Voice of the Faithful, July 15, 2016

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


Pope calls bishops’ negligence a crime: this is important
“When it comes to holding bishops and religious superiors responsible for the cover up of clergy sex abuse, Pope Francis’ June 4 apostolic letter on ecclesial accountability is not only a distinct improvement over the proposal made a year ago to establish a tribunal to hold bishops accountable, it is possibly the most positive and hopeful signal to come out of the Vatican to date.” By Thomas P. Doyle, National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis appoints Archbishop Cupich to Congregation for Bishops
“In yet one more sign of his growing confidence in the archbishop of Chicago, Pope Francis appointed Blasé Cupich to the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, the office that proposes candidates for the episcopacy. The announcement, made July 7, means the congregation retains two Americans. The other is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C. … The turnover of American personnel on the congregation during the past few years is significant for several reasons.” By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter
How Archbishop Cupich’s appointment could shape the U.S. church, By Michael O’Loughlin, America: The National Catholic Review

N.Y. Legislature, Gov. Cuomo abandon child sex abuse victims
In the end, state lawmakers protected the predators. The state Legislature ended the 2016 legislative session about 5 a.m. Saturday (Jun. 18) without acting on legislation to help survivors of child sex abuse. An all-night session to wrap up the legislative year did not lead to a last-minute miracle that victims and advocates were hoping for. ‘The survivors were thrown a tattered raft in this stormy session,’ said Kathryn Robb, an advocate and sexual abuse survivor.” By Kenneth Lovett, New York Daily News
Extending the statute of limitations, By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter
Pennsylvania Senate committee votes to alter controversial child sex-abuse bill, By Maria Panaritis, Philly.com

Sex abuse survivors’ resources for recovery
“When someone decides to embark on healing from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and/or when concerned loved ones of a survivor want to help that person begin to heal, it can be confusing to know how to start. This last article in the series focuses on finding the best healing resources. It is a slice of all the resources available to someone and does not represent either endorsement or rejection of any particular source.” By Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea, National Catholic Reporter

Special forces: Graduates head home armed with skills to fight abuse
“The Catholic Church has launched a new kind of ‘special forces’ in the fight against child abuse. Nineteen men and women from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas became the first graduates awarded special certification in the safeguarding of minors — an initiative begun in Rome in 2016 to help dioceses, bishops’ conferences, religious orders and other church bodies excel in child protection.” By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service


To love and protect
“A year ago this July, as Pope Francis apologized to a group of victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, he said the church must ask for ‘the grace to weep before the execrable acts of abuse which have left life-long scars’ … He also pledged decisive action that would bring this sense of horror, utter violation and sacrilege to the structure of church leadership by issuing policies that would hold bishops and religious superiors accountable. This spring, Pope Francis did just that, with the publication of ‘Like a Loving Mother.’” By Archbishop Blase J. Cupich

AMORIS LAETITIA (The Joy of Love”)

A non-synodal reception for a post-synodal exhortation
“Three months after the publication of Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), the reception is underway, and various commentators already are noting the wide differences in the hermeneutics of the post-synodal exhortation. If we want to identify the two main approaches, we can say that one has a rather constrained view of the text and, especially, of the two synodal gatherings … The other interpretation focuses on the exhortation’s renewed emphasis on conscience as opposed to legalistic approaches to moral theology, and its acknowledgment of the need for theological and pastoral attention to new situations.” By Massimo Faggioli, dotCommonweal

Catholic bishop’s advice for divorced, remarried Catholics: stop having sex
“After more than three years of parish surveys and high profile bishops’ meetings about Catholic family life, this is the final message that one bishop has for people who have divorced and remarried without getting an annulment: If you want to receive Communion again, stop having sex. And more importantly ― if you thought the Pope’s call for an inclusive church means you can be on parish councils or serve as lectors and assistants during Mass, you’re wrong. You can’t.” By Carol Kuruvilla, Huffington Post

‘Amoris Laetitia’ at three months: Communion question still debated
“Three months after the publication of Pope Francis’ exhortation on marriage and family, bishops and bishops’ conferences around the world are studying practical ways to apply it. Some still disagree on what exactly the pope meant … Francis continually insists that the exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (‘The Joy of Love’), is about the importance and beauty of marriage and family life and the church’s obligation to support and strengthen it.” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter

