Voice of the Faithful Focus, Mar. 4, 2016

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


‘Spotlight’ receives Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay Oscars and Voice of the Faithful assesses scandal
“The critically acclaimed movie ‘Spotlight’ received Best Picture Oscar Feb. 18. The film about how The Boston Globe investigated and brought to light clergy sexual abuse of children and its cover up in the Boston archdiocese has brought renewed awareness to the scandal worldwide. But many Catholics have had a heightened sense of the crisis all along. Some of those Catholics — determined to remain faithful while addressing the scandal — formed Voice of the Faithful only a couple of months after the Globe’s sensational January 2002 story appeared.” By Donna B. Doucette, National Catholic Reporter.
Editorial: Best Picture win for ‘Spotlight’ is fitting humiliation for church, By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff
Cardinal O’Malley lauds role ‘Spotlight’ played in exposing clergy sex abuse, By Kathy McCabe, The Boston Globe
‘Spotlight’ triumphs with best picture Oscar, By Ty Burr, The Boston Globe
‘Spotlight’ takes home best picture honors at Oscars, By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter
‘Spotlight’ actor Mark Ruffalo joins survivors protest, By Mark Shanahan, The Boston Globe

Pell admits ‘enormous mistakes’ in church’s abuse handling, calls it ‘absolutely scandalous’
“One of the Catholic church’s highest ranking cardinals, Vatican official George Pell, faced four hours of questioning about his role in the clergy sexual abuse crisis in his native Australia in an extraordinary overnight hearing Sunday (Feb. 28), in which he admitted the church ‘has made enormous mistakes’ in its handling of dangerous priests.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
Pell jeered as he denies knowledge of abuse allegations, By Rod McGuirk, Associated Press, on Cruxnow.com
Catholic Church official testifies during Australian abuse inquiry, By Associated Press in The Boston Globe
Cardinal George Pell blames former bishop for letting abuse fester, By Rachel Browne, The Sydney Morning Herald

Pennsylvania diocese leaders knew of sex abuse for decades, grand jury says
“Over four decades, at least 50 priests and other church employees molested hundreds of children in a small Roman Catholic diocese in central Pennsylvania, and in many cases their superiors knew of the abuses but did not remove the priests or notify law enforcement, according to a grand jury report released on Tuesday (Mar. 1).” By Richard Perez-Pena and Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
Grand jury report reveals decades of clergy sex abuse in Altoona-Johnstown diocese, By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter
Grand jury: Altoona diocese concealed sex abuse of hundreds of children by priests, By Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pennsylvania grand jury finds widespread sex abuse by priests, By Reuters on Religion News Service


Catholic Church abuse victims call for meeting with Pope
“Australian victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic Church clergy on Tuesday (Mar. 1) called for a meeting with Pope Francis after watching a high-ranking Vatican official testify that senior clergy lied to him to cover up abuse in the 1970s. Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s treasurer, has told the inquiry that the church made ‘enormous mistakes’ and ‘catastrophic’ choices by refusing to believe abused children, shuffling abusive priests from parish to parish and over-relying on counseling of priests to solve the problem.” By Philip Pullella and Jane Wardell, Reuters

Putting ‘Spotlight’ on need for Vatican accountability
“At the end of Spotlight, a list of hundreds of cities in the U.S. and around the world in which major cases of clergy sexual violence have been uncovered fills up the screen. You can literally hear the audience gasping. What happened in Boston was far was from isolated, and although the film depicts events from 15 years ago, recent reports on continuing Vatican policies – like no mandatory reporting of clerical sexual violence to civil authorities for bishops and allowing convicted sexual abusers to continue to serve as priests – show that this story is far from over.” By Center for Constitutional Rights

Two Pennsylvania bishops singled out for sex abuse cover-up
“Two Roman Catholic bishops who led a central Pennsylvania diocese helped cover up the sexual abuse of hundreds of children by over 50 priests or religious leaders over a 40-year period, according to a grand jury report issued Tuesday (Mar. 1). The 147-page report on sexual abuse in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese was based partly on evidence from a secret diocesan archive uncovered through a search warrant executed in August, said Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who announced the findings.” By Associated Press on CBSNews.com
Pennsylvania Catholic bishops hid sex abuse, grand jury says, By Associated Press, in York Daily Record
Clergy accused of abuse in Pennsylvania, By Pennsylvania Attorney General in The New York Times

