Voice of the Faithful Focus, June 17, 2016

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


Francis gives Vatican authority to initiate removal of bishops negligent on sexual abuse
“Pope Francis has signed a new universal law for the global Catholic church specifying that a bishop’s negligence in response to clergy sexual abuse can lead to his removal from office. The law also empowers several Vatican dicasteries to investigate such bishops and initiate processes of removal, subject to final papal approval.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
Pope Francis scraps abuse panel for negligent bishops, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, in The Washington Post
Will the Vatican discipline offending bishops? By The New York Times Editorial Board
Editorial: New law for bishops raises many questions, By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff

Church official says Vatican took years to act on abuse charges
“A document obtained by Crux, related to accusations of sexual and other forms of abuse against the founder of a powerful Catholic lay movement in Peru, suggests that the Vatican was informed of the charges as early as May 2011 but essentially took no action for four years. A May 17, 2016, letter addressed to Peru’s bishops by the head of the country’s main ecclesiastical court lists multiple steps taken to inform Rome of allegations against Luis Fernando Figari, founder of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV) …” By Austen Ivereigh, Cruxnow.com

Trauma can bring hope (Part 3 of “Hell, hope and healing”)
“In the second article of this series, I focused on hope and healing for survivors of sexual abuse. Here, I extend the discussion beyond healing to discuss the possibility, now validated through research, that some trauma survivors actually experience post-traumatic growth. If healing can occur from the truly devastating consequences of adverse childhood experiences — including sexual abuse by clergy — can survivors also experience meaningful growth through their confrontation with trauma?” By Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea, National Catholic Reporter
SNAP: Catholic Church does not ignore us, By David Clohessy, National Catholic Reporter

Pope puts Guam archbishop accused of sex abuse on leave
Mounting accusations of sexual abuse against the archbishop of Guam have prompted Pope Francis to name a Vatican official to oversee the Catholic Church on the Pacific island territory while the charges are investigated. The decision announced Monday (June 6) to force Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, who has led the Agana Archdiocese for 30 years, to yield his authority, at least temporarily, is the latest sign that Francis is taking tougher steps to tackle the sexual abuse crisis.” By Rosie Scammell, Religion News Service
Guam Archbishop says he’s a victim, welcomes Vatican envoy, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, on ABCNews.go.com

Child rape victims flood Brooklyn Bridge
Hundreds of survivors of childhood sex abuse and their families and friends were joined by advocacy organizations from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania on June 5th to march across the Brooklyn Bridge to demonstrate broad public support for Assemblywoman Margaret Markey’s Child Victims Act … The bill will eliminate the civil and criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse crimes. It will also create a one-year civil ‘window’ to get justice for adult survivors of abuse and help expose pedophiles and those who have hidden them.” By Courtney M. Soliday, Huffington Post


Pope Francis takes a new tack on clergy sex abuse
“Pope Francis has made empathy for the downtrodden and the powerless a hallmark of his papacy, but he has been less deft in dealing with the Roman Catholic Church’s own most defenseless victims — children sexually abused by clergy … Three years into his papacy, Francis is trying to hit the reset button on his sputtering efforts to add muscle to the church’s stated policy of zero tolerance for clerical abuse.” By The Washington Post Editorial Board
Another new policy, but we’re still waiting for definitive Vatican action on negligent bishops, By Phil Lawler, CatholicCulture.org
Pope to appoint advisory board in removing negligent bishops, By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
Pope Francis allows easier dismissal of bishops who cover up sex abuse, By Francis X. Rocca, The Wall Street Journal
Pope Francis sets guidelines for removing bishops who mishandle sex abuse cases, By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times
Pope Francis decrees removal of bishops negligent in sex abuse, By Reuters on Religion News Service
The Pope’s move to hold bishops accountable could have seismic consequences, Commentary in Catholic Herald
Pope’s move to oust bishops negligent on sexual abuse gets mixed reviews, By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
Pope Francis says Catholic bishops face sack for abuse negligence, By Agence France-Press in The Australian
Episcopal accountability and the motu proprio, By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter
Apostolic letter on accountability of bishops, “Live a Loving Mother,” By Pope Francis