In their shoes
“There is only one mention of empathy in Pope Francis’ recent apostolic exhortation on the family: ‘A mother who watches over her child with tenderness and compassion helps him or her … to grow in self-esteem and, in turn, to develop a capacity for intimacy and empathy’ (No. 175). The idea, however, is found in other passages throughout ‘The Joy of Love.’” By John J. Strynkowski, America: The National Catholic Review


Pope accepts resignation of Brazil’s archbishop of Paraiba
“Catholics in the northeastern Brazilian state of Paraiba woke July 6 to find that Archbishop Aldo di Cillo Pagotto was stepping down after having his resignation accepted by Pope Francis … Some of the priests taken in by Pagotto have been accused of pedophilia. In June, Pope Francis warned that bishops guilty of looking the other way or covering up child abuse by priests within their congregations could be removed from their duties.” By Lise Alves, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter

Censured priest criticizes doctrinal investigation methods
“The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith’s current strategy of censuring priests and religious it believes are out of step with church teaching has been roundly criticized as ‘ridiculous and self-defeating’ by an Irish priest who fell afoul of the Vatican in 2011. Speaking for the first time publicly about his experience, Redemptorist Fr. Gerry Moloney warned that ‘imposing sanctions on people does not make them change their views.’” By Sarah MacDonald, National Catholic Reporter


Lawmakers told it’s unconstitutional to lift limits for abuse lawsuits
“Pennsylvania’s Solicitor General told members of the State Senate on Monday (Jun. 13) that proposals to expand time limits for filing sexual abuse lawsuits would violate the ‘remedies clause’ of the state’s constitution, with some lawmakers saying they’ll vote for it anyway and others expressing doubts.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com
Pennsylvania Catholic church using ‘mafia-like’ tactics to fight sex abuse bill, By Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian

Catholic church leaders fight efforts to open old child sexual assault cases
“There is a growing effort around the country to make it easier to prosecute or bring civil lawsuits against people who sexually abuse children. Many states have already extended or eliminated the statute of limitations for reporting sex crimes against kids.” By Brian Mann, North Country Public Radio


Vatican insists new lay movements are nothing to be afraid of
“The Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog has issued a new document affirming that while some might be hesitant in the face of new lay movements in the Church, they are a ‘great gift’ in ecclesial life. However, at the same time the document stressed that these movements must respect the authority of the Church’s hierarchy, both local and universal. Lay movements ‘are not to be considered optional in the life of the Church,’ but are rather ‘to be considered as gifts of indispensable importance for the life and mission of the Church,’ read document, published June 14.” By Malaysian Herald


Priests’ association celebrates values of Vatican II
“When about three dozen priests from across the United States gathered at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary five years ago, they wanted to affirm their commitment to the values espoused by the Second Vatican Council and to bring their voices together to encourage the church in the United States to do the same.” By Michelle Martin, Catholic New World


Despite Vatican II, my clergy professors weren’t ‘allowed to say that’
“I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola Marymount University between 1981-1985. I often think fondly of the priests and nuns there — with whom I was a doting student, and with a few became friends — but the memories of most of them are bittersweet.” By Amy Morris-Young, National Catholic Reporter

Why the best chance to end the abuse crisis rests with you
“During my youth, I passed through the heavy doors of St. Theresa Parish hundreds of times after Mass. While most of those memories have vanished into an amalgam of childhood impressions, I do recall a specific encounter one Sunday with Fr. George Bredemann … I recall him looking down at us and me feeling uncomfortable. Mostly, I remember his eyes. It was only years later that I learned he was one of the most notorious of the priests who abused children in my home diocese of Phoenix, Arizona. Fr. George was eventually arrested, convicted, and jailed. Justice did not arrive because our bishop, Thomas O’Brien, stood with the survivors; in fact, he wrote a letter to the court asking for leniency in Fr. George’s sentencing. Justice was served because a Catholic parishioner saw what was happening and took action.” By Nicole Sotelo, National Catholic Reporter


Pope Francis nails 3-point shot by naming American spokesman
“On Monday (Jul. 11), Pope Francis had a Steph Curry (of the NBA Golden State Warriors) moment, scoring three points on a single shot by naming Greg Burke to replace Father Federico Lombardi as his chief spokesman and director of the Vatican’s Press Office. Francis also tapped a lay woman, Paloma Garcia Ovejero, previously the Rome and Vatican correspondent for the Spanish broadcaster COPE, to the number two position in the Press Office, instantly making her one of the Vatican’s most visible female officials. A lay woman has never before held the post.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com

