Voice of the Faithful Focus, May 13, 2016

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


Church laws may justify calls for French cardinal’s resignation
“The solution to this problem (of not reporting clergy sexual abuse) is for Pope Francis to agree to the demands of two United Nations Committees and the wishes of the Catholic Bishops Conferences of the United States, England and Wales, Ireland and Australia to impose mandatory reporting under canon law irrespective of whether there are civil reporting laws.” By Kieran Tapsell, National Catholic Reporter

Francis rails against child sexual abuse, saying abusers must be ‘severely’ punished
Pope Francis railed against the sexual abuse of children in a weekly address in St. Peter’s Square Sunday, calling any such abuse a ‘tragedy’ and saying the church cannot tolerate the matter and ‘must severely punish the abusers.’” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

End the statute of limitations on child sex abuse
“At 53, Scott Cross had waited more than three decades to talk to anyone about the incident in which, he said, his high school wrestling coach sexually molested him. By the time he shared his story — with family, prosecutors and then to a packed courtroom — his alleged sexual abuser, Dennis Hastert, had escaped prosecution.” Editorial by Chicago Tribune
Kane state’s attorney backs removal of limit on felony sex crime prosecution, By Dan Campana, Aurora Beacon-News
Why do statutes of limitations exist in the first place, By WBEZ-FM Chicago

Catholic Church lifts suspension of priest who sexually abused Minnesota girl
“The Catholic Church has lifted its suspension of Father Joseph Jeyapaul, a priest convicted last year of sexually abusing a child in Minnesota. Jeyapaul is back at his home diocese in Ootacamund, India, but he is banned from ministering in parishes and interacting with children, according to church officials.” By Adrian Glass-Moore, Inforum.com

Hell, hope and healing: a four-part series
“Since 2002, we rightly have been bombarded by stories about sexual abuse in the Catholic church. Many Catholics have felt the church has been singled out as a particularly heinous committer of crimes. There is truth to this, but it is also important to contextualize clergy abuse as a part of the wider phenomenon of serious child maltreatment that is still much too prevalent in this country and in others.” By Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea, National Catholic Reporter

Altoona-Johnstown abuse changed minds
“Rep. Thomas Caltagirone was disgusted. The veteran Democrat from Reading had been one of the Catholic Church’s staunchest political allies for years, but by March he had hit a breaking point … ‘Enough is enough,’ Caltagirone told his colleagues the day (Attorney General Kathleen) Kane announced charges (against Franciscan order allegedly enabling abuse of scores of children). ‘We need to enact new laws that will send the strongest message possible: If you commit heinous crimes against children, if you cover up for pedophiles, if you lurk in the shadows waiting for time to run out, we are coming for you.’” By Maria Panaritis, Philly.com


Baltimore archdiocese posts list of accused priests
“The Archdiocese of Baltimore has posted a list of dozens of priests and religious brothers accused of sexual abuse in a move church officials say came from listening to feedback from abuse survivors. All of the names had previously been disclosed by the church, in most cases years ago. But activists say having them in one place can help encourage victims to come forward — and help expose the scope of abuse.” By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun


“‘In Milestones, a memoir of his life before John Paul called him to Rome, Joseph Ratzinger writes about his ordination to the priesthood. His Bavarian village was given over to days of feasting and festivities in gratitude that a young man from among them had been made a priest. It was a heady experience for that young man, says Ratzinger, and he remembers whispering to himself again and again, ‘This is not for you, Joseph, this is not for you. This festivity, this honor, is not a tribute to him but a popular outburst of devotion to Christ and the ministry of his Church. Whatever else may be meant by clericalism, it has its roots in the demonic twist by which the priest or bishop whispers to himself, ‘This is for me.’” By David Timbs, OhMyGodJournal.org