Petition to Archbishop Sartain: disclose abuse claim files, empower lay review board
“An open letter in the form of an online petition asks Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain to address what it charges is the archdiocese’s ‘incomplete response’ to the ‘clergy abuse crisis.’ Posted late Sunday, June 5, the petition acknowledges the archbishop’s deep concern for abuse victims’ and ‘willingness to extend pastoral care to them,’ but claims ‘more is needed if we are to truly protect our youth, heal the wounds caused by this horrific evil, and address the continued alienation of Catholics from their Church.’” By Dan Morris-Young, National Catholic Reporter

Seven ‘substantiated’ child sex abuse allegations against .01% of Catholic clergy in 2015
Seven “substantiated” allegations of sexual abuse were made by current minors against .01 percent of the Catholic clergy between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, according to the latest annual report by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) National Review Board (NRB) for the Protection of Children and Young People.” By Jeanette Richard, CNSNews.com

Update: U.S. Anglican ordinariate will join sex abuse audit
“The U.S. bishops’ conference issued today (Jun. 2) an update and correction to its annual report on local churches’ compliance with the Dallas Charter, the set of guidelines and standards that are to govern the dioceses’ response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis. The 2015 report was released May 20. That report contained an error: it called the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter an eparchy, which is the Orthodox church’s equivalent of a diocese. The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is not an eparchy; it is the diocese-like structure created by the Vatican in 2012 for former Anglican communities and clergy in the United States seeking to become Catholic.” By Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter


Clericalism puts the focus on careerism, not ministry
“The first time I saw the new pastor of a nearby parish, he was wearing a T-shirt and jeans, and standing in a garbage dumpster. It was early November 2012, just after Hurricane Sandy ripped through New York and New Jersey barrier beaches. The parish church was a mess. The new pastor called some of his old high school buddies to come over from the mainland to help rip out the damaged church. The priest was tromping the debris down.” By Phyllis Zagano, National Catholic Reporter


Happy 75th, and Cardinal Pell tenders resignation to Pope
“Cardinal George Pell today turns 75, the age when bishops automatically submit their resignations to the Pope. Cardinal Pell, however, has already been asked by Francis to continue working until 2019. After Pope Francis visited the office of the Secretariat for the Economy last month, Cardinal Pell’s office said in a statement he would ‘be continuing with his current role for the full five-year term.’ He was appointed to clean up the Vatican’s corrupt financial system in February 2014.” By CathNews.com


Archbishop leading U.S. response to Amoris Laetitia says his role has ‘no policy dimension’
“Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, the leader of a new working group of US bishops on implementing Amoris Laetitia, has said his role is administrative rather than policy-related. The archbishop was speaking after the Catholic Herald reported that his appointment sent a signal on the question of Communion for the divorced and remarried.” By Catholic Herald
Chaput to chair U.S. bishops’ working group on Amoris Laetitia implementation, By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter
Archbishop Chaput tapped to lead bishops efforts on family life, By Matthew Gambino, Philly.com


Seven questions with state representative Jim Wayne
“Kentucky State Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, has been quite busy working on a passion he’s had for years … The story of “The Unfinished Man” (his new book) tackles a subject that is important to Wayne: Throughout his time as a representative, he has worked closely with victims of Catholic clergy sexual abuse and sponsored legislation to tighten the reporting requirements and penalties for sexual abuse of minors.” By Sara Havens, InsiderLouisville.com

SNAP: Catholic Church does not ignore us
“In the latest installment of an otherwise helpful series of articles, Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea paints a depressing and incomplete picture of the church’s ongoing clergy sex abuse and cover-up crisis. Because she’s a therapist, she understandably focuses on the ‘healing’ half of the crisis. But she gives remarkably short shrift, we feel, to the other and more pressing half: ‘prevention.’ And she also offers a very limited portrayal of our organization.” By David Clohessy, National Catholic Reporter