The pope’s welcome surprises
“Three years ago, Pope Francis charted a new course in compassion for the Roman Catholic Church when, in response to a question about gay priests, he asked, ‘Who am I to judge?’ This week, ‘I’ became ‘we.’ ‘The question is: If a person who has that condition, who has goodwill, and who looks for God, who are we to judge?’ Francis said in an airplane news conference Sunday (Jul. 3). The pope’s choice to switch from the singular to the plural was promising in itself. But Francis went further. ‘I think the church must not only apologize . . . to a gay person it offended, but we must apologize to the poor, to women who have been exploited, to children forced into labor,’ he said.” By The Washington Post Editorial Board

Pope vows he won’t be slowed down by ‘ultra-conservatives
“Pope Francis has vowed in a new interview that he won’t be slowed down by resistance from ‘ultra-conservatives’ in the Church who ‘say no to everything,’ insisting, ‘I’m going ahead without looking over my shoulder.’ The pontiff also suggested he has no intention of launching a crackdown on the opposition, saying, ‘I don’t cut off heads. That was never my style. I’ve never liked doing that.’” By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com

Pope Francis does it again
“Pope Francis has done it again. As first reported here at NCR by my colleague Josh McElwee, on the plane ride back from Armenia to Rome yesterday, the Holy Father was asked about comments made by Cardinal Reinhard Marx to the effect that the Church should apologize to gay people because it has marginalized them so.” By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter


Parish renewal groups teach lessons from megachurches
“Eleven years ago, I wrote a book titled ‘Holy Land USA: A Catholic Ride Through America’s Evangelical Landscape.’ In it, I suggested that Catholic pastors take a look at what was happening with evangelical megachurches. Inspired by the Willow Creek congregation outside Chicago, evangelicals were tapping into the power of good old-fashioned American business marketing, finding out what people wanted in a church and delivering it to them.” By Peter Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter

Downsizing the Roman Curia is not reform
“With the election of Pope Francis, hopes were raised that the Vatican bureaucracy would finally be reformed. Sadly, that does not appear to be happening, except perhaps in the area of finances. Instead, the offices created after Vatican II are being downsized and reorganized while the older pre-Vatican II congregations and tribunals have been left untouched.” By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter

Parish leadership program turns ideas into actions
“Parish Catalyst wants to help the best Catholic parishes get better. That is the guiding philosophy behind the Los Angeles-based organization, which sponsors management education for pastors and parish teams.” By Peter Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter

Vatican tells bishops and new lay movements to play nice
“After years of occasional tension and misunderstanding between new lay movements in the Catholic Church and the hierarchy, the Vatican on Tuesday (Jun. 14) released a document essentially arguing that both sides in the equation need each other. The institutional Church needs these new impulses in order to keep itself young, the document suggests, while those impulses need the acceptance and support of Church leadership if they want to be around for the long haul.” By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com


Vatican dialogue with U.S. women religious continues, says cardinal
“More than a year after the conclusion of the Vatican’s apostolic visitation of US communities of women religious, the Vatican has begun asking more than a dozen orders to send their superiors to Rome to discuss concerns that surfaced.” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, Catholic Herald
‘Friendly letter’ from Vatican asks another U.S. congregation for clarification, By Dawn Araujo-Hawkins, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter
Vatican contacting about 15 orders of U.S. sisters for ‘serene’ dialogue, By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
Vatican letter asks Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet to Rome for ‘prayerful conversation,’ By Dan Stockman, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter
Sisters of Mercy also being asked to come to Rome for conversation, By Dawn Araujo-Hawkins, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter


First-ever woman a surprise pick as papal PR aide
“Although she’s the first woman ever to hold the job of deputy director of the Vatican Press Office, Spanish journalist Paloma Garcia Ovejero played down that aspect of the move, saying it should matter ‘as much as the fact that I have brown hair, that I’m from Madrid, from Spain, and not too tall.’” By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com