San Diego’s Bishop McElroy announces diocesan synod on marriage
“Acting on Pope Francis’ wish for a more ‘synodal’ church at all levels and keying on four major themes of the pope’s recent exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy announced May 11 that he will convene a diocesan synod in October focused on marriage and family life. McElroy’s approach leans heavily on the attitudes expressed in Amoris Laetitia, or ‘The Joy of Love,’ in which the highest ideals of the Catholic view of marriage are tempered with the realities of contemporary life and the everyday challenges faced by married couples. McElroy’s pastoral message, in that regard, acknowledges some of the most daunting challenges facing the church in relating to millennials and incorporating them into the life of the church.” By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter

Cardinal says ‘unauthorized people’ in Rome veto bishop picks
“A German cardinal said names of candidates submitted to the Vatican as potential bishops are being vetoed by ‘unauthorized people’ in Rome. ‘In the name of the law, these unlawful outside influences must be set aside and a proper voice given to those who’ll be living with the chosen candidate,’ said Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, who was president of the German bishops’ conference from 1987 to 2008.” By Catholic News Service on Cruxnow.com

Pope Francis confirms Cardinal Pell beyond his 75th birthday
“Despite speculation that Cardinal George Pell might step down shortly after his 75th birthday on June 8, Pell’s office said Thursday (Apr. 28) that Pope Francis has confirmed the Australian prelate as the Vatican’s top financial official until at least 2019.” By Cruxnow.com Staff


German intellectual says Francis contradicts Church teaching
“Robert Spaemann, arguably the foremost Catholic philosopher in Germany today, an admirer of St. John Paul II and a friend of Pope Benedict XVI, who turns 89 on Thursday (May 5), (said) in a recent interview with the Catholic News Agency there are aspects of Pope Francis’ recent document on the family, Amoris Laetitia, which create consequences that ‘cannot be made compatible with the teaching of the Church’ and that ‘directly contradict’ the teaching of Pope John Paul II.” By Anian Christoph Wimmer, Catholic News Agency, on Cruxnow.com

“Amoris Laetitia”: a need for clarification in order to avoid a general confusion
“The recently published Apostolic Exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ which contains a plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage and the Christian family in our times, has unfortunately, within a very short time, led to very contradictory interpretations even among the episcopate.” By Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Archdiocese of St. Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan


Two steps back
“Tony Spence, editor-in-chief of Catholic News Service (CNS) for more than a decade, abruptly resigned last month at the request of an official at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The reason? Spence had posted tweets about legislation to protect religious liberty passed in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Tennessee, which would deny legal protections to LGBT people. ‘Stupid evidently contagious,’ Spence wrote in one tweet that linked to a Reuters article about a Tennessee law allowing mental health counselors to refuse treatment to patients on religious grounds.” By John Gehring, Commonweal

Shameful silence needs to end in order to pull Catholic Church out of crisis
“Mohandas Ghandi said, ‘Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as cooperation with good.’ To Catholics of conscience: There is a crisis of honor in our Church. It is caused by the scandal of silence among us. For years we have witnessed a hideous, pervasive reality — the continuing criminal sexual assault of children by our clergy and its subsequent cover-up by Catholic leadership. This has occurred in every diocese in this country — indeed, the world.” By Finger Lake Times Letters to the Editor

The illusion of justice for sexual abuse victims
“After decades of representing victims of sexual abuse, I was convinced that Jerry Sandusky’s arrest at Penn State in 2011 would put to rest the belief that child molesters are slovenly, leering guys wearing dirty raincoats and lurking outside playgrounds. But when word leaked last year that former Republican House speaker J. Dennis Hastert had paid hush money to a high school student he had allegedly sexually abused decades earlier, while he was a high school wrestling coach, the reaction by many in his home town of Yorkville, Ill., in Congress and elsewhere proved that the myth was alive and well. Not Denny Hastert, the beloved coach. Impossible!” By Paul Mones, The Washington Post