Spotlight victim: Vatican still failing on abuse
“A victim of abuse by a Catholic priest, whose story is the focus of the Oscar contender Spotlight, says the Vatican is still failing to tackle the scandal. Phil Saviano was repeatedly assaulted, along with several school friends, by a priest in their small home town near Boston in the 1960s. He revealed his abuse in the 1990s and a decade later handed the dossiers of information to the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” investigations team.” By Greg Milam, Sky News

Catholic Church under fired for rehabilitating convicted Indian priest
“The Catholic Church is under fire for revoking the suspension of a priest in India, despite his previous extradition to the United States and conviction for sexual abuse. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, 61, was suspended by the southern Indian diocese of Ooty in 2010 and later turned over to the U.S. justice system. He was found guilty of abusing a girl between 2004 and 2005 while working as a priest in the Diocese of Crookston in Minnesota. Despite the conviction, the Vatican lifted his suspension last month, on advice from an Indian bishop, news agency AFP reported on Wednesday (Feb. 17).” By Rosie Scammell, Religion News Service
Indian activists slam Vatican for revoking priest’s ban, By Agence France-Press on Yahoo News


‘We can no longer remain silent …’: Bishops called to shoulder more responsibility
Cardinal Sean O’Malley has made a stand to call all bishops to shoulder more responsibility to keep abuse victims safe from future attacks. The current Vatican guidelines call for bishops to report suspected abuse to authorities only if the law requires them to do so. O’Malley released a statement calling Roman Catholic bishops to maintain their “moral and ethical responsibility” to report instances of clerical sex abuse – laws or no.” By Kenya Sinclair, Catholic Online

Abuse expert: Bishops must watch ‘Spotlight’ learn reporting is key
Every bishop and cardinal must watch the film ‘Spotlight,’ so they realize reporting abuse — not silence — will save the church, said the Vatican’s former chief prosecutor of clerical sex abuse cases. The film underlines the key problem of ‘omerta’ or a code of silence, said Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna of Malta, according to the Italian daily La Repubblica Feb. 17. ‘The movie shows how the instinct — that unfortunately was present in the church — to protect a reputation was completely wrong,’ he said after a showing of the film in Valletta, Malta.” By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter


The new push to end priestly celibacy
“The Catholic Church is once again embroiled in arguments about whether priestly celibacy has a place in today’s world. As Catholicism in most Western countries faces a rapidly ageing priesthood, a severe shortage of vocations and declining congregations, abolishing or at least relaxing the ancient rule has become a major item on the agenda of those who advocate large-scale change in the Church. Moreover, the very idea of requiring perpetual celibacy from the clergy seems odd to today’s secular society.” By Jon Anderson, Catholic Herald


Why the director of ‘Spotlight’ has hope for the Catholic Church: an interview with Tom McCarthy
Tom McCarthy is the director of ‘Spotlight,’ the Oscar-nominated account of Boston Globe journalists working to uncover the clerical abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. This interview was conducted in November 2015, and has been edited for length and clarity.” By Jeremy Zipple, America

Vatican gives two thumbs up to Oscar winner ‘Spotlight’
“Just hours after the movie ‘Spotlight’ picked up the best picture prize at the Academy Awards, the Vatican newspaper praised the film for its portrayal of The Boston Globe’s investigation into clerical sex abuse in the U.S. he Oscar win on Sunday (Feb. 28) was hailed by producer Michael Sugar as amplifying the voice of survivors. “Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith,” he said in his acceptance speech in Los Angeles that was broadcast around the world.” By Rosie Scammell, Religion News Service
Vatican newspaper praises Spotlight for confronting ‘horrendous realities,’ By Ben child, The Guardian

For clergy sex abuse survivors, ‘Spotlight’ Oscar win brings joy and tears
“The phones of clergy sex abuse survivors and their advocates were lighting up Monday (Feb. 29), a day after ‘Spotlight,’ the movie that tells their story, was awarded Oscars for best picture and best original screenplay. Most of the calls expressed a renewed sense of validation among those who first spoke up against a sweeping conspiracy in the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy. But some of the calls reflected the reality that many victims have yet to tell their stories, their secrets still cloaked in guilt and shame that never should have been theirs.” By David Filipov, The Boston Globe
‘Spotlight’ success empowers survivors of Boston clergy sex abuse scandal, By Louisa Moller, WBZ-TV