Will the Church get women deacons?
“At last fall’s Synod on the Family, Archbishop Paul-André Durocher of Quebec asked that the ordination of women as deacons be considered. The suggestion didn’t seem to go anywhere. More recently, however, when a gathering of nine hundred heads of women’s religious communities from around the world (the International Union of Superiors General) raised this question again in May, Pope Francis was interested. He said he would call together an official commission to clarify the question of the historical role of women deacons. I was pleasantly surprised.” By Rita Ferrone, Commonweal

The Catholic Church should encourage women leaders
“The fact that my sister couldn’t be an altar server, as my brother and I were, confused me as a child. It was the first of many ways I noticed that she and all the other women I knew were treated differently in church … Powerful lessons about compassion, social justice, and equality in the eyes of God couldn’t hide the proof that, in the eyes of the church, women and girls were relegated to a supporting role.” By Glenn Northern, Commentary in Time

Magdala celebrations heal long-buried misogyny – but will our daughters care
“To say I was thrilled when the Vatican upgraded the celebration of St. Mary of Magdala to a feast on par with those of the other apostles doesn’t nearly begin to cover it … I’m not sure if most of us realize just how big of a deal it is to have the Vatican say St. Mary of Magdala was not a prostitute but an apostle in her own right, and the first to witness Jesus’ Resurrection.” By Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter

Vatican doctrine chief downplays expectations over women deacons
“The head of the Vatican’s doctrine office is suggesting little new will come from a study commissioned by Pope Francis into the role of women deacons, according to Associated Press. Cardinal Gerhard Muller says the Vatican is putting together a list of experts for the study. But he says the focus will be historic in nature, studying the role of women deacons in the early church, and that regardless a comprehensive study was completed in 2002.” By Associated Press in Catholic Herald

Do women have a future in the Catholic Church? Social justice orgs petition bishops this week
“No denomination has suffered as acutely as the Roman Catholic Church from the changes remaking American Christianity, from a rise in unaffiliated individuals (particularly millennials) to an alarming decline in women’s church attendance. Now the decline in millennial women’s attendance and participation in the church has become so acute that progressive Catholic leaders are raising alarm about a ‘lost generation’ of Catholic women—and potentially their children as well—if the church doesn’t radically change the way it relates to women.” By Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches


Vatican’s old guard may have notched a Pyrrhic victory
“On Saturday (Jul. 10), Pope Francis issued an edict restoring several financial powers to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), taking them away from Australian Cardinal George Pell and his Secretariat for the Economy. With power, however, also comes the blame if something goes wrong.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com
Pope Francis recalibrates financial powers inside the Vatican, By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com

Catholic clergy show support for priest convicted of embezzlement
“Catholic clergy and others showed their support today for a priest who faces a resentencing later this month on a conviction of embezzlement involving a Michigan inmate prosecutors say the Rev. Timothy Kane had sex with while the priest was a prison chaplain.” By Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press

Kansas priest may receive diversion in bank fraud case
“Federal court records show that a Catholic priest charged with stealing nearly $151,000 from two small parishes to fund his gambling has negotiated a diversion agreement. The agreement filed Wednesday (Jun. 29) would delay Thomas Leland’s prosecution for 18 months and result in the dismissal of the case if it’s approved and he adheres to its terms.” By Associated Press in The Kansas City Star

Pell says ‘no more pools of darkness’ in Vatican finances
“The financial reforms of the Holy See are ‘irreversible’ and have ensured there are no more ‘pools of darkness in the Vatican,’ the papal treasurer has said. Cardinal George Pell, who is Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, told The Tablet: ‘The Vatican is committed to transparency, international cooperation and the use of contemporary international standards in financial reporting.’” By Christopher Lamb, The Tablet

Priest jailed for 10 months after gambling away nearly £100,000 in parish funds
“A Catholic priest has been jailed for 10 months after pleading guilty to embezzling almost £100,000 from church funds. Father Graeme Bell was convicted of stealing from this Ayrshire parish between March and May 2015 after admitting to an online gambling problem.’ By Gerry Braiden, Glasgow Evening Times


Deep pocketed interests denied justice to church abuse survivors
“I have said it before and I will say it again: Accountability and transparency for the crimes of childhood sexual abuse today and in the future absolves no one from the accountability and transparency for the sexual crimes committed against children in the past. Deep pockets denied the rights of all those who were sexually abused as children.” By Sister Maureen Paul Turlish on PennLive.com