Appeal by ‘silenced’ priests fails to elicit Vatican response
“An appeal by dissident theologians for ‘accountability and transparency’ within the Catholic Church’s powerful Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has yet to receive a response from the Vatican authorities. Vatican senior spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said he had not read the document, adding that it was very unlikely that there would be any public response from the CDF. Other Holy See insiders suggested that there was nothing new in the dissidents’ critique, adding that it looked like similar criticism ‘voiced 10, 20 or 30 years ago.’” By Paddy Agnew, The Irish Times


The pontificate might be stuck in the mud
“A Christian is not supposed to give up hope. She is not to despair. But after three very uplifting and incredible years under the prophetic leadership and compelling personal witness of Pope Francis, many reform-minded Catholics have again become quite worried about the future direction of their church. It is not that their honeymoon with the first New World pope is over. But there are growing concerns that, despite being able to effect a seismic change in attitude and ethos throughout the worldwide Catholic family, Francis has done nothing to ensure that this will not all be tossed aside once he is gone.” By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis marks a comeback for “old-time curialists”
“Contrary to popular mythology, the Vatican is hardly a sprawling bureaucracy comparable to, say, the roughly three million people who work for the federal government in the United States … In such a small world, personnel is always policy: Choices about who gets the most important jobs inevitably drive how decisions are made. Pope Francis has been running the show for three years now, and at first blush, it’s tempting to say that almost nothing has changed on the personnel front.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com


UISG speaker: Women religious should move to the margins, work for structural change
“An Indian social worker who was the first Asian to lead the global Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame called on the heads of the world’s communities of Catholic women religious to stop ‘theologizing’ about the needs of the poor and to instead get to work in the places most in need. Sr. Mary Sujita told about 900 women religious representing nearly 500,000 sisters globally at the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) meeting May 10 that they can no longer ‘reduce [their] mission to some traditional ministries and good charitable deeds’ but must work for deep, structural changes around the world.” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter


Pope’s inaction on women speaks louder than words
“Despite his strong words, Pope Francis has done little to show that he believes the contribution of women is essential in the Church, writes Robert Mickens in Global Pulse. Pope Francis has done it again. He’s spoken out forcefully in defense of women, saying they deserve more respect all over the world.” By CathNews.com

The case for female deacons in the Catholic Church
“The Catholic Church in Canada is no different from other churches in the developed West: It is declining … Something has to give. The shortage of priests is felt most keenly away from the cities. Some argue for married priests, but Rome has not given the green light, at least for Roman Catholics. Others argue for female priests, but that door was barred shut two decades ago. How about more deacons? Specifically, how about female deacons?” By Phyllis Zagano, The Globe and Mail

Trusted papal aide says woman could be Vatican’s ‘Prime Minister’
“Probably the most trusted adviser to Pope Francis, and a man who holds the position traditionally considered the Vatican’s ‘Prime Minister,’ said Tuesday( May 3) that in his view there’s no reason a woman one day couldn’t have his job.” By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com

New Vatican magazine criticizes Church for ‘ignoring role of women’
The Church has ignored the female contribution to Catholic culture in recent years, according to an editorial in a new women’s magazine published by the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper. Lucetta Scaraffia, the co-ordinator of Women-Church-World, the new monthly magazine published by L’Osservatore Romano, said that a “hidden revolution” had taken place during the last century with women making an increasingly important contribution to the intellectual life of Catholicism.” By Christopher Lamb, The Tablet

Women want to be deacons, want clergy to speak up about it
“I’ll admit it took me awhile to warm up to the idea of a female diaconate. This is because 23 years ago, I was among the first in my home diocese to become a lay ecclesial minister. I feel strongly about the immense gift this ministry is to our parishes. Lay ecclesial ministers, and particularly female lay ministers are the too-often-invisible glue holding parishes together.” By Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter


Bookkeeper denies theft as U.S. church struggles with money controls
“A bookkeeper has pleaded not guilty to charges that she stole nearly $200,000 from a Catholic church and school in Albert Lea, marking the latest incident suggesting to some observers a problem with lax financial controls in American Catholicism. Thirty-seven-year-old Ryan Mae McFarland of Austin entered her plea Thursday (Apr. 28) in Freeborn County District Court.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com

Vatican financial watchdog registers three-fold increase in suspicious activity in 2015
“The Vatican’s financial watchdog agency registered a three-fold increase in suspicious transactions undertaken in the city state’s financial institutions in 2015, marking 544 activities as questionable and freezing or halting movement of a total of some $2.4 million and 15.3 million Euros. The Financial Information Authority, or AIF, says it also made 17 reports to the Vatican’s Office of the Promoter of Justice, for possible review of crimes such as fraud, tax avoidance, tax evasion, and ‘more serious financial crimes … such as market disruption in foreign states.’” By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter


Area Catholics to explore solutions to shrinking parishes
Mid-Michigan Voice of the Faithful, an area group of concerned Catholics, is conducting its first of two educational programs this year for all Catholics and interested persons in the community. The program topic offered is in response to October surveys showing that the Saginaw Diocese has lost over 10,000 Catholics in the last five years. VOTF members believe this trend is unsustainable and the answers to this continuing challenge lie within those who have spirit-filled faith and focus to kindle positive change.” By Midland Daily News


Abuse scandals multiply in pope’s backyard of Latin America
“When the Catholic Church in the United States, Australia, and Ireland was hit by sexual abuse scandals during the first decade of the new millennium, many in the global south looked on with dismay, describing it as ‘an Anglo-Saxon obsession’ and a media-driven campaign to discredit the Church. Today, it’s far more difficult to deny the widespread scope of the problem, which affects not only the Church but society: According to the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S., approximately 1 in 6 American boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18.” By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com

Report says order covered for priest who molested 100 girls
“A religious order covered up the sexual crimes of an Irish priest who abused more than 100 children, some as young as 6, according to a new report. The failures of the Salvatorian order to act on the crimes of a priest named ‘Father A’ were outlined in a report released Wednesday (May 4) by Ireland’s National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church. During a career spanning more than 50 years, the priest sought out girls between the ages of 6 and 9 and abused them while visiting their family homes.” By Rosie Scammell, Religion News Service, on Cruxnow.com

Former Twin Cities prelate accused of ignoring family member’s abuse
“Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis, who resigned in June 2015 amid controversy over his handling of sexual abuse allegations, now has been accused of failing to act when a member of his own extended family was molested by a fellow priest. The charge comes in a May 4 report from a local television station in the Twin Cities, Fox9, and is based on an interview with the alleged victim, Mike Hinske, whose mother is a former Dominican nun and Nienstedt’s cousin.” By Cruxnow.com Staff

Markey, others, launch two-day push on child victims act
“Encouraged by a recent series in the NY Daily News and support of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey on Tuesday (May 3) renewed her decade-long push to remove New York’s statute of limitations for punishing those who sexually abuse children. ‘This is the year to change that deplorable legislation,’ Markey said, referring to the state’s current statute which requires victims to come forward by age 23.” By Rick Karlin, Times Union

Deadlines for child sex abuse cases only abet predators
“For the third time in four years, our lawmakers will soon be required to pick a side: They can continue to give legal protection to child predators and their enablers against civil suits, or they can try to bring some comfort to sex abuse victims whose lives are forever shattered. Some New Jersey legislators actually call this a dilemma, but we call it a conscience-cleansing, soul-searching no-brainer – you go to your church, we’ll go to ours – and it should be illuminating to learn how many make this choice with the care and compassion it demands.” Editorial by Star-Ledger

Three Franciscan friars ordered to stand trial in sex abuse case
Three Franciscan friars must stand trial on charges linked to their role in supervising a religious brother accused of molesting more than 100 children, nearly all of them at one Pennsylvania high school, a judge ruled Wednesday (Apr. 27). The Revs. Giles Schinelli, Robert D’Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli are charged with child endangerment and conspiracy. Their preliminary hearing concluded Wednesday with testimony from two FBI agents who organized a chart of Brother Stephen Baker’s alleged victims.” By Joe Mandak, Associated Press