With ‘Spotlight,’ victims of child sex abuse by Catholic priests feel empowered
“Frank and Virginia Zamora were among the last to file out of the movie theater. The couple had seen ‘Spotlight’ before, but still it was a jolt. Especially watching one particular actor with green eyes. He looked a lot like their son, Dominic, who died last year following a battle with alcoholism, an addiction his parents believe began after he was molested at age 8 by a priest in the Los Angeles Archdiocese.” By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times

How ‘Spotlight’ cast the ‘voice of God,’ and how the Church has (or hasn’t) changed
“The Spotlight cast boasts one of the deepest acting benches in recent memory … There’s one player, however, who hasn’t necessarily enjoyed the same attention, even though he’s an Oscar-nominated actor who plays a pivotal role in the film: Richard Jenkins.” By Jeff Labercque. Entertainment Weekly

How ‘Spotlight’ missed the story
“It is just a single line of dialogue from Spotlight, up for Best Picture and five other Academy Awards this Sunday (Feb. 28), but it could be a movie in itself. It’s an allusion to an entire unknown chapter in the history of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandals: the role of National Catholic Reporter in first uncovering the clerical conspiracy to shield abusing priests. By William F. Baker, Commentary in USA TODAY on Religion News Service

Statement on the Film “Spotlight”
“The film Spotlight chronicles the story of how investigative journalists revealed a dark and shameful time in the history of the Catholic Church. The revelations were made in Boston, USA, but it soon became evident that this was a worldwide scandal for the Catholic Church. The release of the film in South Africa can be an especially painful time for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy. The Church continues to seek forgiveness for the harm that the crime of the abuse of minors has caused.” By The Southern African Catholic Bishop’s Conference

Spotlight Interview
How revealing the Church’s cover-up of child sex abuse by priests changed Boston forever – CBC Radio Interview with Walter Robinson, head of The Boston Globe Spotlight team during the paper’s investigation of clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston.


Editorial: Collins is right – let the commission do its work
“The truth of the clergy sex abuse scandal would never have surfaced without the sustained courage of victims. In the same way, it will take the courage and work of victims, above all, to help return the church to health. Marie Collins provides a stunning example of the kind of determination and courage required to get on with that latter phase of dealing with the scandal.” By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff


Pope Francis says any bishop who moves a suspected pedophile priest from parish to parish should resign
Pope Francis says any bishop who moves a suspected pedophile priest from parish to parish should resign. Francis spoke about the church’s handling of sex abuse cases while flying home Wednesday (Feb. 17) from Mexico, where victims of that country’s most notorious pedophile, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, are still coping with the trauma of his abuse. ‘It’s a monstrosity,’ Francis said of clerical abuse. ‘Because a priest is consecrated to bring a child to God. And if he consumes him in a diabolical sacrifice, it destroys him.’” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, in U.S. News & World Report

Pope’s efforts to stop church child abuse appear to unravel
“A member of a commission set up by Pope Francis to advise him on child abuse says the group is a ‘token body’ exercising in ‘smoke and mirrors’ that won’t help children stay safe from abusive priests. Peter Saunders, the commission member, is now on a leave of absence as he considers whether to continue with an effort he says he has lost faith in.” By Will Carless, GlobalPost, in USA TODAY


St. Louis archbishop warns parishioners: avoid the Girl Scouts
“The Archdiocese of St. Louis is encouraging Roman Catholics to scale back ties with the Girl Scouts, advising church members to think twice about membership and even about buying their cookies. The warnings came in a letter from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and in a statement on the archdiocese’s website about how the church is distancing itself from the Girl Scouts, which it says supports transgender rights, homosexuality and other stances at odds with Catholic values.” By Christine Hauser, The New York Times