I’m still on the Vatican commission, says abuse survivor Peter Saunders
“British campaigner Peter Saunders has insisted he is still part of the Vatican’s commission on protecting children from abuse. In a letter published in today’s Catholic Herald, Saunders says that, although he was encouraged to resign after his strong criticisms of the speed of Vatican reforms, he is only on a ‘leave of absence.’ He says he hopes to lead a ‘victims and survivors’ consultative panel’ to assist the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.” By Catholic Herald

Catholic Church needs to be part of the solution to sexual abuse law reform
“Earlier this month, Pope Francis translated his much-discussed ‘breath of fresh’ air into action when it comes to cracking down on the sexual abuse crisis that has crippled the church in recent years. The pope changed church law so that bishops who may be looking the other way when it comes to predatory priests can more easily be removed … Closer to home, however, a new front has been opened over fallout from the sex abuse scandals. Thus far, the response by American church authorities has not been encouraging.” By Tom Deignan, Irish Central

Cardinal: Abuse survivors must be central to any safeguarding policy
“Cardinal Vincent Nichols has sent a message to the annual Anglophone Safeguarding Conference currently underway in Rome. He stresses that although much has been done, there’s much more to do ‘in both the prevention and response to this crime.’ The Rt. Rev. Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds and Vice Chair of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission, delivered the message to delegates at the event that runs from 20 – 23 June and is jointly hosted by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and Kenya’s Conference of Catholic Bishops.” By Independent Catholic News

Pesch: Child sexual abuse allegations prompt legal questions
“We, as a community, are finally having a conversation that we should have had years, if not decades, ago. That conversation centers around child sexual abuse within a religious setting. Because of recent events, we are currently focused on the Catholic church and more specifically on the allegations pending against Guam’s top Catholic leader, Archbishop Anthony Apuron.” By Bill Pesch, Pacific Daily News


Justices asked to hear case on priest sexual abuse
“A plaintiff who alleges he was sexually abused by three priests in the 1980s is asking the Florida Supreme Court to take up a case against the Archdiocese of Miami, according to an online docket. The plaintiff, identified only by the initials W.D., filed a notice last week seeking Supreme Court review of a decision by the 4th District Court of Appeal.” By The News Service of Florida in The Gainesville Sun


Local diocese closes painful chapter in sex abuse case
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah last week closed a painful and shameful chapter from its past when it announced it would pay $4.5 million to resolve a suit alleging child sexual abuse by a since-defrocked priest, Wayland Y. Brown. This was the second time the diocese agreed to settle a case involving Brown. The earlier one, resolved in 2009, settled for $4.24 million.” By The Editorial Board, Savannah Morning News

Catholic diocese of Savannah to pay record settlement in priest abuse case
“The Catholic Diocese of Savannah is paying big time for the sins of a former priest once again. WTOC has learned this settlement, the largest Catholic Church sex abuse settlement in Georgia history and the third largest in the country, was reached last week. The Catholic Diocese of Savannah is no stranger to lawsuits filed by victims claiming they were victims of sexual abuse by a priest.” By Don Logana, WTOC-TV


Iowa priest reinstated after abuse allegations found ‘not proved’
“Father John Stack, a priest of the Davenport Diocese, celebrated his reinstatement to active ministry with his first public Mass in 38 months on Father’s Day, June 19, at the Clinton nursing home where his late father once resided. A Church trial outside the diocese found that accusations of clergy sexual abuse against Stack were not proved.” By Barb Arland-Fye, Catholic News Service, on Cruxnow.com


The Catholic diocese of Owensboro has suspended a pastor after allegations that he sexually abused a juvenile in the 1980s
“The Catholic Diocese of Owensboro has suspended a pastor after allegations that he sexually abused a juvenile in the 1980s. The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports that the diocese suspended the Rev. Freddie Byrd after being notified of the allegation June 2.” By Greenfield Daily Reporter


Retired Maine priest defrocked
“Church officials say a 73-year-old retired Maine Catholic priest has been defrocked by the Vatican over sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1980s.” By Associated Press on Maine Public Radio


Judge to rule whether St. Paul Archdiocese parishes can be tapped for abuse claims
“A bankruptcy court judge was asked Thursday (Jul. 7) to include Catholic parishes and schools with the assets of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to compensate clergy abuse victims. The archdiocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy organization plan, filed in May, would create a $65 million trust fund to compensate the some 440 abuse victims who have filed claims.” By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune

Jury acquits Minnesota priest accused of molesting girls
“A jury on Monday (Jun. 20) acquitted a Minnesota priest accused of molesting four girls. After closing arguments, jurors deliberated about two hours before finding Brian Lederer, 30, not guilty on all counts.” By Associated Press in Star Tribune
Prosecutors still mulling porn charge against Hibbing priest, By John Myers, Duluth News Tribune


Catholic bishop in Kansas City apologizes at special service for church sex abuse victims
Betrayal, regret, healing and forgiveness were key words at a special Service of Lament on Sunday at Kansas City’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for victims and survivors of sexual abuse within the church. Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. went straight to the point in his homily before a full congregation that included most if not all priests from the nearly 100 parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.” By Matt Campbell, The Kansas City Star
Kansas City bishop apologizes for ‘betrayal’ of sexual abuse, By Sally Marrow, Religion News Service, in National Catholic Reporter

Suit filed against Archdiocese of St. Louis alleges sexual abuse by deceased priest
“A Kansas City man filed suit Tuesday (Jun. 21) against the Archdiocese of St. Louis claiming he was the victim of repeated sexual abuse by a priest who has since died. In his suit, Tom Viviano alleges that the Rev. Charles DeGuire forced him to perform oral sex on him ‘on numerous occasions’ at St. Aloysius Gonzaga and on a boat that the suit said DeGuire either owned or used.” By Ashley Jost, St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Judge, survivors sign off on Gallup Diocese settlement
“Victims of predatory priests and workers with the Diocese of Gallup have finally agreed to and won a multi-million dollar settlement for their claims, a federal judge ruled this morning (Jun. 21). U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma in May approved a plan for the payments, but the plan had to be approved by a vote among claimants.” By Maggie Shepard, Albuquerque Journal


A priest accused. What next?
“The statistics on sexual misconduct allegations in the Catholic church are daunting. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, over 16,000 people in the U.S. alone have claimed that they were abused by priests as children between 1950 and 2012. That year, the USCCB said it had spent $2.6 billion in settlements, attorneys, therapy and other costs.” By Rossana Weitekamp

One N.Y.-area priest convicted, another steps down on abuse charges
“Two New York-area developments illustrate the ongoing fallout from the child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, with the conviction of a former Paterson, N.J., priest for criminal sexual contact with an adolescent girl and the suspension of a current Long Island pastor over an abuse charge.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com

Malverne priest accused of misconduct
“A Catholic priest in Malverne is being investigated over claims of misconduct. Father Frank Parisi worked at Our Lady of Lourdes church. It was announced in church last weekend that Parisi had stepped down amid allegations of inappropriate behavior with a minor.” By News 12 Long Island

Diocese of Brooklyn to publish names of pedophile priests on website
“The Diocese of Brooklyn plans to publish a list of its sexual predator priests. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will post the names of clergy members who have been accused of sexual abuse on the Diocese of Brooklyn’s website, a diocesan official said, calling it an attempt to be more transparent in the wake of the pedophile priest scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church for nearly two decades. But the diocese has offered no details about its perv priest list and victim advocates say they fear the announcement is more about public relations than protecting children from predators or helping long-suffering sex abuse victims heal.” By Michael O’Keefe, New York Daily News


Church sex abuse victim takes his own life
“An altar boy who was among the victims of child sex abuse in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese took his own life on Saturday (Jul. 2). Brian Gergely served under Monsignor Francis McCaa at Holy Name Parish in Ebensburg. In 2003, Gergely filed a civil lawsuit with the diocese, but his friends say his life was forever changed by the abuse.” By WeAreCentralPA.com

High price for lost credibility
“Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops recently appealed to their congregations to help defeat a bill that enhances the ability of sexual abuse victims to sue. But the church’s credibility issue that gave rise to the legislation in the first place likely will be difficult to overcome … But the legislation clearly is inspired by a blistering report by the state attorney general’s office relative to an investigation of child sexual abuse by priests and its cover-up in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.” By The Times-Tribune Editorial Board

Two sisters sue Catholic priest, diocese and two former bishops
“Two sisters have sued a Catholic priest, his central Pennsylvania diocese and two ex-bishops who supervised him, saying the cleric molested them repeatedly as girls — including one at her first Communion party.” By Associated Press in Morning Call