Peterson: Spotlight still shining on clergy molestation
“They stood quiet as church mice outside Oakland’s Cathedral of Christ the Light. They spoke only to those passers-by who engaged them. Their presence was their message, and the message is that molestation of children by clergy didn’t disappear with the final credits of ‘Spotlight.’ In the past two months, lawsuits filed against the Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon, and Austin, Texas, have accused two priests who once worked at Catholic institutions in the Bay Area — the Rev. Emmerich Vogt and the Rev. Milton Eggerling — of sexual abuse.” By Gary Peterson, The Mercury News


Investigation of school priest finds no crime, police say
“Sandy Springs police announced Monday (May 9) their investigation involving a Catholic school priest and a juvenile is over and no laws were broken. The investigation began a week ago, but the school, Holy Spirit Preparatory School, and police released little information about the case, not even what was being investigated.” By Eric Stirgus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Abuse suits flood Hawaii courts at time-bar window closes
Victims of childhood sexual abuse filed a spate of last-minute civil suits in Hawaii state court last week, ahead of the Legislature’s latest deadline to reenact the statute of limitations for sex-abuse cases. In all, some 150 people have filed complaints in the four years since the Aloha State suspended the statute of limitations on noncriminal proceedings against sex offenders.” By Nicholas Fillmore, Courthouse News Service


Priest removed for sex abuse works with teens at pregnancy center
“A Catholic priest removed from churches in metro Detroit after he was accused of sexually abusing a teenager is now the development director of a new Catholic center in Eastpointe that counsels pregnant teenagers, prompting calls for him to step down. By Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press

‘The sadness we feel for the victims … is crippling,’ Lumen Christi responds to former priest’s actions
“Lumen Christi Catholic School is taking the name of one of its long-serving priests off a society that recognizes school donors. The decision to remove the Rev. Joseph Coyle’s name from the Father Coyle Society is being done out of respect for victims who gave testimonials in the recent sentencing of James Rapp, a former priest convicted of criminal sexual conduct, Lumen Christi President Elaine Crosby said. ‘We do not feel that it is appropriate to keep his name associated with something when he was in some way complicit in this situation,’ Crosby said.” By Leanne Smith, MLive.com

Ex-priest gets 20-40 years in prison for sexual assault
“A former Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for sexual abuse connected to his work at a Michigan high school in the 1980s. At age 75, James Rapp likely will die in prison. He’s been in prison for similar crimes in Oklahoma, one of many stops as a priest.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com


Suit names former prep school teacher
“A former student at St. John’s Prep has sued the school, St. John’s Abbey, the Order of St. Benedict and the Rev. Michael Bik, accusing Bik of sexually abusing him in 1998. The lawsuit filed Monday (May 9) alleges negligence in Prep School leaders allowing Bik to teach at the school 28 years after Bik abused two boys while he was a lay teacher at an Anoka school.” By David Unze, St. Cloud Times

In Minnesota, 100s take opportunity to sue over sex abuse
“It’s been nearly three years since Minnesota opened a path for lawsuits by victims of long-ago childhood sexual abuse. In that time, more than 800 people have brought abuse claims against churches, the Boy Scouts, schools and a children’s theater company. Previously unknown offenders have been exposed. Two Roman Catholic dioceses have filed bankruptcy. Lists of credibly accused priests and thousands of documents have been released. And the heightened scrutiny played a part in the downfall of two bishops.” By Steve Karnowski, Associated Press, on WTOP.com