Roman Catholic priest has been charged with stealing thousands
A Roman Catholic priest has been charged with stealing thousands of dollars from the Connecticut parish where he once served as pastor. Police say the Rev. Honore Kombo was arrested this week on a first-degree larceny charge. He is free on $10,000 bond pending a March 14 court appearance.” By Associated Press in Daily Journal

Yona church’s fiancé officer indicted for embezzlement
The numbers didn’t add up. When an audit was conducted on Saint Francis Catholic Church finances, hundreds of thousands of dollars was reportedly missing. The suspect? A longtime Yona resident who worked as the church’s finance officer. A true bill has been handed down in the indictment of 60-year-old Veranice Rose Toves. Court documents list nearly 24 charges including forgery, theft, theft by deception, tampering with records to deceive or conceal and procuring execution of financially significant instruments by fraud.” By Krystal Paco, KUAM-TV News

Priest who gambled away church’s $300,000 may lose probation over repayment
“The case of a Catholic priest convicted of gambling away $300,000 of parish funds remains in limbo after DuPage County prosecutors Thursday (Feb. 18) asked for a hearing to revoke his probation. The Rev. John Regan will face an April 14 hearing on the revocation, which prosecutors said was based on Regan’s failure to completely repay the money he took from St. Walter Parish in Roselle.” By Clifford Ward, Chicago Tribune

Alleged sex abuse victim swindled 158 Catholic Priests out of $330,000 in vengeance scam
“A Paris court on Wednesday (Feb. 24) sentenced a French man to four years in prison for swindling 158 priests out of 300,000 euros, or approximately $330,286, local media outlets reported. The man, identified only as ‘Michael,’ said the multiple-year scam was vengeance for having been sexually abused by a priest as a child.” By Jess McHugh, International Business Times


A personal story of child sexual abuse
“A few months ago, I caught up for lunch with lawyer Judy Courtin, one of the staunchest advocates for the victims of the rape and sexual abuse of children and vulnerable others by, in particular, Catholic priests, and one of the people instrumental in the successful campaign to establish the royal commission into the response of churches and other institutions to these crimes.” By Michael Short, The Sydney Morning Herald

Australian inquiry says it will sit in Rome to hear Vatican treasurer
“An Australian government inquiry into child abuse has said it has found a suitable public venue in Rome where victims will be able to watch the Vatican’s Australian-born treasurer testify about his knowledge of molestation within the church.” By Reuters on CathNewsUSA.com
Sex abuse victims to face Cardinal Pell in Rome, By BBC News
Catholic sex abuse hearing will take place in the dead of night in a hotel in Rome, By Tom Kington, Los Angeles Times


San Jose: Protesters demand that Catholic dioceses release names of predator priests
“As passersby drove by honking their horns or cheering in support, four demonstrators waved signs in front of the Diocese of San Jose headquarters on Saturday (Feb. 27) as part of a nationwide protest to pressure U.S. Catholic bishops to disclose the names of 2,800 predator priests. ‘Today, 30 dioceses in the U.S. have listed those priests in their dioceses that have been credibly accused or convicted or admitted guilt,’ said Tim Lennon, 68, who said he was molested at age 12 by a Catholic priest in Iowa, then often driven by that priest to another parish to say confession.” By Tracy Seipel, Contra Costa Times

Mark Ruffalo, ‘Spotlight’ creators join Catholic sex abuse victims rally in downtown L.A.
“About 20 protesters who rallied against sexual abuse in the Catholic church in downtown Los Angeles were joined by ‘Spotlight’ actor Mark Ruffalo, the film’s director Tom McCarthy and its writer Josh Singer on Sunday (Feb. 28). Protesters, many of whom identify as victims of abuse by Catholic priests, marched and brandished banners outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels Sunday morning.” By Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times


Teacher accused of abusing 52 boys now lives in Salt Lake
“A longtime Catholic school teacher accused of molesting dozens of boys in three states for decades is living on Oahu, but his name and those of priests accused of sexual misconduct are not listed in the state’s sex offender registry. Catholic schoolteacher brother Edward Courtney is accused of sexually abusing more than 50 boys from New York to Chicago to Seattle over three decades.” By Keoki Kerr, Hawaii News Now