The roots of the clergy sex abuse crisis
“The fact that we, as a church, are still wrestling with how to confront the crime of clergy sexual abuse of minors invites all manner of emotional and programmatic responses. This weekend’s release of a new motu proprio on episcopal accountability makes those invitations clamant.” By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter


Pope approves Vatican department on life, laity and family for September
“Pope Francis has approved the establishment of a new Vatican department — or dicastery — for family, laity, and life. The new dicastery will open September 1, 2016, with the merging of the existing Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for the Laity, which will then be suppressed, according to Holy See Press Office’s June 4 statement.” By Lianne Laurence, LifeSiteNews.com

Francis is reforming the Roman Curia by circumvention
“Pope Francis has begun another round of meetings with his Council of Cardinals (C9), a special advisory group he formed just a month after becoming Bishop of Rome to assist him in governing the universal church and reforming the Roman Curia … Lots of people are wondering what is taking so long.” By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis to make video appearance at DC event
“In an event that will surely remind many of his historic visit to Washington, D.C., Pope Francis is scheduled to appear at an evangelical prayer rally on the National Mall in July. But his appearance will be on the big screen.” By John Burger, Aleteia.org


Reform groups challenge U.S. bishops to create ‘a church for our daughters’
“‘Missing: The Next Generation of Catholic Women.’ So warns the website of A Church for Our Daughters, a new campaign sponsored by thirty Catholic reform organizations, including FutureChurch, Call to Action, the Women’s Ordination Conference, DignityUSA, and the 8th Day Center for Justice. The website invites its readers to ‘Imagine a Church without women — our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, Goddaughters, neighbors.’ While some might suggest that this campaign’s imagination has run wild, recent studies and statistics on women and the church indicate a credible cause for concern.” By Jamie Manson, National Catholic Reporter


Priest had huge debts
“The Huber Heights priest who resigned amid a police investigation into financial irregularities at his church accumulated hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal debt from unpaid taxes and court judgments on property he owned and businesses he operated during his 23 years as pastor, a Dayton Daily News investigation found. The Rev. Earl Simone, 74, may have violated Catholic canon law because he was operating his businesses without the required permission from the archdiocese, said Dan Andriacco, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.” By Lynn Hulsey, Dayton Daily News


Pope names Guam administrator after bishop accused of abuse
“Pope Francis has named a special administrator for the Catholic Church on the Pacific island of Guam after its archbishop was accused of sexually abusing young boys decades ago. The archdiocese of Agana in the American territory said last week it had hired a law firm and independent investigator to look into the allegations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.” By Associated Press
Pope taps interim replacement for prelate facing abuse charges, By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com

Priests, parishes target Pennsylvania legislators who backed sex-abuse bill
“One lawmaker called it ‘electioneering.’ Another grew emotional as she recounted being snubbed by a priest. A third penned a Facebook screed that became the buzz of the House of Representatives. Legislators expressed outrage this week after they said they had been named by priests at Mass, in church bulletins or in some other way rebuked by the Catholic Church for supporting a bill that would let child sex-abuse victims sue individuals and private institutions decades after the abuse occurred.” By Maria Panaritis, Philadelphia Inquirer

To understand Pennsylvania battle over clergy sex-abuse victims law, look to Delaware
“What happened to his son remains so seared in his memory that when he talks about it, Thomas Conaty speaks as though he is still the young father of a grade-school boy … In 2002, he (Matthias Conaty) told his parents about the abuse. And what was initially despair gave way to a bedrock determination to change the law for child sex-abuse victims.” By Maria Panaritis, Philadelphia Inquirer


Diocese, abbey must be held accountable
“With the closing of a temporary three-year window that lifted the statute of limitations on allegations of sexual abuse of minors in Minnesota, a sorry set of statistics has emerged.” By St. Cloud Times Editorial Board


In New Mexico, diocese nears $25 million payout on sex abuse
“As its bankruptcy case wraps up, the Diocese of Gallup has allocated millions of dollars to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse … It is creating a fund of between $21 million and $25 million to be used for professional fees and settlements with the 57 abuse survivors who led claims in bankruptcy court. Professional fees are now listed at more than $3.6 million and some settlements for abuse claimants are expected to approach $300,000.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com