Clay County priest accused of sexually abusing teen on Red Lake Reservation
“A local priest is under investigation for sexual misconduct of a minor allegations. The Crookston Diocese was notified Friday afternoon regarding the accusations against Father Pat Sullivan. The attorney for the victim, who was 15 at the time – says the alleged acts happened in 2008 at St. Mary’s Mission in Red Lake.” By WDAY-TV


Abuse victims will vote on settlement
Victims of sexual abuse by clergy in the Diocese of Gallup soon will receive ballots that will allow them to approve or reject a proposed $24 million reorganization plan in a 30-month-old Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma on Tuesday approved a 68-page “disclosure statement” that sets out terms of the proposed reorganization plan, clearing the way for claimants to vote on the plan.” By Olivier Uyttebrouck, Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico launches anti-child abuse campaign, website
“A state agency tasked with protecting New Mexico children is launching a campaign Monday (May 9) with a new website and meetings around the state aimed at getting more parents involved in fighting child abuse.” By Russell Contreras, Associated Press, in Las Cruces Sun-News


Critics blast New York as a ‘national shame’ for failing to change statute of limitations laws in child sex abuse cases
New York is ‘a national shame’ when it comes to getting justice for victims of child sex abuse, say people who helped change the antiquated law in other states. The Empire State lags behind states like Georgia, Massachusetts, Florida and Utah, all of which in the past several years have passed bills that lengthened the time victims have to bring their cases to court.” By Laura Bult, New York Daily News
Lawmakers hope film will draw attention to child victims act, By Michael Pugliese, The Legislative Gazette
Sex abuse victims, lawmakers push for right to sue molesters, By Michael Virtanen, Associated Press, on Cruxnow.com
Senate majority leader John Flanagan doesn’t give his stance on N.Y. kid-rape law, but says different proposals being reviewed, By Glen Blain and Stephen Rex brown, New York Daily News


Priest leaves Oklahoma archdiocese amid new information
“A priest who in 2012 pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge involving a young woman has been removed from his role as pastor of several Catholic churches in Oklahoma. Tuesday (Apr. 26), in a prepared statement, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, said the Rev. Jose Alexis Davila was removed from his pastoral work in the archdiocese after more investigation was conducted into the priest’s past.” By Carla Hinton, NewsOK.com


Newall: a long overdue quest for healing and justice
“There is a bill before the state Senate that would do something real – something lasting – for survivors of sexual abuse. Something that would allow so many the opportunity for justice they have long been denied. Something that could help them heal – that could help them ease and carry their burdens.” By Mike Newall, Philadelphia Inquirer

Altoona-Johnstown diocese posts names of clerics accused of child sexual abuse
“The names of 27 priests and one deacon, who had credible allegations of child sexual abuse made against them, were posted at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown’s website on Tuesday (May 3). It also includes the status of every individual. Bishop Mark Bartchak pledged to compile the list immediately after the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General issued a grand jury report in March, accusing the diocese of carrying out a decades-long coverup to shield predatory clerics.” By Dave Sutor, The Tribune-Democrat


Ex-priest with Utah ties gets 20-40 years in prison for Michigan sexual assault
“Victims confronted a former Roman Catholic priest in court Friday (Apr. 29) as the man — who once worked in Utah — was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for sexually abusing students at a Michigan high school in the 1980s. A judge heard more than two hours of testimony from six men who described in detail how James Rapp molested them. Rapp coerced students into having sexual contact while working as a teacher and wrestling coach at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson.” By Associated Press and The Salt Lake Tribune Staff


‘Pushing the boundaries’: Church loses track of abusive priests
“The Catholic Church is allowing pedophile priests to live anonymously in the community with limited supervision and has ignored warnings about their misconduct. The Sunday Age can also reveal one of Victoria’s top Catholic officials, Bishop Les Tomlinson, has conducted mass alongside a priest banned from public ministry for committing acts of sexual abuse.” By Chris Vedelago, Beau Donnelly, and Cameron Houston, The Sunday Age, Victoria