Prosecutors ‘forced’ to drop charges against predator priest
“Cook County prosecutors Wednesday (Feb. 24) said they were forced to drop an aggravated criminal sexual abuse charge against a convicted child molester and defrocked Catholic priest because the alleged victim was reluctant to cooperate. Daniel McCormack, who is at a state-run mental health facility pending a hearing on whether he is a sexual deviant person, wasn’t in court before Judge Dennis Porter.” By Rummana Hussain, Chicago Sun-Times


Editorial: defrock former St. Mary’s priest
“Eight months ago, the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw removed Father Denis Heames from St. Mary’s University Parish for ‘boundary violations.’ The diocese refused to say much more about Heames’ suspension. Bishop Joseph Cistone made sure to mention in a press release the issue ‘did not involve minors.’ What has become clear is the Catholic Church tried to cover up yet another scandal.” By Editorial Board, Central Michigan Life

A former Roman Catholic priest has pleaded no contest to sexual abuse charges
“A former Roman Catholic priest has pleaded no contest to sexual abuse charges connected to his years at a Michigan high school in the 1980s. James Rapp likely faces at least 20 years in prison, although the 75-year-old already is in prison for similar crimes in Oklahoma.” By Associated Press on Daily Journal
Former Catholic priest faces long prison sentence for decades old charges, By Steve Carmody, Michigan Public Radio


Parishioners of priest investigated for child porn get answers from St. Paul-Mpls. archdiocese
“Twin Cities archdiocese leaders met with parishioners at St. William Catholic Church in Fridley on Sunday (Feb. 21), following last week’s announcement that their priest is under investigation for possible possession of child pornography. The priest was temporarily removed from ministry Thursday (Feb. 25) after Edina police searched his home.” By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune


In bankruptcy dealings, Helena diocese sets alternate example
“Bishop George Thomas admits that when his already struggling diocese in Helena, Mont., was hit with 30 lawsuits because of decades-old sexual abuse by priests, his instincts were to fight. But that defensive posture fell away after he visited a victim’s home for a family dinner, he said.” By NCR Online on CathNewsUSA.com


Mendham victim and others talk about ‘Spotlight’ and clergy sexual abuse
It was just too painful to see it alone, so Bill Crane asked his wife, Jane, to go with him to see the film, ‘Spotlight.’ Monsignor Kenneth Lasch said he knew seeing the film would trigger many difficult memories so he also needed someone to help him get through it. And Richard Sipe said he cried at the point in the movie when the Boston Globe’s editor, Marty Baron, tells his staff that he wants to expose the system, and not just individuals, that allowed priests to go unpunished while they sexually abused young boys.” By Phil Garber, Observer-Tribune

Brother who taught at Catholic high school allegedly had child porn
“A brother who taught at St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen surrendered Thursday (Feb. 18) morning on charges he possessed and viewed child pornography on his computer. John B. Spalding, 74, surrendered to Superior Court Judge Alberto Rivas in New Brunswick on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and possession and viewing of pornographic material, primarily child pornography.” By Sue Epstein, New Jersey Advance Media


Former priest sentenced for child exploitation charges
“Authorities announced on Wednesday (Feb. 17) a former priest was sentenced for child sexual abuse and exploitation. Mark Haynes, 56, of West Chester, Pa., was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Authorities say Haynes, a former parochial Vicar at Saint Simon and Jude’s Church in West Chester, pleaded guilty on June 8, 2015 to using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual conduct, transfer of obscene material to a minor, distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and destruction or concealment of evidence. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick ordered 10 years of supervised release, a fine of $15,000, and a $700 special assessment.” By FOX29-TV
Philadelphia-area priest gets 20 years for child porn charges, By Metro.us
Predator priest sentenced to 20 years in prison, By Jeremy Roebuck, Philadelphia Inquirer


The statute of limitations for child sexual abuse victims in civil court could extend
“A change in the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse victims to file a civil suit against a suspect in a Tennessee courtroom is on the horizon. State Representative Dr. Bryan Terry of Murfreesboro commented. The bill as proposed by Representative Daren Jernigan, extends the statute of limitations for civil actions against the accused child rapist or person who committed sexual crimes against a child.” By WGNS-AM/FM


