is now dead, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiff, who was identified in court documents only as J.A. to keep his identity and image, is now 40 years old and resides in Oregon.” By Kari Megeed, Business-News.online

Chandler man files sex abuse lawsuit against Catholic archbishop of Guam
“Chandler resident Francis Charfauros, 49, wanted to be a priest when he was younger, but he said an encounter with the Rev. Jack Niland when he was 14 and living on the small Pacific island of Guam changed that. Charfauros is now one of many who have brought lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Agana in Guam alleging sexual abuse at a rectory there.” By Jerod MacDonald-Evoy, The Republic, ascentral.com

Local judges continue to stay away from clergy sex abuse cases
“Superior Court of Guam judges continue to recuse themselves from hearing Catholic clergy sex abuse cases, even as plaintiffs’ lawyers have started exploring the possibility of an out-of-court settlement. Sixteen clergy sex abuse lawsuits have been filed in local court between March 7 and May 10.” By Haidee Eugenio, Pacific Daily News

Guam archbishop won’t settle abuse suits while at Vatican trial
“Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron’s lawyer says her client won’t seek to settle the sex abuse lawsuits against him while his canonical trial is ongoing. ‘I am not considering, my client is not considering settling any cases until such time as a canonical trial is complete,’ Apuron’s attorney Jacqueline Terlaje said after a status conference at the District Court of Guam Tuesday (Jun. 13) morning.” By Haidee Eugenio, USA TODAY


Abuse victims slam Stormont stalemate
“Victims and survivors of institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland care homes have said plans to help them are ‘gathering dust’ on Stormont’s shelves while those affected are ‘still denied justice to their death beds.’” By Allan Preston, Belfast Telegraph

Abuse victims wait 17 months for compensation without Northern Ireland government, By Karl McDonald, inews.co.uk