Child sex abuse victims outraged over Catholic Church plans to hold memorial mass for disgraced Bishop Ronald Mulkearans
“The Catholic Church will hold a memorial mass for disgraced bishop Ronald Mulkearns in a move that has angered victims of child sexual abuse. After giving him a pauper’s funeral last month the church will now pay respects to the man who facilitated the abuse of hundreds of innocent children while Bishop of Ballarat.” By Shannon Deery, Herald Sun

Catholic Church focus of abuse inquiry
“The Catholic Church has produced some of Australia’s worst pedophiles, and the child sex abuse royal commission wants to know why. The commission’s numerous investigations into child abuse in a number of Catholic institutions throughout Australia will culminate in a final hearing into the Catholic Church in February, 2017. The commission is seeking submissions about any factors that may have contributed to child sex abuse in Catholic institutions or affected the church’s response. The structure and governance of the Catholic Church and the Vatican’s role are among the issues that will be examined, along with what the church has done and plans to do to protect children and prevent abuse.” By Megan Neil, Australian Associated Press on News.com.au

Pedophile ex-priest victims turn to church
“Victims of a former NSW Catholic priest and prolific child sex offender are set to seek compensation from the church after he was sentenced to 29 years behind bars. John Joseph Farrell, 62, preyed on three girls and nine boys over a nearly decade-long reign of abuse at Moree and Tamworth in NSW’s north.” By Sophie Tarr, Australian Associated Press, on au.news.yahoo.com

‘Clear evidence’ of Catholic Church cover-up over Father ‘F’
“The former director of the NSW Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) says there is ‘clear evidence’ the Catholic Church covered up the crimes of a paedophile priest. John Joseph Farrell, formerly Father “F” under a decades-old suppression order, was sentenced to a minimum 18 years’ jail after being found guilty of 62 counts of child sex abuse in Armidale in the 1980s.” By ABC News Australia

Australian pedophile priest pleads guilty to child sex offences
“A notorious paedophile priest in Australia has pleaded guilty to historical child sex offences on the eve of his trial. On Wednesday (Apr. 27), Vincent Gerard Ryan, 78, pleaded guilty to attempted homosexual intercourse with a male aged between 10 and 18, indecent assault on a male and gross indecency with a male under 18.” By Louise Hall, Stuff.co.nz

Education staff dispute cardinal’s evidence on paedophile priest
(Apr. 28, 2016) “Senior staff from the Catholic Education Office in Victoria have strongly rejected Cardinal George Pell’s evidence that he was not made fully aware of Fr. Peter Searson’s paedophile behavior while parish priest of Doveton in Melbourne in the 1980s.” By CathNews.com


Devout Catholic catalogues clergy’s crimes, offers victims comfort
“Mike Fitzgerald is a 60-year-old truck driver who grew up on a farm near Bancroft, Ont. It’s with some trepidation that I ask him if we can meet at the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, a grand Catholic church located in Ottawa’s ByWard Market. He readily agrees, but when I meet him and his wife Marla on the steps of the cathedral he admits to feeling uncomfortable. ‘The good father destroyed my faith in the Catholic Church forever,’ he explains. By Simon Gardner, CBC News, Ottawa

Indigenous affairs minister says it’s up to Catholic Church to put things right
“Canada’s Indigenous Affairs Minister says she believes Catholics across Canada are ashamed to learn their church negotiated its way out of an obligation to try to raise millions of dollars to help former students of church-run Indian residential schools recover from the abuses they suffered. Carolyn Bennett said Sunday (May 1) it is now up to Catholics to put things right.” By Gloria Galloway, The Globe and Mail


French cardinal admits errors on abuse, meets with archdiocesan priests
“A French cardinal under judicial investigation over his handling of sexual abuse accusations against clergy admitted making mistakes and unveiled new anti-abuse measures at a meeting with local priests. ‘The cardinal has accepted the archdiocese committed errors in managing and nominating certain priests and has reiterated how important it is for victims of sexual abuse by clergy to see their right to truth and justice recognized,’ the Lyon archdiocese said.” By Catholic News Service on Cruxnow.com