Melbourne Catholic archbishop accused of ignoring parents’ concerns
“A committee of concerned parents is seeking legal advice over Father John Walshe’s involvement at two Catholic primary schools in Melbourne after the ABC revealed he was the subject of a historical sexual abuse claim.” By Sarah Farnsworth and Danny Morgan, ABC News Australia

Former Catholic priest Robert Flaherty jailed over 1970s child abuse
“A former Catholic priest has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for child assault offences in New South Wales dating back to the 1970s.Robert Flaherty, 72, assaulted three boys in their early teens in Sydney and at Mollymook, on the state’s south coast, during the 1970s and 1980s, but was only arrested in 2013.” By Stephanie Dalzell, ABC News Australia

Hundreds of child sex abuse complaints made against Christian Brothers, royal commission hears
“In Australia, 853 people have made a claim or substantiated complaint of child sexual abuse against one or more Christian Brothers, with 75% of victims under the age of 13 at the time, a royal commission has heard. The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has turned its attention to the Christian Brothers as the third round of its hearings into the diocese of Ballarat began on Monday (Feb. 22). A religious community within the Catholic church, the Christian Brothers primarily worked in educational facilities for children.” By Melissa Davey, The Guardian

Never again will the Catholic Church be part of my life
“I was brought up a strict Catholic. I attended a Catholic convent school for 13 years and was taught by nuns … But now, as a woman, I can no longer go inside a Catholic Church. The reports of abuse and cover-up have made the religion hollow to me.” By Elise Elliott, Herald Sun

Australian abuse victims crowd-fund trip to Rome for Vatican treasurer testimony
Australian victims of child sex abuse have raised over $85,000 through crowd funding to travel to Rome to watch the Vatican’s Australian-born finance controller give videolink evidence to a local inquiry. Catholic Cardinal George Pell, a man once seen as a contender to become pope, had been scheduled to testify at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in the Australian city of Ballarat. But earlier this month (February) he was excused from attending in person after his lawyers cited health concerns, angering victims.” By Reuters on EuroNews.com
Vatican finance boss George Pell taunted over ‘cowardice,’ By BBC News
Francis Sullivan on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, By Michelle Grattan, TheConversation.com
Cardinal Pell requests inquiry into who leaked allegations, By CathNews.com


Pedophilia cold case burns French Roman Catholic Church
The alleged victims of a pedophile priest came out of the woods, and are demanding accountability to the highest authorities of the Catholic Church in France. Preys to alleged sexual abuse by Father Bernard Preynat, in a period from 1970 to 1991, a group of former Scouts decided to press charges against the priest, who was put on probation in January. They says dozens more could have been abused, and blame the ‘Diocese of Lyon’ for knowingly keeping Father Preynat in office, and in contact with children until August 2015.” By EuroNews.com
French cardinal under fire for dealings with priest charged with abuse, By Catholic News Service in National Catholic Reporter


Retired priest arrested on child sex claims
“A retired catholic priest has been arrested in connection with a string of historic child sex abuse allegations. Father Paul Moore, a former parish priest in Ayrshire, is now facing possible charges of ‘lewd and libidinous behavior’ towards children, according to police.” By Victoria Weldon, The Herald Scotland


No Spotlight in India: Sex abuse in Catholic Church a blind spot
“For Roman Catholics, February has not been a good month to be Christian. Pictures of one of its latest saints, the much-revered Pope John Paul II, surfaced, showing the late pope in the company of a married woman; one photograph is of them skiing. An exchange of letters also came to light that suggested a relationship of ‘more-than-friends-and-less-than-lovers’. March, the month that did Macbeth in, seems to be no better. The 2016 Oscars, in which the journalism drama Spotlight won Best Picture , brought focus back on sex abuse by priests, a reality that intermittently stalks the Catholic Church and undermines the institution – mainly for its culture of cover-up. ‘ By Paramita Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi


Philippines clergy sex abuse protocol ‘ahead of its time’
“The Catholic Church in the Philippines is ahead of its time in addressing cases of clergy sex abuse, according to a Filipino bishop. “We drafted our protocol in handling cases of clergy sexual misconduct years back,” said Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos. The prelate made the statement when asked about his reaction to the movie ‘Spotlight,’ which won best original screenplay and best picture at the Academy Awards in the United States on Feb. 28.” By Mark Saludes UCANews.com