In Pennsylvania’s statute of limitation debate, state constitution should be guide, not an excuse
“The fate of a state House bill that would allow victims of sexual abuse to seek expanded civil and criminal redress could now rise or fall on language in the Pennsylvania Constitution that appears to bar the General Assembly from retroactively altering the statute of limitations in such cases. The language in the bill, prompted in large part by the Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse scandal, was the topic of a three-hour hearing before the state Senate Judiciary Committee last week.” By PennLive.com Editorial Board
Applauding local religious leaders for acknowledging ‘a great sin,By Lancaster Online Editorial Board
Ahead of possible Senate vote, Catholic House lawmakers call out Catholic Church, make push for sex crime reform bill, By Ivey DeJesus, PennLive.com

Altoona-Johnstown Diocese: serial predator priest on leave as precaution
“The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese on Tuesday (Jun. 21) confirmed it had placed on leave a predator priest named in two sex abuse lawsuits. Tony DeGol, spokesman for the diocese, said Bishop Mark Bartchak had placed the Rev. Charles Bodziak on leave in January “as a precautionary measure” pending further investigations into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, including child sexual abuse, leveled on the priest dating back more than 30 years.” By Ivey DeJesus, PennLive.com


Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence says 95-year-old priest now prohibited from ministry
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence says a 95-year-old priest is now prohibited from serving his duties following a ‘credible accusation’ of sexual misconduct that happened decades ago. The diocese released a statement Thursday (Jun. 30) that said the allegations against the Rev. B. Samuel Turillo are believed to have taken place approximately 60 years ago.” By Associated Press in Daily Journal

Rhode Island Supreme Court denies damages for two who claimed they were abused by pedophile priest
“The Rhode Island Supreme Court has upheld a Superior Court decision denying damages to two plaintiffs who alleged they were sexually abused more than four decades ago by a Roman Catholic priest. The court affirmed Superior Court Judge Netti C. Vogel’s ruling that the statute of limitations had elapsed, and that the plaintiffs did not meet the threshold for ‘unsound mind disability.’” By Karen Lee Ziner, Providence Journal


Investigation into abuse of intellectually disabled child inadequate, mother tells inquiry
“The mother of an intellectually disabled girl tells an inquiry she is angry the people who abused her daughter were not adequately investigated. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is examining several cases at two New South Wales institutions – the Mater Dei School in Camden and The Disability Trust and Interchange at Shoalhaven.” By Michelle Brown, ABC News Australia

Church child abuse discussions in Bendigo
“The Catholic Church will meet with members of the Bendigo community on Monday (Jun. 26) night to answer questions about the church’s history of child sexual abuse. The chief executive officer of the church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan, will hold a “Spirituality in the Pub” event at the Queens Arms Hotel in Quarry Hill.” By Adam Holmes, Bendigo Advertiser

Jail for Vic ex-priest over rape in office
“A predatory ex-Catholic priest has been jailed for drugging and raping a student after inviting the boy to play computer games in his office. Michael Scott Aulsebrook, 60, was the boarders’ co-ordinator at Salesian College Rupertswood when he attacked the boy in the 1980s. He lured the boy to play on his computer after lights-out and gave his victim a soft drink spiked with a sedative.” By 4BU.com.au Radio
Former Salesian priest Michael Aulsebrook jailed for rape, sex assaults, By The Age


Brazil bishop who purportedly shielded pedophiles resigns
“Pope Francis on Wednesday (Jul. 6) accepted the resignation of Brazilian Archbishop Aldo di Cillo Pagotto, who had been accused of shielding priests who committed sexual abuse, and who admits making mistakes but who also blames defamatory news reports for his downfall.” By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com


Montreal priests to be prohibited from being alone with children
“The Catholic Church of Montreal plans to bar priests, volunteers and all those involved in faith education from being alone with children later this year. François Sarrazin, chancellor of the Montreal Archdiocese, said a pilot project to begin later this year is a preventative measure and that churches in other provinces including Ontario have already implemented similar policies.” By Kamia Hinkson, CBC News

Retired Catholic priest facing sex crime charges dies
“Linus Bastien, an 89-year-old charged with several sex-related offences he was alleged to have committed while serving as Catholic priest in southern Ontario decades ago, has died.” By CBC News

Church expert confirms there was option for priest to deal with abuse reports
“A parish priest at Mount Cashel in the 1950s would have been aware of an option to deal outside the secrecy of confession with a boy’s report of sexual abuse by a Christian Brother, an expert on canon law agreed in court this morning.” By Barb Sweet, The Telegram