Two more pedophile cases hit French Catholic church
“A priest in the French Basque country was accused of sexually assaulting a teenager on Wednesday (Apr. 27) and a former monk was to appear in court on Friday (Apr. 29) in ongoing revelations of pedophilia in the French Catholic church. Lyon Archbishop Philippe Barbarin is currently under investigation for allegations that he covered up cases of sexual assault on minors in his diocese.” By RFI.fr


Ad calls on sex crime victims to step forward and speak out
“It’s the latest of accusations against the Archdiocese of Agana. An advertisement published over the weekend suggests there’s victims of sex crimes who have kept quiet because their alleged molester is the head of the island’s Catholic church. Like the popular church hymn says, be not afraid. ‘The only way to stop this is to come out and come forward,’ said Tim Rohr, a blogger and concerned resident. Big and bold, a full-page ad in a print publication over the weekend suggests there’s been sex crimes occurring in the local church community for over four decades and calls on alleged victims to speak out.” By Krystal Paco, KUAM News


10 convictions from abuse allegations against 90 priests, says watchdog
“The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church has said there have been 10 criminal convictions from 288 allegations against 90 priests. The allegations relate to the period between 1950 and 2002, with one additional incident in 2013. The board said in two orders – Salvatorians and the Blessed Sacrament Fathers – they have seen little evidence that new standards have been properly implemented.” By BreakingNews.ie
Report says Irish order covered for priest who molested girls, CathNews.com

Pedophile priest still had access to children for two years after abuse allegations
“A paedophile priest who admitted abusing more than 100 children was allowed unfettered access to youngsters for more than two years after allegations were first made against him. The filthy cleric, who served in Ireland, England, Australia and Rome, abused children up until at least 2004 despite his seniors being warned about him in 2002, the Catholic Church’s own watchdog has found.” By Brian Hutton, The Irish Mirror

Final set of safeguarding reports released
“The final tranche of reports from the national safeguarding board has been released, in advance of the introduction of new guidelines to aid Church bodies in safeguarding practice and procedures … ‘The vast majority of these reports are positive and reflect orders that have taken on the goals of child safeguarding and made it integral to what they do,’ said board CEO Teresa Devlin. ‘Unfortunately, in two cases, the Salvatorians and the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, we have seen little evidence that the standards have been properly implemented,’ she added, continuing, ‘The Salvatorians were particularly poor in relation to the monitoring of an accused priest. And in a number of cases poor record-keeping took place.’” By Greg Daly, The Irish Catholic
Salvatorians apologize for failing to protect Irish children from abusive priest, By Catholic World Report

Danger of Church colluding in false abuse impression
“The watchdog set up to monitor the Church’s adherence to stringent child protection rules has published a new set of ‘standards.’ Amongst other things, the document aims to redress a perception that a priest who is accused of abuse is treated unfairly. These concerns have been particularly evident when a priest has been stood aside, forced to leave his home and months, or even years later, is found to have no case to answer.” By Michael Kelly


Catholic church abuse victims pressured not to demand parliamentary inquiry
“The chairman of the Catholic church committee set up to investigate sexual abuse claims pressured victims not to call for a parliamentary inquiry, according to radio current affairs show Argos at the weekend. Former Christian Democratic party chairman Wim Deetman headed the commission set up by the church in 2010 after the sexual abuse scandal broke in the Netherlands.” By DutchNews.nl


Catholic priest found guilty of rape
“She went to him for help, counseling and support, but instead the chaplain at a Catholic girl’s school raped the vulnerable young teenage girl. He raped her with his “wretched Leonard Cohen” album playing in the background and his priestly robes hanging in the presbytery room. Ten years later he raped her in a Women’s Refuge safe house as her children slept next to her.” By Jimmy Ellingham, The New Zealand Herald