N.Y. pol says Brooklyn bishop tried to bribe her to drop child-abuse reform; diocese calls her allegation ‘patently false’
“The head of the Catholic Church in Brooklyn offered a $5,000 bribe to an Albany politician in exchange for dropping her support for the reform of a state law preventing victims of child sexual abuse from seeking justice, the pol claimed Monday. Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, who has for a decade advocated for an overhaul of the state’s statute of limitations on claims of child sexual abuse, said she turned down the unholy hush money from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio in 2010.” By Kenneth Lovett, Michael O’Keefe and Stephen Rex Brown

Catholics urge church to support New York legislation that allows child abuse victims to seek justice as adults
“The Catholic Church’s powerbrokers should listen to their better angels! That was the message from city parishioners in favor of changing a law that prevents many victims of child sex abuse from seeking justice. Current state law prohibits the victims from bringing criminal charges or civil claims against abusers after the victim’s 23rd birthday.” By Edgar Sandoval, Megan Cerullo and Stephen Rex Brown


First the Catholic Church, now the business community opposes reform to child sex crime laws
“For years, the Catholic Church has waged stiff opposition to attempts to reform child sex crime laws. In the face of widespread clergy sex abuse, entities of the Catholic Church – such as its legislative arm here, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference – have lobbied vigorously to defeat efforts to reform the statute of limitations. Now, with the state Senate poised to hear arguments on the latest reform proposal, a more secular sector has stepped up the pushback against changes to the law: that of business.” By Ivey DeJesus, PennLive.com
Catholic parishioners urged to help defeat SOL reform; one parishioner walks out of Mass, By Ivey DeJesus, PennLive.com
Catholic schools’ parents outraged at church’s letter against child sex reform, By Ivey deJesus, PennLive.com


Victims argue Catholic church officials liable for abuse at Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland
Long before the Boston scandal that inspired the award-winning movie ‘Spotlight,’ men who once lived at the Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland allege they endured horrific abuse ignored by church officials.” By Sue Bailey, The Canadian Press


Police question French cardinal over pedophile priest
“French police questioned the Roman Catholic cardinal-archbishop of Lyon on Wednesday (June 8) in an investigation into the activities of a pedophile priest in the early 1990s and why they were not reported to the civil authorities. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, 65, who has denied covering up the activities of the Rev. Bernard Preynat, was questioned as a witness by officers of the child and family protection brigade at a police station in the central city, his lawyer said.” By Reuters on Religion News Service


Catholic Church in Guam accused of lacking compassion
“The Catholic Church in Guam has been accused of lacking compassion after it dismissed allegations of sexual abuse by its Archbishop as lies. An Arizona woman was claiming Archbishop Anthony Apuron molested her son when he was an altar boy in the 1970s. It followed a similar accusation made two weeks ago.” By RadioNZ.co.nz


Irish priest cleared of historical abuse allegations
“An Irish Catholic priest has been cleared by a jury in England of historical allegations that he sexually abused nine girls and one boy. Limerick native Fr Mortimer Stanley (82), now living in Ballybunion, Co Kerry, had denied a string of indecent assaults said to have been committed in Rochdale between 1977 and 2002.” By The Irish Times

Call for proper Church structures for priests falsely accused of child sex abuse
“A Catholic priest has called on the Church to put proper structures in place to protect priests who have been the subject of false allegations of child sexual abuse. Fr. Tim Hazelwood (57) from Castletownroche in Co Cork spent six years fighting to clear his name following a false accusation.” By Barry Roche, The Irish Times


Outspoken Mexican cardinal says Catholic church had refuge for pedophile priests
“The Alberione house, located in the western Mexican municipality of Tlaquepaque, was a refuge for priests involved in pedophilia cases, Cardinal Emeritus Juan Sandoval Iñiguez said on Wednesday (Jun. 8). In an interview with EFE after the recent publication of his memoirs entitled “Con mi propia voz” (In my own words), the cardinal said that the house was a rehabilitation center for clergy until Pope John Paul II in 2001 sent a letter to bishops asking them not to conceal those cases.’ By FoxNews.com