Cardinal suspends four priests accused of molesting minors
“The Roman Catholic cardinal-archbishop of Lyon said on Thursday (Jun. 30) he had suspended four priests accused of pedophile activities and said their cases were known to French judicial authorities. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin said in a statement that the four had been working in the Lyon region in central France but gave no further details about them. He also said other priests were the ‘object of special measures’ without elaborating or saying how many were involved.” By Reuters in National Catholic Reporter


Victims of historic child abuse to demand answers over independence of child abuse inquiry
“Victims of historic child abuse are to demand answers about the independence of a public inquiry into the problem, at a showdown meeting with Deputy First Minister John Swinney. Alan Draper, spokesman for In Care Abuse Survivors Scotland (INCAS), said Mr Swinney would need to answer questions about the allegations made by both Professor Michael Lamb, who quit the inquiry panel last week, and Susan O’Brien QC, who left while under investigation for allegedly holding views ‘incompatible’ with the post of chair of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.” By Stephen Naysmith, The Herald Scotland


Archbishop Hon addresses newest sex abuse allegation
“Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon – in his role as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Agana – responded today to the newest accusation of sexual abuse by Archbishop Anthony Apuron.” By The Guam Daily Post


Public hearings of Northern Ireland child abuse inquiry end
“Hundreds of vulnerable former residents have made deeply personal and harrowing claims of sexual, physical and emotional suffering over many decades in care homes run by the church, state and the Barnardo’s children’s charity. Retired judge Anthony Hart and two other members of the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry will prepare a report for Stormont ministers within six months and are expected to recommend financial compensation be paid.” By RTE News

Call for Catholic Church to compensate abuse survivors
“Victims of child abuse at residential homes in Northern Ireland have urged the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland to set aside money for compensation. Archbishop Eamon Martin met campaigners in Armagh yesterday (Jul. 5). The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry is due to report to the Executive next January and could recommend a pay-out for survivors.” By Michael McHugh, Belfast Telegraph

Former ‘singing’ priest Tony Walsh found guilty of raping boy with crucifix
“Former ‘singing’ priest Tony Walsh faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison for raping a boy with a crucifix, a court has heard. Anthony Walsh (62) committed the offence and two other rapes of the same victim before the Criminal Law (Rape) Amendment Act came into effect in 1990, meaning that the maximum penalty the judge can impose on each offence is two years.” By Sonya McLean, Irish Independent

Innocence of accused priests should be emphasized – report
“Public announcements by the church that a priest is standing aside from ministry due to child abuse allegations should emphasize the presumption of innocence, updated Catholic Church child protection guidelines have said. Published by the Church’s child protection body, its National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC), the guidelines also emphasize that in such cases, while parishioners cannot be told everything, ‘what they are told should be the truth.’” By Patsy McGarry, The Irish Times


Inquiry calls into alleged Catholic Church sex abuse
“The Government is being asked to investigate alleged abuse within the Catholic Church, to give closure to survivors before they die. Peter Hercock, a former chaplin at Sacred Heart College in Lower Hutt, has admitted two charges of rape, one of attempted rape and four of indecently assaulting a girl aged between 12 and 16. He was last month sentenced to six years and seven months in jail, four decades after his offending began. One of his victims, Ann-Marie Shelley, 60, is calling on the Government to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into sexual abuse in the New Zealand Catholic Church.” By Michael Sergel, NewsTalkzb.co.nz

If the Catholic Church knows about abuse, they should be obliged by law to report it
“The Catholic Church, even though the vast majority of its clergy strictly adhere to their selfless vows, has itself to blame for the opprobrium that’s heaped on it for turning a blind eye to the abusers within it.” By Barry Soper, Commentary on NewsTalkzb.co.nz


Swiss Catholic Church sex abuse victims may seek reparations
Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Switzerland may now seek financial compensation and other forms of reparation in cases that have exceeded the statute of limitations. This follows the launch of an independent sexual abuse commission. However, payments are likely to remain symbolic. The fight against sexual abuse within the Catholic Church took a step forwards on Tuesday (Jun. 21) with the official launch of CECAR, a sexual abuse commission that is ‘neutral and independent of the authorities of the Catholic Church.’” By Simon Bradley, SwissInfo.ch